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Technology & Innovation

EXPO 2020 Dubai hosts ISALEX 2.0, the world’s first law enforcement exercise in the Metaverse

DUBAI, UAE, March 23

– ISALEX 2.0 to convene law-enforcement teams from nine member states of the International Security Alliance (ISA) for VR-powered virtual exercise
– 50 security experts to tackle security threat scenarios involving cybercrime, drones, and social media over three days

In a world first, the International Security Alliance’s virtual cybersecurity exercise – ISALEX 2.0 – kicked off today. Hosted at EXPO 2020 Dubai, it will be the first exercise of its kind to be held in the Metaverse. The unique simulation aims to bolster cybersecurity, while ensuring the readiness of alliance members to confront future threats through innovative, forward-looking solutions.

50 representatives drawn from the ministries of interior and law enforcement agencies from nine ISA member states will take part in ISALEX 2.0, where they will face several real-world security scenarios. The teams will be positioned in operating rooms and command and control centers across all participating countries. They will communicate both in virtual reality and through videoconferencing technologies. The UAE Ministry of Interior has set up its own operations room within Expo 2020.

The exercise is considered a first virtual cybersecurity experiment, with teams facing a variety of unplanned scenarios involving security threats modelled to simulate reality. The virtual and real-world scenarios will require coordination, decision-making under pressure and rapid assessment of threats as well as risk-mitigation. The exercise will also incorporate crisis management in all its forms, including strategic communications via traditional and social platforms.

Major Hamad Khatir, Director of the International Operations Department at the Ministry of Interior of the United Arab Emirates, says: “The UAE is on the front line of tackling next-generation threats to safety and security, and ISALEX 2.0 marks an exciting step into the future. It shows just how crucial hands-on experience in a VR environment can be to support real-time police training, facilitate the sharing of knowledge and expertise, and boost international cooperation. Today we take law enforcement into the metaverse – but it is ultimately in the real world that we will reap the benefits.”

This year’s ISALEX follows on from the success of ISALEX19, hosted in Abu Dhabi in 2019 – a joint international exercise which facilitated experience sharing and the exchange of best practices among alliance members. The 2019 edition focused on counterterrorism, crisis and disaster management, communications, and civil defense.


The International Security Alliance (ISA)
Formally launched in 2017 by the United Arab Emirates and France, and bringing together interior ministries from Bahrain, Israel, Italy, Morocco, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia and Spain, the International Security Alliance functions as a working group committed to protecting communities’ safety and prosperity. The ISA is aimed at enhancing collaboration, knowledge sharing and partnerships on global security issues, such as trans-national organised crime, border control, radicalisation, and violent extremism. Hosted within the Ministry of Interior of the UAE, the ISA’s Secretariat is responsible for coordinating all activities – from high-level strategic and technical engagement, to live exercises, training and joint operations – allowing it to dynamically respond to the world’s emerging security threats.

Source: International Security Alliance Secretariat