Omar Sultan Al Olama, the Minister of State for artificial intelligence in the UAE, recently announced the release of a whitepaper outlining the “Responsible Metaverse Self-Governance Framework.”
The framework, developed in collaboration with Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DubaiDET), aims to address the challenges and opportunities of the metaverse while promoting responsible use.
The whitepaper focuses on key concerns, such as accountable use, identity management, and fraud within the metaverse.
To tackle these concerns, the whitepaper mentions nine self-regulatory principles that ensure responsible development and governance of the metaverse — promoting privacy, transparency, fairness, inclusiveness, and accountability.
The accountability principle, for instance, implies that metaverse operators should actively monitor systems and projects, while external organizations might conduct regular audits to ensure compliance with ethical and legal standards.
In line with the inclusiveness principle, virtual environments are expected to provide a welcoming environment, free from barriers — ensuring accessibility for individuals with disabilities. This might involve the integration of features like text-to-speech and screen reader capabilities.
The metaverse has already gained significant traction across various industries — including fashion, healthcare, and entertainment. However, concerns and regulatory gaps have emerged alongside its rapid growth. These self-regulatory principles may become the cornerstones of Dubai’s approach to empowering the metaverse and its wide-ranging applications.
This announcement closely follows a report from the UK Committee, which raised concerns about non-fungible token (NFT) copyright infringements, the integration of NFTs in the sports industry, and NFT-related advertising activities. The report has called for government intervention to safeguard the rights of creators and fans in the NFT ecosystem.