Part I: Understanding of the Metaverse

Nitin Antony | 20 Sep 2022 | General

You have probably heard the term ‘Meta’ at some point, but do you really know what it is? How it is being used in the UAE? What the future looks like and is it mainstream enough? We answer all of this in a simple way to get you up and running.


Facebook’s rebranding as Meta snowballed into a global curiosity and fixation with the Internet’s favourite buzzword, Metaverse. Yet, the term remains unclear and vague to a layman. To put it simply, Metaverse is an integrated network of open, shared, and limitless 3D virtual worlds that one can access and enter. It is touted as the third generation of the web — “Web3”, which will be more immersive and experiential than Web1 (2D world-wide-web) and Web2 (social media).

Technologies ranging from Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Mixed Reality to Holograms are all tools and gateways that will enable one to access the virtual world where one can participate as their digital avatar. You could shop, buy, sell, play games, and host weddings, concerts, and art exhibitions in parallel to our physical world. The possibilities of collaborative activities are endless in the metaverse, as proved by the existing metaverse worlds like Fortnite, Decentraland, Roblox, Meta, Minecraft, Sandbox, etc.

Another crucial aspect of “Web3” will be cryptocurrency, which is virtual money that could be used for transacting in the Metaverse. Cryptocurrency will become an important means of payment to pay for virtual goods and services. It will be used as a utility to fuel the economy inside the metaverse. It will also be an integral part of governance and functioning in the virtual world.

For other banks and financial institutions to remain competitive, they will soon have to recognize and facilitate blockchain and crypto-driven models. If the current players are open to engaging with them, the era of digital currencies can alter banking as we know it.

In the next chapter, we will look into how the UAE is making the virtual world a reality.