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Why the Middle East is Bullish on Immersive Web

Feb 20, 2024

Callum Moates

The immersive web marks a transformative leap in internet evolution, blending virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to create profoundly interactive and engaging experiences across industries like education, tourism, and e-commerce. This shift enables audiences to experience products and services beyond conventional engagement methods. A VR or AR head-mounted device like the Apple Vision Pro could allow users to take virtual tours, engage in interactive storytelling simulations, or attend virtual events. As VR and AR come of age, they are set to boost Middle Eastern economies, improving how companies operate, offering immersive content, creating efficient processes, and providing a platform for collaboration, thereby elevating the user experience. Around 64% of leading consumer brands invest in immersive technologies to connect with audiences and boost their online commerce, as reported by Accenture. Today, several organizations from multiple sectors in the Middle East are following their lead to establish strategic use cases in their respective fields. 

Immersive technologies in the Middle East

The Middle East is rapidly becoming a dynamic center for immersive technologies, aiming to diversify its economy and boost global competitiveness. The region, especially the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) area, is on track to see a significant rise in VR and AR adoption, with a projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 39% from 2023 to 2028, based on research from MarkNtel Advisors. AR and VR in the retail sector in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) is also expected to grow from $210.78 million in 2021 to $734.25 million by 2028. The region utilizes immersive tech for everything from gaming arcades to virtual exhibitions, creating unique experiences that drive innovation across education, tourism, retail, and entertainment sectors.

Dubai, a city celebrated for its architectural marvels and technological advancements, showcases its commitment to virtual reality with the VR Park at Dubai Mall. The virtual venue, covering 7,000 square meters, offers a dive into various alternate realities, from flying over Dubai in drone taxis to battling aliens and exploring the dunes with mythical spider camels. Similarly, Dreamscape at the Mall of the Emirates brings an innovative twist to VR with motion sensors for interactive adventures, transporting users to alien zoos, underwater rescue missions, and dragon flights. 

AR and VR are also being utilized for educational experiences, which is evident through the National Museum of Qatar's incorporation of AR and VR into its displays. Through a partnership with Microsoft's AI digital center, the museum intends to develop intelligent exhibits that integrate AR, AI, and VR technologies, enhancing the accessibility and engagement of museum exhibits. 



The immersive web is helping educational institutions improve their teaching methodologies by using AR and VR to allow students to learn complex topics, problem-solve, and engage with diverse cultures. Immersive learning technologies boost critical thinking and deepen subject understanding while engaging emotions, making education memorable. They offer instant feedback, allowing learners to see their progress and stay motivated. Embedding gamification elements to AR and VR learning applications, such as challenges and rewards, makes learning enjoyable and effective by leveraging competitive instincts. Additionally, these technologies enable personalized learning through data analytics and AI, adapting content to individual preferences and pacing, which enhances learning outcomes.

INSEAD's campus in Abu Dhabi integrated VR into its educational approach, with 5,000 students and 40 educators engaging with the technology in 2022. A vital element of this initiative is the institution’s creation of the world's most extensive VR library for management education. The program revolutionizes learning by offering faster knowledge acquisition, improved retention, and hands-on problem-solving experiences.

Beyond educating students, immersive technologies help train employees when face-to-face interaction is not practical or unsafe. It helps cut costs and time by allowing employers to recreate training scenarios and simulations employees can access at scale from anywhere. For instance, Vantari VR, a Sydney-based VR medical training firm, is expanding its innovative software platform to the Middle East to democratize access to medical training globally. This platform’s technology helps improve efficiency in clinical procedures, as evidenced by research showing a 40% reduction in errors and significant improvements in performance and adherence to safety protocols. In the energy sector, companies like Saudi Aramco utilize VR for safety training, preparing employees for emergencies through immersive simulations. These examples underscore the potential of VR to transform professional training by offering realistic, practical learning experiences that traditional methods cannot replicate.

Tourism and hospitality

Virtual tourism experiences come to life with immersive web technologies that enable visitors to embark on virtual tours of landmarks, museums, and heritage sites, providing a tantalizing glimpse of existing and digitally created locations. Virtual technologies are also helping the hospitality sector by allowing hotels to offer a digital walkthrough of their facilities, from rooms to restaurants, so customers can ‘try before they buy,’ enhancing booking confidence among prospective guests. In the Middle East, the GCC economies stand to benefit significantly from the metaverse and the impact of the 3D internet on travel and tourism, with the sector predicted to gain $3.2 billion by 2030, as per PwC. 

Immersive technologies are crucial in attracting tourists by offering novel ways to explore destinations. They enhance the visitor experience by providing interactive and personalized tours, making every trip more memorable. That’s a major reason Saudi Arabia (KSA) is heavily focusing on leveraging advanced technologies to meet their goal of attracting 100 million tourists by 2030. Moreover, these technologies are powerful tools for promoting cultural heritage, allowing the rich history and traditions of the Middle East to be showcased in engaging and accessible formats.

Here are some innovative virtual tourism projects across the Middle East:

  • Virtual heritage sites: Countries like Jordan and Egypt leverage VR to bring ancient civilizations to life. Tourists can explore the ruins of Petra or the pyramids of Giza from anywhere in the world in a fully immersive 3D environment.

  • Virtual city tours: Visit Dubai offers VR tours to the city’s top landmarks, from walking through the alleys of the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood to exploring the interiors of the Burj Al Arab Hotel.

  • Virtual pilgrimage: Saudi's VR experience lets pilgrims visit Kaaba’s black stone at the holy mosque in Makkah, allowing them to experience the sacred location from the comfort of any location and skip massive crowds and lines.


Recent studies conducted by Ipsos and the social media platform Snapchat forecast a significant shift in digital interaction within the UAE, predicting that by 2025, more than 65% of the country's population, along with nearly all social media app users in the region, will become regular users of augmented reality (AR). This changing behavior creates a massive opportunity for brands to showcase their products to broad audiences. Retailers and e-commerce companies are diving into the future of shopping by creating virtual showrooms and AR-enabled apps, transforming how we explore and purchase products.

Imagine stepping into a three-dimensional space from your living room, where you can browse through various products like makeup, jewelry, and accessories. AR technology is revolutionizing the ‘try before you buy’ concept. It allows consumers to virtually try on items like clothes and makeup with a few taps on their smartphones and make informed purchases. This innovative approach provides a realistic preview of products, enhancing customer satisfaction and boosting sales. These technologies also reduce product returns by accurately representing products minimizing expectation mismatches. 

For instance, Designhubz, a UAE-based AR/VR company, creates experiences for brands, blending the physical and digital worlds into a seamless 3D shopping journey. Designhubz worked with IKEA to turn 800 products into AR-compatible formats, which was integrated into the e-commerce platform, allowing customers to visualize 3D furniture pieces in their homes, driving up conversions by 107%, as per Fast Company Middle East. 


The immersive web significantly transforms healthcare and wellness in the Middle East, marked by a shift towards virtual consultations and immersive therapy sessions. Immersive tech like VR enhances patient recovery by offering personalized therapies and improving adherence and outcomes, such as better motor skills in stroke survivors. It also increases healthcare access for remote areas through virtual consultations. Surgeons and doctors also benefit by using these technologies to plan challenging medical procedures and practice them beforehand. 

According to a McKinsey & Company study, the digital health market is expected to hit $4 billion by 2026 in KSA and UAE, propelled by online services and teleconsultation, among other advancements. Additionally, PwC reports reveal that 84% of GCC healthcare professionals and nearly 60% of patients view the metaverse as a positive force for patient experience. This digital shift, encompassing VR and AR technologies, enhances access to care, makes healthcare more efficient, and opens new avenues for treatment and wellness, positioning the Middle East as a leader in healthcare innovation.

SEHA Virtual Hospital Saudi Arabia is the largest virtual hospital in the world, providing remote healthcare and telemedicine facilities. The hospital also leverages technologies like AR to transmit live surgical procedure images, giving doctors guidance and insights during complex procedures. Public healthcare institutions are also advancing AR and VR in healthcare. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) stated that they would use VR for rehabilitation for patients suffering from a stroke, Parkinson's, cerebral palsy, and children with developmental disorders, among others.

Feb 20, 2024

Callum Moates

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LandVault is the largest metaverse builder with over 100 million square feet of virtual real estate, more than 120 full-time creators, and nearly 300 completed projects. We’ve been helping brands build and grow in gaming environments since 2017 and the metaverse since 2021.

LandVault’s platform-agnostic proprietary technology and creative powerhouse builds and delivers tailored, data-driven, and optimized business solutions and insights. We help clients launch, optimize, and monetize metaverse experiences.

LandVault’s mission is to accelerate the metaverse economy through technology with a vision of a fairer wealth distribution across the web.

We build infrastructure for the 3D internet,
to create a richer, fairer internet.

Copyright ©️ 2023

Landvault · Wam Group

All rights reserved


We build infrastructure for the 3D internet,
to create a richer, fairer internet.

Copyright ©️ 2023 · Landvault · Wam Group · All rights reserved


We build infrastructure for the 3D internet,
to create a richer, fairer internet.

Copyright ©️ 2023 · Landvault · Wam Group · All rights reserved