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A mall in the metaverse? It’s coming to Dubai

The virtual mall is poised to set a new standard for immersive shopping experiences.

A mall in the metaverse? It’s coming to Dubai
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

If you, as consumers, feel the metaverse is a fantasy, to brands, it’s already here as they are building it out as rapidly as possible. Retail group Majid Al Futtaim is leveraging the metaverse technology to extend its brick-and-mortar presence and allow customers to engage with immersive retail experiences by building a virtual mall.

Recently, the retail group unveiled the Mall of the Metaverse in Decentraland following various rounds of testing. Though the project is currently in its early stages of development, the team is evaluating customers’ demands and expectations.

The mall will feature a variety of brands, such as Carrefour, VOX Cinemas, THAT Concept Store, Ghawali, and Samsung Store. 

According to Khalifa bin Braik, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Asset Management, the Mall of the Metaverse will become a prominent retail and entertainment destination for customers who seek digital experiences from their favorite brands.

Fatima Zada, the director of Omnichannel and Digital, Majid Al Futtaim Shopping Malls, pointed out that there has been an increase in demand for digital experiences in recent years. By leveraging “behavioral science and data”, the team has developed a comprehensive plan beyond regular online shopping and now includes the Mall of the Metaverse.

Dubai has made significant strides in the metaverse, with three healthcare groups venturing into the virtual world. Last year, the Dubai Mall unveiled its Etisalat store in the metaverse. Collectively, these announcements align with the city’s metaverse strategy that aims to create 40,000 virtual jobs and add $4 billion to its economy over the next five years.

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