The emirate provides those in the Web 3 space with the ‘perfect balance of work and fun,’ making it attractive for talent, said the 26-year-old co-founder of interactive short video platform Vurse
Originally intending to stay in Dubai for only 12 days, Shadman Sakib ended up “falling in love” with the city and
choosing it to launch his interactive short video platform Vurse from, set for the second half of 2022.
Vurse will be one of the first deep tech companies to
come out of the Middle East and 26-year-old Sakib said Dubai “has so much potential and can become the next
“We just have to fine-tune people’s mentality on a deep tech perspective and once that happens, the sky is the
limit. For us people in the Web 3.0 space, we really want a nice balance between fun and work and Dubai really
has the capability to provide both,” said Sakib.
“We are in the process of hiring our team members from across the world and it is actually much easier for us to
attract them being based here in Dubai versus other cities because of the fine balance between work and life,
plus the entertainment aspect. This is why we chose Dubai and we feel like it is going to be our long-term
home,” he continued.
Sakib believes Vurse’s growth will translate into the growth of Dubai in the deep tech and Web 3.0 space, giving
the example of how the presence of the big tech companies in San Francisco led to the development of the
American state’s tech reputation.
“Dubai is one of the smartest cities in the world. You go to the airport and immigration is done in minutes, not
many cities in the world can compete with that kind of technology,” explained Sakib.
“It is therefore high time we have a homegrown company that goes beyond the traditional businesses we have in
this city. Traditional companies can only grow so far versus the companies in deep tech or Web 3 space –
especially the ones with proper resources – where the sky is the limit; you have the whole world to play with,”
How Sakib got into tech and conceived of Vurse
Sakib grew up in Bangladesh and says he was “pretty much of an underdog,” for most of his life, recounting how he
dropped out of his undergraduate studies in the US before moving to the UK where he again pursued his studies
while working as a waiter on the side.
Lying on his couch one day and playing with his phone Sakib wondered why he was using someone else’s product
instead of developing a product that people could use.
“I was 20 years old at the time and while my peers were focused on enjoying life, I was consumed with finding a
purpose for mine,” he recalled.
“My philosophy was all about being determined that I would have a strong footfall by the time my friends finish
university so that they would come to me and ask for a job,” added Sakib.
Having no background in technology, Sakib talked to a few of his friends and contacts in the app design space but
was frustrated with the ideas they came up with as they were a copy of what already existed.
“I wanted to look at how I can wow the customer or my user not recreate the same thing – I wanted to build
something different,” explained Sakib. As such, he taught himself coding before meeting the co-founder of Vurse
who is a “coding genius.”
It is within this context that the idea of Vurse came about to take the social media experience into the Web 3
space and give content creators ownership over their content rather than having a platform control that.
“Our target is to make the content creators bigger because once they are a big brand themselves, a similar effect
will happen to the company itself,” explained Sakib.
“My co-founder and I have been wanting to work on a consumer-facing product for some time now because that is
where we think the main fun is. We want to understand the newer generations that are coming up and their
culture. We also want to understand the music industry very well,” he continued.
As such, Sakib has delegated his other businesses to fully focus on Vurse, a business he self-funded. And while
he declined disclosing much information about Vurse itself, he said it is built on three verticals: a content
creator marketplace where people will be able to trade NFTs, a short video platform and the AI verse, a
self-created metaverse within the platform.
“The metaverse will stay but the way we see and think of it will change. Currently, you have to have a
specialised device to access the metaverse which restricts access somehow,” said Sakib.
“Once the technology catches up to the extent that it is easily accessible to anyone anywhere, then the real game
begins,” he continued.