DAVOS: Saudi Arabia is embracing metaverse technology and has already shown its environmental benefits with the planning and development of some of the Kingdom’s biggest projects.

This is according to Saudi Minister of Communications and Information Technology Abdullah Al-Swaha, who was speaking during a session on Thursday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Referring specifically to the NEOM and Red Sea projects, Al-Swaha said Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had urged that all developments be tested in the “digital world first” before production could begin.

This resulted in the projects being recreated in the metaverse, to optimize planning and reduce errors and cost.

Al-Swaha said that this method was also used by Aramco and Sabic, and helped to lower carbon emissions and prevent flaring.

Echoing these views, Bernd Montag, CEO at Siemens Healthineers, who was also a participant at the WEF session, said there were significant benefits for the medical sector, with the use of “virtual human digital copies.”

Some hospitals were already using the technology for surgeries, with significantly reduced errors and greater efficiency.

Al-Swaha added that regulatory oversight is needed to ensure the technology is used to benefit society.