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With reduced work hours, UAE sees ‘sharp increase’ in gaming during Ramadan – News


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Published: Tuesday, March 19, 2024, 4:13 p.m.

Last update: Tuesday, March 19, 2024, 4:16 p.m.

According to industry experts, there has been a sharp increase in gaming during Ramadan. Reduced working hours and more free time are some of the reasons why this is happening.

“A significant portion of gamers spend a notable amount of time gaming every day during the holy month, as people have more free time now that schools and work hours have been reduced,” said Loren Roosendaal, founder and president of Galactic Entertainment.

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“According to recent projections, esports revenue is expected to reach $1.8 billion by 2025 with Ramadan expected to be the peak period.”

In addition to playing for longer periods of time, other trends are seen throughout this month, including more families playing together.

The community also hosts charity game-a-thons and there has been an increase in streaming Ramadan-themed content, Roosendaal said.

“Multiplayer video games are played with family and friends for bonding as well as a form of relaxation. “These developments highlight the vibrant interaction between the game and cultural customs, enhancing the gaming experience and strengthening ties within the communities of the Mena region throughout Ramadan.”

eSports Tournaments

This growing popularity of gaming has caused several companies to announce esports tournaments this month. Local company GameCentric has organized a Ramadan league in collaboration with the Dubai Esports and Games Festival with a prize pool of Dh20,000.

“We’ve seen a great response to the tournament,” said GameCentric’s Devangshu Rath. “This is an indication of how popular games become during Ramadan. The popularity is not only among young people but even among older players. It is a period in which many players have the luxury of having time to indulge their passion.”

Other trends show an increase in casual gamers. “Projections indicate that the number of gamers in this region is expected to increase to almost 80 million, a significant increase from approximately 67.4 million in 2022,” said Peter Oganesean, MD, Middle East, HP.

“Another notable trend is the rise of mobile gaming, particularly among casual gamers looking for quick, accessible entertainment during breaks from their fasting routines. “There is also growing interest in esports and live streaming events, as enthusiasts seek competitive gaming experiences and opportunities to connect virtually with like-minded people.”

Increase in games

This increase in gaming during Ramadan is part of a broader trend that sees more young people in the region taking up the pastime.

“The esports scene in the UAE and the Gulf region is booming,” Devangshu said. “There are several people who get involved in sports on a daily basis. “I am excited to see how the industry will advance in the coming years in the region.”

Peter said there are several reasons for this rise in popularity. “A whopping 40 percent of Gen Z say they socialize more in video games than in the real world,” he said.

“Advances in technology have made gaming more accessible than ever. The second, and possibly most important, factor is the continued popularity and investment in free-to-play titles that allow everyone to have fun as long as they have a system. “The esports scene gives young players something to aspire to while also offering a level playing field regardless of gender, age or disability.”

Nasreen Abdulla


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