An aerial view of developments on Yas Island. Photo for illustrative use only. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island will soon be recreated virtually as part of plans to develop a world-class destination on the metaverse.

A coalition of key Abu Dhabi entities, including the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), Aldar, Miral, twofour54, Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management, Flash Entertainment and Yas Island, have come together for the initiative, which aims to provide users with a taste of what Abu Dhabi offers in the real world.

Heads of various leading entities involved in the project during a recent group photo Image Credit: Supplied

Personalised adventure

The result will be a full-featured metaverse ecosystem, allowing visitors from all over the world to access the attractions of Yas Island from home. The virtual experience is expected to enable users to gather, socialise, play, create, and transact. From building and purchasing digital homes, to discovering cultural attractions, to enjoying theme park adventures, special events, premier golf courses, and a world-class motorsport racing circuit, individuals will be able to experience all that Yas Island has to offer in a digital-first journey. Customisable avatars and surprise rewards will be part of every user’s personalised adventure.

Saood Al Hosani, undersecretary at DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “Innovation is central to DCT Abu Dhabi’s commitment to be at the forefront of what is possible. With the Yas Island metaverse, we are inviting the world to experience the excitement of Abu Dhabi’s incredible leisure and entertainment destination - virtually - like never before.”

He added: “As the emirate’s offerings evolve, this project provides a new and compelling perspective which allows the world to discover Abu Dhabi in their own time and space. The innovative, interactive platform is perfect for highlighting the exceptional lifestyle, cultural and entertainment experiences that Abu Dhabi presents to all visitors and will give both virtual residents and travellers the power to curate their own unique Abu Dhabi itinerary – within a whole new sphere of reality.”

Currently in the development phase, the island is being recreated using multiple world-leading metaverse platforms, including The Sandbox and Roblox, and is powered by Super League Gaming, a global leader in metaverse gaming and experiences. Once completed in early 2023, the Yas Island Metaverse will be operational and fully available to digital visitors.

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Immersive experiences

Talal Al Dhiyebi, CEO of Aldar, said: “Aldar is proud to be part of an ecosystem of partners on Yas Island that have played their part in developing the island into the iconic global destination it is today. The metaverse project is the next evolution of Yas Island and presents a unique and exciting proposition for each partner to seek new ways to deliver world-class experiences to digital explorers around the world. Through this project, we are firmly placing Yas Island and Abu Dhabi on the global metaverse map.”

Mohammed Abdalla Al Zaabi, Miral’s CEO, said: “We are proud to announce that people from every corner of the globe will soon be able to enjoy captivating and immersive experiences across Yas Island in the digital world. Spearheading the leisure and entertainment industry, we have collaborated with key entities to offer visitors a new way to explore and discover all that Yas Island has to offer, from world-class theme parks to attending global events. This extraordinary metaverse project will further reiterate our commitment to position Yas Island and Abu Dhabi on the global tourism map as we aim to get closer to our customers by embracing digitisation.”