Web3 games developer Animoca Brands and Saudi Arabia’s NEOM Investment Fund announced a new partnership on Oct. 30 to drive Web3 development in the region.
According to the announcement, the new deal will have Animoca working with NEOM to build Web3 enterprise service capabilities. The planned Web3 services are intended to be applied globally, though they will first be deployed to support advancements in emerging tech in the Saudi capital, Riyadh and the NEOM region.
NEOM is a region in northwest Saudi Arabia that is being built into what the government calls a “living laboratory” for a new future society. It is envisioned to be hyper-connected with emerging tech and a hub for innovation.
The Animoca partnership plans to establish a hub within NEOM to support the local Web3 ecosystem and is a part of Saudi’s greater “Saudi Vision 2030” plan for increased diversification economically, socially and culturally.
Majid Mufti, the CEO of NEOM Investment Fund, commented on the development:
“Web3 technology and infrastructure development will not only be an important foundation of NEOM’s tech stack and architecture, but also has potential to revolutionize global industries.”
The NEOM Investment Fund is also proposing to invest $50 million in Animoca Brands.
Yat Siu, the co-founder and executive chairman of Animoca Brands, described part of his vision for the Web3 ecosystem as “the emergence of a new meta-nation.” With the emergence of this new deal with NEOM, he said:
“Now NEOM could well become the first region to fully harness the power of blockchain.”
In recent years, the greater Middle East region has been rapidly accelerating its adoption of emerging technologies. Aside from its NEOM project, Saudi Arabia recently partnered with universities in China to develop an Arabic-based artificial intelligence (AI) system to process queries in its local language.
On Oct. 18, OpenAI, the developer of the popular AI chatbot ChatGPT, announced a partnership with Dubai-based technology holding group G42 focusing on Middle East expansion.