Meditation guru Deepak Chopra, former Manchester United captain Patrice Evra, and American former professional basketball player Metta World Peace have all signed letters of intent to establish businesses in Abu Dhabi.
The signings took place on Thursday at the celebrity entrepreneur World Cup event hosted by Abu Dhabi Finance Week.
ADFW, which is organized by Abu Dhabi Global Market, will host 500 high-level investors from around the world across 30 separate events, including FinTech Abu Dhabi.
The celebrity entrepreneurs’ visit to the UAE capital was part of Maven Global Access’ Access Abu Dhabi business expansion program, which is supported by the Abu Dhabi Investment Office.
Mr. Chopra’s ChopraVerse — a platform that empowers a culture of well-being in the metaverse — will enter Abu Dhabi’s Web3 ecosystem, Adio said in a statement on Thursday.
Peace’s Artest Management Group’s XvsX Sports will bring competitive basketball experiences to the emirate, while Evra will launch a new content company.
“Adio supports innovation-focused businesses and entrepreneurs looking to explore the full potential of Abu Dhabi’s ecosystem,” said Abdulla AlShamsi, Adio’s acting director general. We look forward to working with Deepak Chopra, Patrice Evra, and Metta World Peace as they take the next steps to expand their global ventures from Abu Dhabi, thanks to our support of Access Abu Dhabi.”
The Access Abu Dhabi program is assisting celebrities in expediting their expansion to the UAE capital.
Abu Dhabi and the UAE economy recovered quickly from the coronavirus pandemic, thanks to higher oil prices and government growth initiatives.
Emirates NBD recently raised its UAE growth forecast to 7% in 2022, owing to a higher estimate for energy industry output and “robust growth” in the country’s non-oil sector, putting the country on track for its fastest annual expansion since 2011, when output increased by 6.9%.
Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank forecasts a 6.2% increase.
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“As realities merge and technology advances, new immersive experiences focused on wellness and meditation emerge,” Mr. Chopra said.
“Abu Dhabi’s leadership in Web3 innovation and commitment to enriching happiness provide the ideal foundation for the ChopraVerse’s expansion.”
The metaverse is an emerging space in which people can interact in virtual worlds using avatars or three-dimensional representations. It is a component of Web3, the internet’s next evolutionary step, which includes blockchain, decentralization, openness, and increased user utility as core components.
“It became clear to me that now is the perfect time to bring competitive basketball experiences to the UAE for both men and women,” Peace said. “And with Abu Dhabi being one of the few places worldwide to get a feel of real NBA [National Basketball Association] action, this feels like the natural choice.”
The Access Abu Dhabi program is open to all US businesses and includes resources to help them expand and grow in Abu Dhabi, as well as mentorship from program ambassador Kevin O’Leary.
“The opportunity to tap into Abu Dhabi’s world-class talent will bring exciting prospects for our new company,” said former French footballer Patrice Evra.
“I’m looking forward to assembling a team that will explore the emirate’s creativity and capitalizes on the support provided by Maven Global Access and the Abu Dhabi Investment Office, among others I’ve had the pleasure of connecting with across this innovative ecosystem.”
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