How NFTs are used in the UAE
As the United Arab Emirates (UAE) continues to offer a welcoming regulatory framework for blockchain-based technologies, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) continue to flourish in the region and are used by projects in various ways.
From concert tickets to research and philanthropy, Cointelegraph went to Dubai and Abu Dhabi to explore how various crypto projects operating in the UAE are using NFTs.
NFTs help medical researchers get data from players
A project operating at Jumeirah Village Circle in Dubai found a way to use NFTs to get data and funding to researchers. At the recent AIBC Dubai conference held at Festival City, Cointelegraph spoke with Farcana Labs artificial intelligence researcher Dmitry Mikhailov to learn how their company has integrated NFTs into research.
Mikhailov told Cointelegraph that his firm’s game called Farcana collects data from players he describes as “donors” in exchange for a fraction of future intellectual property rights. Through what they call “research NFTs” given to donors and investors, researchers are able to collect data and funds for their research projects. Mikhailov explained:
“For me, as a scientist, as a professor, it’s a huge way to get funding without applying for grants. All you have to do is publish your research, get more donors, show it to investors and say, look, I can find a new way to detect Alzheimer’s disease based on how you move your mouse.”
According to the Farcana Labs team, some of the data collected from their players is also sent to Rashid Hospital, a government hospital in the UAE. The data is used to study methods for diagnosing Parkinson’s disease, dementia and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
NFT tickets invade a rave concert in Abu Dhabi
Ultra Abu Dhabi, an electronic dance music (EDM) festival featuring popular DJs such as Calvin Harris and Skrillex, had a taste of Web3 through NFT tickets provided by Fellaz and BNB Chain. The event was held on Yas Island, home to many attractions such as Ferrari World and the Yas Marina Circuit which has hosted the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix since 2009.
Cointelegraph visited the festival on March 5 to see how NFT tickets work and if there are differences between using traditional tickets and those backed with blockchain technology. Apart from a few extra steps like downloading a specific wallet, using NFT tickets is very similar to using regular tickets. But while the differences may not be directly visible, the benefits exist behind the scenes.
According to Alvin Kan, Director of Growth at BNB Chain, one of the many advantages of NFT tickets over traditional ticketing systems is how it can combat the problem of NFT fraud. He explained that:
“NFTs offer a reliable and secure way to verify ticket authenticity, guaranteeing entry access exclusively to those with legitimate tickets.”
In addition, Kan also told Cointelegraph that there are other benefits of NFT tickets such as the flexibility of being able to transfer tickets to friends or resell tickets without paying fees to dealers. For event organizers, Kan noted that they want ownership in the chain so they can engage more with the public even after the event. “For example, airdropping music-related NFTs to past Ultra attendees, or giving Ultra ticket holders early access to future Ultra events,” he said.
The executive also mentioned that they also plan to integrate NFT tickets into more events within the UAE and globally.
Related: Groceries to luxury cars: the state of crypto adoption in Dubai
NFT rewards play a role in philanthropy
Giving back and doing charity work is integral to UAE culture. The country’s leaders are at the forefront of various initiatives and the government leads social, charitable and humanitarian work within and outside the UAE. At the AIBC Dubai conference, Cointelegraph also spoke with a project that focuses on philanthropy and found out how NFTs play an important role in the ecosystem.
Tatum April, the chief marketing officer of the non-profit company Philcoin, told Cointelegraph how their project is committed to providing charitable help to people around the world. April explained that using Web3 technologies, their team provides a platform where users can “earn and give back.” The platform offers NFT rewards, and in order to claim the rewards, people must give back to causes they are passionate about. She added:
“Charities and non-profits have always been a very hidden process. So, a lot of the time the donations you make to charities are not easily traceable.”
According to April, this is where blockchain technology comes into play. “Blockchain is obviously known for its transparency and efficiency. So bringing philanthropy into it. We see this as a bridge between philanthropy and technology,” she added.