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Dubai hones its edge as a gaming and esports hub

The leading names in the gaming sector have everything on the line as they head straight to Dubai, which has become an industry powerhouse in the region thanks to its dynamic business environment, investment-friendly policies and impressive levels of digital engagement, with the DMCC Game Center providing a welcoming setting for gaming companies near and far.

Gaming and esports fans have plenty of prospects given the number of global industry players eager to channel the growing excitement and success of previous industry events in Dubai.

Harnessing the untapped potential of nascent sectors, businesses and technological advancements, Dubai is a driving force with enthusiasm for new economic horizons and future-focused policies. This entrepreneurial spirit has undoubtedly helped it emerge as a major global hub for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) gaming industry, with regional industry revenue projected to exceed $5 billion by the end of the year. next year.

The second edition of Dubai Esports and Gaming Festival Last year served to underline Dubai’s intention to come out on top in the games space and there is tremendous anticipation for what the next edition promises. The event caused an international sensation with an action-packed schedule spread over five days. He GameExpo Summit saw over 1,800 industry experts from around the world converge in Dubai and share their knowledge and ideas on the prodigious future that awaits the industry.

New game releases, incredible exhibits, and diverse areas for all skill levels made the event a runaway success. Regional and school tournaments attracted enthusiastic participation, while immersive gaming adventures whetted the appetite of more than 26,000 visitors.

More than 75,000 of the best local and global players competed in a variety of esports tournaments and games with the international gaming industry following their every move. An all-new influencer tournament, Play Beyond, featuring AboFlah, Miniminter, Granhinds, Demisux, Basharkk, Saeed Wolf, Bashayer and Jukeyz provided an unforgettable finale.

A leading example of Dubai’s commitment to promoting the gaming industry is the DMCC Gaming Centre, opened in 2022 by the Dubai Multi Commodities Center (DMCC), the world’s most interconnected free zone for commodity trading and businesses. . Offering an unbeatable platform for gaming industry professionals to connect, collaborate and explore new opportunities, the facility allows companies to easily access global capital, industry-leading talent and a dedicated ecosystem, allowing them operate efficiently and with confidence. A fully digital setup process further paves the way for businesses looking to expand globally and engage with diverse audiences.

Conducive framework

The DMCC Gaming Center provides a hub for around 100 gaming companies based in the free zone, including developers, publishers, esports teams and tournament organisers. The center is a convergence point for the region’s gaming sector, located at the intersection of gaming and web3 and offering monetization opportunities and access to liquidity. The DMCC Gaming Center, together with its sister ecosystem DMCC Crypto Center, provides businesses with everything they need to thrive, fostering connections between businesses, creatives, developers and gamers, while providing high-quality infrastructure and connectivity. It also reflects the fact that business in Dubai is not just about difficult deals but also about community spirit.

“Gaming is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, with nearly 3.2 billion people playing and spending a combined total of $196.8 billion in 2022.”

saying Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and CEO of DMCC.

“The size and growth of the industry today is staggering compared to when video games first appeared in the 1970s. These passionate communities are constantly seeking greater immersion and storytelling in their chosen form of entertainment. As our roster of gaming companies rapidly expands and we see more members of our DMCC Crypto Center enter the blockchain gaming space, the DMCC Gaming Center will solidify Dubai’s position as a global hub for all forms of gaming and esports. “electronic”.

he added.

Booming market

Projections put the number of gamers in the MENA region at around 88 million by 2026, compared to a figure of 67.4 million by 2022. Other reports also point to the MENA region as one of the leading gaming markets. rhythm. At an impressive 25 percent in terms of annual growth rate, the growth of the MENA gaming market has been three times faster than that of China, which is around 8 percent.

Nearly 65 percent of all gaming activity in the MENA region comes down to mobile gaming and around 60 percent of the Middle East population consider themselves gaming fans. About 50 percent of all apps downloaded in the region are games, compared to a global average of 40 percent.

The global gaming market size was estimated at $249.55 billion in 2022, and the graph goes from $281.77 billion in 2023 to $665.77 billion in 2030.

The global esports market is projected to grow from $1.72 billion in 2023 to $6.75 billion through 2030, at a rapid 21.5 percent in terms of combined annual growth rate.

The esports sector has also been on the crest of a wave lately, with a hefty 68 percent of the online population intently watching gaming-related content and at least 10 percent professing to be avid esports enthusiasts. What’s next for esports eclipses the viewership of traditional sports leagues like the NBA in most regions of the world and the actual number of global esports users is projected to reach 856 million by 2028.

DMCC’Research supports its calibrated infrastructure and connectivity push. Statistics available from the Center’s studies reveal that eight in 10 members of Generation Z and millennials are very interested in gaming, and that gamers between the ages of 25 and 40 set aside up to seven hours each week for their hobby. favorite.
Across the MENA region, gaming revenue is expected to nearly double by 2027, compared to 2021 figures, reaching $6 billion. This projection is based on DMCC’s latest Future of Trade 2023 report titled ‘Gaming in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA): Growth-oriented’.

Both gaming and esports have been on the fast track thanks to rapid advances in technology and broader, more inclusive audiences. The UAE is a natural leader in these segments, supported by high levels of income, strong digital commitment and public investment initiatives. Globally, Asia Pacific constitutes the largest market share, while China, the United States and Japan lead the individual markets.

Impressive group of players

Contributing his ideas about the stupendous size of the market that awaits us, Bin Sulayem aggregate:

“Gaming has moved to the forefront of global entertainment, driving rapid growth, especially in the MENA region, which now makes up 15 percent of the global player base. The rise of gamification in areas such as education, healthcare and other sectors has demonstrated the role of gaming in facilitating overall economic activity. Ensuring the accelerated growth of the gaming sector will have a measurable impact on the future of markets around the world, as well as the future of commerce. As DMCC seeks to solidify Dubai’s reputation as a global commercial and economic hub, it will be essential to efficiently activate opportunities within the gaming sector.”

Esports revenue growth in MENA stands somewhere in the region of 23.3 percent from 2019 to this year. The region’s young population, the participation of international broadcasters and sponsors, and government support have contributed positively to this growth trend.

The UAE’s vibrant business environment and infrastructure and its prime geographical location as a gateway to the Middle East and Asia Pacific regions have led a number of international game developers to establish their regional headquarters here. Gaming giant Tencent has set up its MENA headquarters in Dubai alongside riot games while Ubisoft is based in Abu Dhabi.

Offering a rewarding business environment and a winning advantage as a host city for major events, be it the global climate summit (COP28) or international exhibitions for sectors ranging from technology to sports, Dubai is set to increase the excitement around games and electronic sports. industry one step further, and the programming of events and companies eager to get out into the field is expected to only grow.

News source: Emirates News Agency

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