Exploring Gaming Culture in UAE

The rapid emergence of esports is transforming the gaming industry, and the Middle East is among the regions embracing it, attracting new gamers. The UAE, in particular, is actively diversifying its oil-dependent economy and boosting its soft power. In recent years, the country’s young expatriates have jumped into various fields, including sports and technology.

Growth of Esports in the UAE

According to US-based data analytics company Nielsen, the global sports and interactive media industry grew 12% last year to $139.9 billion. Meanwhile, the gaming market in the Gulf is expected to reach $821 million this year, with the UAE and Saudi Arabia being the biggest players, according to consulting firm Strategy.

Special Olympics UAE and Gaming

The Special Olympics UAE is one of many organizations that are realizing the enormous potential of gaming, including education and inclusion. With video gaming becoming increasingly popular among youngsters, Special Olympics UAE has a group of people of determination who have similar interests. Special Olympics athletes noted that gaming has helped improve their life skills. A group of 20 athletes is looking forward to attending the Blast Premier World Final, where eight of the world’s best esports teams will vie for top honors and a $1 million prize pool in Abu Dhabi.

Esports Tournaments in the UAE

No one is more aware of the Middle East’s enormous potential than the big video game companies and hardware manufacturers. They have spent the last few years staging attention-grabbing esports tournaments worldwide to optimize local fan engagement. In April, California’s Riot Games, one of three dominant game publishers in the region, along with China’s Tencent and France’s Ubisoft, and the US tech giant Intel, jointly announced that this year’s expanded IAC tournament—their third esports collaboration in the Middle East—will have a prize pot of $130,000.

Gaming as an Opportunity for Governments and Investors

The UAE has one of the most engaged communities of gamers globally and is, therefore, one of the top markets for streaming platforms such as Twitch and YouTube. The opportunities for global and regional game developers are enormous, with Dubai Economy predicting the GCC’s gaming industry to increase from $1.3 billion in 2019 to $4.5 billion in 2025. Gaming is a golden opportunity for governments, global companies, and investors of all types to create value for gamers and establish themselves durably in the biggest entertainment industry in the world. As the gaming market is growing at an incredible rate, the community that surrounds it is one to be reckoned with.


The Gaming Culture in UAE is all set to accelerate in the coming years as more or more people are getting involved in it. Due to the lucrative advantages and competitiveness it offers, this is becoming one of the booming fields contributing to an acceleration in the digital economy. This gives immense opportunities to people of all ages to participate in such gaming extravaganza to tap into new markets and opportunities of E-Gaming and E-Sports in UAE.

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