Emirates NBD launches global accelerator program for metaverse startups

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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Emirates NBD
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Emirates NBD, a leading banking group in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT) region, has launched a global accelerator program for metaverse startups to enhance the customer experience for the new virtual economy.

The launch is in partnership with the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Fintech Hive, the largest financial technology hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, and powered by technology provider Microsoft.

Marking Emirates NBD’s first play in the metaverse, the accelerator program positions the bank as a leader in the next phase of banking innovation in alignment with the Dubai Metaverse Strategy aimed at placing Dubai in the top ten metaverse economies of the world, supporting more than 40,000 virtual jobs by 2030 and adding $4 billion to Dubai’s economy in five years.

With 94 percent of all financial transactions and requests conducted outside the branches, the bank is exploring new technologies in the web 3.0 world to expand its digital footprint and create immersive experiences for our customers.

Marwan Hadi
Marwan Hadi
Executive VP,
Head – Retail Banking
Emirates NBD

“Attracting innovative startups is crucial to Dubai’s ambition to be an international leader in the metaverse. As a leader in the region’s banking sector, Emirates NBD has always been a front-runner of digital innovation, looking to experiment and partner with tech startups who can help us accelerate our transformation journey and develop solutions that optimize the customer experience. With our entry into the metaverse, we seek to reimagine financial services using extended reality and create compelling new propositions for our customers in the new metaverse economy.”

Mr. Raja Al Mazrouei, Executive Vice President of DIFC FinTech Hive, said that “We are pleased to collaborate with Emirates NBD to launch the global accelerator program for metaverse startups, which are growing rapidly and witnessing increasing interest from around the world. This step reaffirms our commitment to support Dubai’s ambition to be among the top ten metaverse economies in the world. At DIFC FinTech Hive, we continue to adopt the latest technologies to keep pace with the rising momentum in the global digital space.”

“In the metaverse, where physical and digital worlds come together to create an entirely new platform layer, we have an exciting opportunity to create transformative solutions that completely revolutionize the journeys and experiences of consumers. We look forward to working with these innovators and helping them to realize this potential over the course of the program,” said Mr. Naim Yazbeck, General Manager at Microsoft UAE.

Related: Dubai-based metaverse firm Everdome secures $10mn from GEM Digital