The Damac Group has announced plans to embrace the metaverse and build its own digital cities, and notes the move will make it a pioneer in the GCC. The group says that it plans to invest up to $100mn in capital for the project.
The group is the parent of global property development company Damac Properties, data centre firm Edgnex, luxury jeweler de-Grisogono and fashion house Roberto Cavalli. The initiative will be run under the banner, D-Labs and will be led by Ali Sajwani, the CEO of D-Labs and Damac general manager, a statement from the group explained.
The initiative is said to form part of the company-wide ambitions to move into digital assets and non-fungible tokens (NFT), and in his new role as CEO, Ali Sajwani has been tasked to deliver the organisation’s goal of being a leading global digital brand.
“In an attempt to mold to the progressive trends of business, we are expanding our offerings into the metaverse realm to avail of the many opportunities it presents. We are keen to pioneer the possibilities that the metaverse offers in ways which allow us to be more connected and involved with our customers and their interests. Over the past two years we have been aggressively driving our digitisation efforts, and this new initiative into the metaverse will only further leverage our digital footprint,” said Damac Group founder Hussain Sajwani.
Since last year, the group’s real estate arm, Damac Properties, has been offering home buyers a 3D virtual experience that leverages virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). This is a stepping-stone into the metaverse realm, considered to be a digital universe made up of VR, AR and extended reality (XR) that refers to ‘all real-and-virtual combined environments and human-machine interactions generated by computer technology and wearables’, where users can get the feel of ‘living’ an experience, the statement noted.
Sajwani added, “As well as updating our systems, processes and operations across departments, we have been investing in building a strong team of skilled and talented experts to help support our ambitions of being a digital leader.”
Through this move, the Damac Group hopes to branch out its services to cater to the needs of the entire group when it comes to digital assets – ranging from virtual homes, digital property, as well as digital wearables, and digital jewellery through the company’s acquisitions of de-Grisogono, and Roberto Cavalli, respectively, the statement added.
“Digital experiences is part of the offering, where guests will be able to get a virtual treat of the Mandarin Oriental Resort Bolidhuffaru, which is part of the group’s hotels, resorts and serviced apartments portfolio. We plan to continue this exercise, and expand our team and know-how,” concluded Ali Sajwani.
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