Dubai’s General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) has ventured into the metaverse, creating a virtual space to facilitate interactions and service requests for both employees and visitors.
Unveiled at GITEX 2023, this virtual environment closely mirrors the physical GDRFA location. Upon entering, visitors can find a virtual reception desk with a virtual assistant that will handle all inquiries.
Users can then connect with officials in a virtual meeting room or visit the Amer center, which manages visa and immigration applications. Here, visitors can choose the service they’re interested in, get a ticket, and submit an application to start the transaction.
The platform will also serve as a hub for employee activities, including virtual training and participation in events like National Day celebrations.
People can access the metaverse space wearing VR headsets and connect via their smartphones, tablets, or desktops.
The GDRFA has already been integrating innovative technologies to improve its services. It currently uses AI systems for 80% of requests related to passport issuance, residency renewal, and permit issuance. The addition of the metaverse will further optimize service efficiency, reducing processing times and enhancing user experiences.
Dubai has been at the forefront of embracing the metaverse technologies. The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) introduced the “DIFC Metaverse Platform” to support Web3 initiatives earlier this year.
More recently, Omar Sultan Al Olama, the UAE’s Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, unveiled the Responsible Metaverse Self-Governance Framework, emphasizing principles like privacy, transparency, and inclusivity to foster a safer and accountable metaverse.