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Saudi Arabia’s Al Ula is entering Decentraland

The Royal Commission for Al Ula (RCU) has taken their first steps into the exciting world of Metaverse with the to-scale digital recreation of the Hegra World Heritage site, the Tomb of Lihyan.

Built on the Metaverse platform Decentraland, the new online destination is the inaugural UNESCO monument to appear within the virtual realm and will be open to discovery and exploration by visitors from across the globe.

As the Metaverse accelerates, RCU is exploring new methods to engage with visitors in innovative and inspiring ways. By transporting the Al Ula experience from the physical to the digital realm, RCU is fully aligned with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 National Transformation Programme that aims to empower technological transformation on a Kingdom-wide scale.

Created using cutting edge, and immersive technology to painstakingly reproduce Hegra in the digital space, a trip to AlUla’s most famous landmark in the Metaverse will be just as impressive, inspiring, and mesmerising as in real life.

The Metaverse represents the ultimate destination for Hegra as part of RCU’s comprehensive regeneration of Al Ula that will regenerate the County into the world’s largest living museum – now accessible in both the real and virtual worlds. Visitors can navigate their customised avatar character across Hegra’s landscape. Visitors will also be able to step inside the tomb itself, something that is not possible in real life.

One of the largest monuments in Hegra, the tomb’s grand, imposing doorway has been presented in to scale dimensions to give online visitors a true sense of its scale and majesty. Carefully designed information portals will direct guests to different areas of Al Ula’s heritage, expanding awareness of its 200,000 years of human history.

The Metaverse project is a bold initiative by RCU as it reimagines Al Ula’s rich tradition of sharing knowledge for 21st Century guests exploring before they travel to the County in person. Unique experiences, interactive technologies and customisable tools are the critical components of the Metaverse, making it the ideal home for Hegra’s digital expansion.

Real-time 3D platforms act as the foundation for Metaverse applications, giving landmarks like Hegra and entities such as RCU an enormous amount of freedom to customise an experience to consumer trends as they develop regionally or globally. Global creative consultancy “frog” part of “the Capgemini Group”, was appointed to develop and deploy Hegra’s Metaverse debut and support the Royal Commission for Al Ula’s strategy to propel innovation and technological advances across Al Ula County.

While some industries, such as gaming, are more endemic in the Metaverse, RCU’s endeavor will be applicable to a broad range of sectors including tourism and, with them, varying and expanding target audiences.