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e& ventures into the metaverse with ‘e& universe’

10 Oct 2022

• Visitors can enjoy the e& universe futuristic immersive experiences virtually during the conference
• Other use cases include Metaverse Service with SK Telecom and the digital 3D retail experience of etisalat by e& business centre enabled by 5G in collaboration with Huawei

Abu Dhabi: e&, formerly known as Etisalat Group, is set to enthral stand goers at GITEX Global 2022 by inviting them to enter the next digital universe with the soft launch of their virtual world, e& universe. This move marks a significant achievement in the Group’s transformation journey to a global technology and investment conglomerate, as it takes its first steps into the metaverse.

Making its debut at GITEX Global 2022, one of the region’s largest technology exhibitions and conferences, e& universe will virtually welcome visitors, empowering them to traverse the virtual and physical worlds, profoundly changing the way they interact. Alongside e& universe are two use cases, Metaverse Service and etisalat by e&, aimed to give visitors varied experiences in art, music, entertainment and a glimpse into digital retail of the future.

The UAE has made great strides in the metaverse arena and this latest launch from e& highlights its commitment to the vision of the leadership in enhancing the country’s position as its stands at the forefront of global ICT industry, with the adoption of the most advanced of technologies. Globally, there have been several investments towards building the technology and infrastructure for the metaverse, touching more USD 120 billion during the first five months of this year, doubling since 2021.*

e& is not only showcasing the latest technological innovations but is also creating an incredible immersive and innovative experience through e& universe, a first of its kind venture in the region. The move to the metaverse is a start of a remarkable journey into the next digital frontier for the Group as it seeks to do things differently, develop and launch technology solutions that will empower customers and businesses so as to offer heightened interactive experiences.

At e&’s stand this GITEX Global, visitors will embark on a journey that elevates their digital experiences by transporting them to a whole new level of social engagement. The Group is ready to build a world of new possibilities where the future is all about unlocking creativity, exploring immersive storytelling experiences, and building a world of new possibilities. The metaverse is a realm e& is still exploring, given its potential to transform the world of technology and digitalisation journeys. When it comes to harnessing the benefits of the metaverse, the Group is working closely with its partners to develop it as the platform where audiences can interact in unique ways.

Developed in partnership with HTC, the leading manufacturer of virtual reality and mobile devices, e& universe will be hosted virtually on Mars. The specific Mars spot is Arcadia Planitia, a vital location that is considered the most suitable for future life on the red planet and may serve as an aspirational and strategic location for the future. It is a subtle nod to the UAE’s National Space Strategy and the success of the Hope Probe mission, the first mission led by an Arabi-Islamic country, and in line with the vision of the UAE leadership.

For the first time in the history of GITEX Global 2022, visitors will virtually experience the e& stand through e& universe and view the futuristic technology showcases at the event. This is only a glimpse of what is to come in the realm of e& universe. The next phase will open doors of opportunities for visitors to purchase digital assets and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), watch virtual concerts and sporting events as well as engage in other unique digital experiences.

Marking significant achievements in e&’s journey to revolutionise the customer experience as a global technology and investment conglomerate, the e& universe showcase is also accompanied by two other use cases offering unique experiences through the metaverse. In one of the use cases, e& has partnered with SK Telecom to create Metaverse Service which will take visitors through multiple virtual spaces and unique avatars, so that they can explore opportunities for social networking in the metaverse. This platform provides the opportunity for visitors to enjoy the exclusive e& NFT exhibition alongside special artworks by international artists, listen to famous K-pop music, poems, and various entertainment shows through the platform’s virtual and augmented reality technologies.

After selecting from one of six locally-designed avatars, visitors will also journey through the metaverse with Emirati actor, producer, TV personality and social media influencer, Saoud Al Kabbi as he shares his poetry and experience of his first-time presence in the metaverse. This partnership with SK Telecom is also aimed to revolutionise services for e& life changing the face of media and entertainment in the region with the launch of exclusive content for the metaverse.

The second use case in collaboration with Huawei, gives insight into the virtual retail space, where visitors can enter the virtual world of etisalat by e&’s business centre. Here visitors can experience virtual shopping in a 3D universe, enabled by an enhanced live 5G network. Visitors can collaborate, navigate and communicate using etisalat by e&’s products and services in real-time using their hand movements, headsets, feedback controllers or voice commands.

e& universe and the two use cases of Metaverse Service and etisalat by e& business centre are tangible examples of e&’s efforts in investing in advanced technologies and creative innovations as it continues to explore limitless possibilities that digitally empower societies. The Group’s mission to Make Possible will also reflect in the expansion of its digital services and solutions provided to governments, businesses and individual customers in the UAE and the countries where it operates.

To learn more about e& universe, please visit etisalat.ae/eanduniverse.

Etisalat Group has changed its brand identity to e&, effective from 23 February 2022. Its strategy aims to accelerate growth through the creation of a resilient business model representing the Group’s main business pillars. The telecoms business currently continues to be led by etisalat by e& in e&’s home market and by e& international in its international markets, upholding the Group’s rich telecoms heritage, bolstering the strong telecoms network and maximising value for the Group’s various customer segments. Ramping up the digital services for individual customers to elevate their digital-first lifestyle, e& life brings next-generation technologies through smart platforms in entertainment, retail and financial technology. To maximise the digital potential of governments, large-scale enterprises and corporates, e& enterprise focuses on delivering innovative digital vertical value propositions through its end-to-end solutions in cybersecurity, cloud, Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), as well as deploying mega projects. e& capital allows the Group to focus its efforts on driving new investments while maximising shareholder value and strengthening global presence.