United Arab Emirates (UAE) airliner recently announced that it will launch utility-based non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and brand experiences in the metaverse. The company said that the forthcoming projects are aligned with its ambitious Web3 and metaverse plans.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed, the chairman and chief executive of Emirates airline group, said on Thursday that Dubai and Emirates airlines are pioneering new roads in the digital economy. He added that its vision is supported by “practical policies” in regard to virtual assets, artificial intelligence, data protection, and regulations.
Emirates, the world’s biggest long-haul airline, also mentioned that it was dedicated to developing products and services using nascent technologies like NFTs and blockchain.
The metaverse, a term for digital worlds built for virtual and augmented reality, is being projected to be a multi-billion dollar industry in the coming years. And NFTs — unique, verifiable digital assets stored on blockchains are enabling brands and companies like Emirates to sell digital assets and reach new customers in creative and engaging ways.
Although UAE didn’t give details about the type of NFTs it would be releasing, it stated that the first NFT and metaverse projects are well underway and can be expected to arrive in the coming months.
UAE Has Been Preparing for the Metaverse
This is not Emirates’ first foray into virtual reality (VR). Five years ago, the airline introduced VR technology on its website and app, providing customers with an interactive 3D, 360-degree view of the plane’s cabin interior. And about a year ago, Emirates was the first airline to launch its own VR app on Meta’s Oculus store.
Even though Covid-19 hit airlines especially hard, Emirates is predicting a return to profit next year as air travel rebounds around the world. It also has plans to turn its Expo 2020 Pavilion into a “center for innovation” where it can recruit talent to work on future Web3, NFT, and metaverse-related projects.
As NFTs continue to rise in popularity and reshape the digital economy, it will be interesting to see how Emirates incorporates them into its business model. Several companies have found ways to tie physical products to NFTs, and one possibility could be that the NFTs could be used as actual airline tickets.
Time will tell what the airline brings to the NFT and metaverse spaces. But one thing is certain: Another giant company like UAE investing in NFTs and the metaverse is another win for the nascent technologies that are reshaping the digital landscape.