Initiatives toward metaverse development continue to be a significant focus and key interest in the Middle East, as the Leap conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia highlights key topics in the industry.

On Feb. 7, a partnership ceremony was held at the conference, which acknowledged a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) between The Sandbox and the government of Saudi Arabia.

According to social media posts from Sebastien Borget, the co-founder and chief operating officer of The Sandbox, the MOU is with the Saudi Arabia Digital Government Authority (DGA) for the purpose of “exploring, advising and supporting” one another in metaverse development.

While there are no further updates about the extent of the partnership, both parties have been actively pushing the boundaries of the Web3 space relative to their areas of expertise.

The Sandbox has partnered with some of the biggest names both inside and outside of the Web3 space, including Snoop Dogg, Gucci, Tim, Atari, HSBC and Warner Music Group, among others. 

Related: 69% users bet metaverse entertainment will reshape social lifestyle: Data

The Saudi-based conference comes as the Middle East continues to establish the region as a hub for emerging technologies. Last November, Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates was chosen as the location for the newly formed Middle East, Asia and Africa blockchain association.

Shortly before, the Dubai International Financial Centre instituted a crypto token regime to apply to all tokens recognized in the zone. The city has been a long-standing beacon of regional innovation when it comes to the Web3 space.

It opened the first nonfungible token store and, on Feb. 7, released its long-awaited regulations for virtual asset providers.

In a survey conducted by KuCoin last July, Saudi Arabia was revealed to be a significant market for digital currency adoption due to local regulations. The government is currently researching the possibilities for a central bank digital currency.