Emirates NBD launches metaverse startup accelerator to transform the future of banking


  • The bank’s initial foray into the metaverse aims to improve the customer experience for the emerging virtual economy.
  • Aiming to place Dubai among the top ten metaverse economies worldwide, the Dubai Metaverse Strategy.

In collaboration with the DIFC Fintech Hive, Emirates NBD has launched a worldwide accelerator program for metaverse startups to improve the customer experience for the new virtual economy using Microsoft technology.

The accelerator program places Emirates NBD as a pioneer in the next stage of banking innovation, in line with the Dubai Metaverse Strategy, which aims to rank Dubai among the top ten metaverse economies in the world by 2030, support more than 40,000 virtual jobs, and boost Dubai’s economy by USD4 billion in just five years. This is Emirates NBD’s first foray into the metaverse.

Since 94% of all financial transactions as well as requests are made outside of physical branches, the bank is looking into web 3.0 technologies to increase its digital footprint and offer customers more immersive experiences.

In order to improve its immersion in the virtual world across three key areas—building the technology stack to enable the shift to 3D, generating virtual worlds to improve customer experience in the metaverse, as well as enabling a decentralized payment infrastructure for users to create, commercialize, buy, and sell digital assets. 

Emirates NBD is looking for leading Fintechs, digital experience startups, and emerging technology players functioning across the metaverse landscape.

The DIFC Fintech Hive will assess and pair Emirates NBD with top startups offering distinctive propositions on the value creation, experience, but also technology stack needed for the metaverse over the course of a ten-week acceleration program. 

The process will come to a head at GITEX during a demo day where the shortlisted candidates will present their solutions for a chance to jointly create compelling experiences for our customers in the current paradigm.

Marwan Hadi, Executive Vice President and Head of Retail Banking at Emirates NBD, commented on the launch by stating that Dubai’s goal of becoming a global leader in the metaverse depends on its ability to draw in creative startups. 

Emirates NBD, a pioneer in the region’s banking industry, has always been at the forefront of digital innovation, glancing to experiment and collaborate with tech startups that can hasten our transformation journey and help us create products that improve customer experience. 

With our foray into the metaverse, we hope to use extended reality to reimagine financial services and develop compelling new offers for our clients in the emerging metaverse market.