Abu Dhabi-based payments provider Magnati has announced the release of the first marketplace metaverse in the UAE. 

Named Magnati-MetaV, the platform promises to introduce an innovative shopping experience that shifts the concept of electronic commerce to “experiential commerce”. 

This means moving users away from a two-dimensional interaction to a digital environment where they can “shop, learn, play games, attend concerts, and more”.

Built on Magnati’s blockchain, the metaverse is tailored for Middle East retailers and opens opportunities where they can establish virtual shops in fully-fledged digital retail parks. 

Ramana Kumar, Chief Executive Officer of Magnati, said: “Magnati-MetaV is a natural evolution of our strategy to help merchants stay ahead in this fast-paced digital age. 

“Today’s e-commerce is built on 2D user experiences, which leads to challenges around sales returns, cancellations and customer disappointment. Enabling the customer to experience the product or service drastically reduces these challenges. 

“Magnati-MetaV also creates multiple opportunities for entities previously restricted by geography or brick-and-mortar business models, such as educational institutions, event and sports arenas, and government services.”

The platform holds support for a variety of retail categories, including fashion, groceries, gaming, and tech. Purchasing tickets to attend virtual events can also be all done in Magnati’s metaverse.

A company statement reads that “by providing merchants with tools that enable customers to virtually experience a product, Magnati-MetaV aims to help retailers reduce sales cancellations, returns and exchanges.”

Magnati is the payments business arm of First Abu Dhabi Bank, which makes the Magnati-MetaV fully integrated with digital payment gateways such as cards and e-wallets.

Kumar continued: “Leveraging Magnati’s leading payments and metaverse technology, UAE retailers can build functioning, easily accessible virtual worlds on our metaverse platform, opening opportunities to generate new revenue or to provide faster service. 

“While shopping in Magnati-MetaV will feel entirely new, the payment experience will be completely familiar to anybody who has ever paid by cards or wallets.”