Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal recently launched the world’s first philanthropy center in the metaverse. The aim of the metaverse is to connect virtual worlds to offer users borderless cultural and digital experiences.
The metaverse launch was scheduled for 16 November, which is globally observed as World Tolerance Day. The day in mid-November began to be used to spread awareness about the dangers of intolerance after a UNESCO mandate in 1995.
The Alwaleed Philanthropies (AP), a charitable and philanthropic organization founded and chaired by billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Al Saud, is behind the launch. With the latest initiative, AP becomes the first to take on a metaverse initiative with a social drive.
The philanthropic metaverse will operate on Decentraland, the most well-known metaverse platform.
Saudi Arabia is an important market in the crypto space due to significant crypto adoption. In September saw the country celebrate its national day in the metaverse. More recently, the Saudi Arabian Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) made its debut in the metaverse with an immersive UNESCO World Heritage site. Tapping into the metverse’s mass appeal in the region, AP latest move furthers Saudi’s lead in the space.
What’s on display?
The digital experience is inspired by AP’s mandate, since its founding in 1980, to build and nurture tolerance across humanity. Toward improving the understanding of cultures and borderless tolerance while also building up the country as a key crypto and Web 3.0 center, the new AP metaverse will help people explore the multi-story building showcasing elements of historical stories.
The metaverse consists of virtual exhibitions of historical Arab science, art, and culture, curated by some of the world’s top museums and universities in partnership with AP. Some of the partners are the Oxford University Museums, Pergamon Museum Berlin, the University of Edinburgh, the Middle East crafts non-governmental organization Turquoise Mountain Foundation, and the Palestinian crafts designer Darzah.
One of the exhibitions in the AP metaverse explores the Astrolabe, an ancient Islamic scientific instrument used for various mathematical calculations. Others include medieval Persian historian Rashid al-Din’s Compendium of Chronicles. In one of the virtual rooms, guests can explore traditional handmade Saudi crafts from Alwaleed Philanthropies’ own brand Mizwada.
Furthermore, the virtual building also includes the Darzah Room, which displays non-profit handmade Palestinian products. The “Aleppo Room” exhibits the stunning interior of a 17th century Syrian mansion.