Stock - Emirates
Emirates airline is taking a big step into the NFT mega-universe. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Emirates airline will be launching collectible and utility-based NFTs (non-fungible tokens), signalling a move into the fast-expanding NFT universe. The first projects are already underway, with a launch anticipated in the coming months, the airline said in a statement.

"Dubai and the UAE are blazing the way in the digital economy, having a clear vision supported by practical policies and regulatory frameworks in areas such as virtual assets, artificial intelligence, and data protection," said Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates airline and Group.

"Emirates has always embraced advanced technologies to improve our business processes, enhance our customer offering, and enrich our employees’ skills and experiences. We are excited about the opportunities in the digital space of the future and are committing significant investment in financial and resource terms, to develop products and services using advanced technologies that will deliver on revenue, brand experience, and business efficiencies."

All about NFTs these days
An NFT is a digital asset that represents real-world objects like music, art and videos. They are purchased and sold online, along with cryptocurrency in most cases, and they are generally encoded with the same underlying software as many cryptos.

Repurpose Expo pavilion

Emirates also announced that its pavilion at the Expo 2020 site will be repurposed into a centre for innovation, bringing talent from all over the globe "to bring to life the airline’s future-focused projects including those relating to the metaverse, NFTs and Web3."

Emirates pioneered web virtual reality (VR) technology on and its Emirates app more than 5 years ago, offering an immersive 3D, 360-degree view of its cabin interior experiences onboard. Customers can explore their seats before checking in online with the 3D seat map, and prospective customers can book their preferred seats from within the 3D environment.

Last year, it became the first airline to launch its own VR app on the Oculus store, offering users accurate, life-size and interactive cabin interior experiences onboard Emirates’ flagship A380 aircraft and Boeing 777-300ER Gamechanger aircraft. For instance, users can "pick up" items from the Onboard Lounge, "turn on" the Shower in the Shower Spa, or close the private suite doors behind them. They can even explore the cockpit.