Union Square House (USH), a multi-billion-dirham real estate brokerage in Dubai, is set to launch the first metaverse mansions in the MENA region this year.
The initiative comes at a time when Dubai’s public and private sectors are at the forefront of Web3 adoption, a statement said.
The adoption of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) in Dubai has been snowballing. The real estate sector is considered one of the primary beneficiaries, standing first in line to benefit from Web3 applications, which run on the blockchain technology using decentralised, peer-to-peer networks.
According to recent market data, real estate sales in the metaverse reached $500 million in 2021, and the sales volume is expected to double in 2022. The metaverse real estate market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 31% from 2022 to 2028.
Leveraging Dubai’s investor community and a relatively young population, which is characterised by high levels of familiarity and comfort with the concept of virtual worlds and its prospects, USH plans to develop and sell ultra-luxury digital properties as NFTs, with or without their physical twins.
Most recently, Dubai World Trade Centre launched MetaIncubator, the first metaverse incubator in the Middle East. The Ministry of Economy has hosted the world’s first economic summit, Investopia Investment Summit, in the metaverse. The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) has also developed a new metaverse platform, allowing people to access medical care and receive health-related support virtually. Within the private sector, Dubai-based metaverse startup Eikonikos has recently raised $2 million in pre-seed funding.
Gaurav Aidasani, Founder & Managing Director, Union Square House (USH), said: “Our foray into the metaverse stems from our strong belief in a prevalent virtual world that is set to transform many sectors, on top of which is real estate. In the long term, owning virtual assets such as real estate will benefit those with access to the Metaverse, leaving others behind. In futuristic cities like Dubai, which thrives on a predominantly young generation, people understand the value and potential of digital assets.”
In addition to ownership, investing in digital mansions allows buyers to view their properties in augmented reality form, and interact with other users and digital neighbours.
“We believe digital real estate has already gone mainstream. A number of lenders are even offering mortgages to support customers in buying virtual properties. All these developments give fresh momentum to digital properties, presenting investors in the metaverse with an opportunity to multiply the value of their virtual assets over the coming few years,” Gaurav added.
The consistent growth of the UAE economy and the nation’s remarkable response to the pandemic bolstered Dubai's global appeal among investors, residents and visitors. The positive sentiment and market appeal continue to attract investors, not least those investing in virtual worlds.
USH has recently claimed the number one spot as the most awarded real estate agency in Dubai. The company received the “Top Real Estate Agency” award from Emaar Properties for the past 10 years in a row, Dubai Properties (seven consecutive years), Meraas Properties (two consecutive years), RERA (2021), Dubai Holding (2021), and Damac Properties (2021). Other notable awards include Majid Al Futtaim (First Performing Partner for 2021), Nakheel (Top Performing Number Two Agency for 2021) and District One Meydan (Number One Agency for 2021).
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