The move to release 150 non-fungible tokens is in line with Dubai's efforts to cement itself as a key player in emerging digital markets
Dubai Police are jumping on board the latest digital craze by releasing a free collection of 150 non-fungible tokens, widely known as NFTs.
The digital tokens represent objects such as art, music and video games and are bought and sold online — often at a huge price — typically using cryptocurrency.
Dubai Police's offerings aim to highlight innovation, security and communication, though specific details of what form they will take has not been disclosed.
A quick guide to NFTs
NFTs are unique assets which cannot be exchanged for another item. They are stored and verified using blockchain technology.
The value of an NFT is tied to the fact they tend to be a one-of-a-kind item, with such rarity driving up their worth.
An NFT allows a buyer to purchase the original product ― even if it can still be listened to or viewed by the public ― which comes with a unique identification code that serves as proof of ownership.
For example, Jack Dorsey, founder and former chief executive of Twitter, sold his first post on the social media platform for more than $2.9 million last year.
Although the post can still be viewed by anyone on Twitter, its ownership has been transferred to another party in the form of an NFT.
Hundreds of millions of dollars worth of NFTs have been sold since the phenomenon was thrust into the spotlight.
The burgeoning marketplace has become increasingly lucrative for collectors and investors.
While it is a symbol of a rapid shift to a digital world, it still follows the familiar principle that an item is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.
As with any auction, the sale price of an NFT is driven by demand at the time, with no guarantee it will retain the same value if an owner decides to sell it at a later date.
How to obtain a Dubai Police NFT
“Members of the public inside and outside the country can own Dubai Police’s new NFT collections for free,” said Brig Khalid Al Razooqi, director of Dubai Police's General Department of Artificial Intelligence.
“This move helps attract people who are interested in the digital trend.”
Dubai Police set out two steps people should follow to be in with a chance of claiming one of its tokens.
They should first share the Dubai Police NFT announcement on Twitter before sending a message to the force through its social media channels providing details of their names, and email and NFT wallet addresses.
Brig Al Razooqi said Dubai Police were the first police force in the world to create such digital assets.
Dubai's digital vision
The initiative is in line with Dubai's proactive approach to a rapidly-evolving digital society.
Last month, Dubai adopted the first law of its kind in the emirate that regulates virtual assets.
The Dubai Virtual Asset Regulation Law is aimed at creating an advanced legal framework to protect investors and provide international standards for virtual asset industry governance that will promote responsible business growth in the emirate, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, said in a statement.
“We established an independent authority to oversee the development of the best business environment in the world for the virtual assets in terms of regulation, licensing, governance and in line with local and global financial systems,” he said on Twitter.
“The future belongs to whoever designs it … and today, through the virtual assets law, we seek to participate in the design of this new and rapidly growing global sector.”
Virtual assets include cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and non-fungible tokens.
The digital economy contributes about 4.3 per cent to the UAE's gross domestic product, which is equivalent to Dh100 billion ($27.2bn), government figures show.
Meanwhile, Sharjah last month hosted its first NFT exhibition, titled Gateway to the Metaverse.
Featuring works by local and international artists, the show connected art with the metaverse — or the digital world — by bringing together traditional fine art with digital and crypto art.