May 25, 2022

Brokerage firm to sell Dubai’s first ‘digital mansions’

A Dubai-based brokerage firm is making its foray into the non-fungible token (NFT) space with a new project that is expected to entice investors to put their money in luxury properties created in the metaverse.

Union Square House (USH) said it will launch the first “virtual mansions” in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region this year to capitalise on the growing demand for digital assets.

The metaverse properties, which are expected to be geared toward Dubai’s “astute investor community and relatively young population”, will be traded as NFTs, with or without their real-world counterparts.

Metaverse real estate market is gaining traction in some markets around the world, with ultra-high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs), including celebrities, paying real money to own properties that exist in the digital space.

Gaurav Aidasani, Founder & Managing Director of USH.

Gaurav Aidasani, Founder & Managing Director of USH.

According to estimates, sales in the metaverse real estate market reached $500 million in 2021, and the sales volume is expected to double in 2022. The market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 31 percent between 2022 and 2028.

Gaurav Aidasani, Founder and Managing Director of Union Square House, said they believe that digital real estate has already gone mainstream, citing that some lenders are starting to offer mortgages to help customers looking to buy virtual assets.

“In the long term, owning virtual assets such as real estate will benefit those with access to the metaverse… In futuristic cities like Dubai, which thrives on a predominantly young generation, people understand the value and potential of digital assets,” Aidasani said.

USH’s digital mansions project will not only enable investors to own digital properties. Buyers will also be able to view their assets in augmented reality form, as well as interact with other people, including their so-called “digital neighbours”.