Gaming giant Tencent Games picks Dubai for MENA headquarters

Ammar Al-Malik, managing director of Dubai Internet City and Dubai Outsource City, left, with Vincent Wang, general manager of the Global Publishing Department at Tencent Games. (Photo supplied)
Updated 26 June 2019

Gaming giant Tencent Games picks Dubai for MENA headquarters

DUBAI: China’s Tencent Games has chosen Dubai as regional headquarters for its Middle East and North Africa operations, with Dubai Internet City housing the gaming giant’s office.

Tencent Games was launched in 2003 and has since grown into a global platform for game development, publishing and operation. Its ownership stakes and alliances with many major video game companies includes Fornite, Ubisoft, Activision-Blizzard, Riot Games, Supercell and Take-Two Interactive Software.

The opening of Tencent Games’ regional headquarter is an indication of increased activities in the local and regional games industry which covers digital entertainment, education and cultural experiences, a statement said.

According to market research firm Newzoo, the revenue of the UAE games sector is estimated at $324 million (1.2 billion dirhams) in 2019. Furthermore, over 80 percent of smartphone users in the UAE play mobile games, it said.

The UAE has the highest mobile penetration rate in the world at 173 per cent – nearly double the country’s population, according to a report by Statista released in late 2018. This is a considerable figure and represents a wealth of opportunities for game developers, with revenues from mobile games representing more than half the income generated in the entire industry.

“Gaming moves beyond entertainment and is increasingly used to engage and educate, and as more gamers and creative enthusiasts enter the industry, we can certainly expect the market to develop rapidly in the coming years,” Ammar Al-Malik, managing director of Dubai Internet City and Dubai Outsource City said.

Vincent Wang, general manager of the Global Publishing Department at Tencent Games, said: “The UAE’s high mobile and internet penetration is an extremely encouraging indicator for tech firms across the world, and is especially relevant to the global games industry.”


A hundred universities take part in Dubai’s Global Grad Show

Some of the projects at Global Grad Show held last week in Dubai correspond to themes such as health, wealth and disparity, gender and equality, sustainability, education and technology.
Updated 19 November 2019

A hundred universities take part in Dubai’s Global Grad Show

A one-of-a-kind exhibition, showcasing graduate projects from more than 100 universities from 43 countries, in the fields of design, science, technology and engineering, was held last week in Dubai.
Held in partnership with Investment Corporation of Dubai, Global Grad Show opened its 5th and most diverse edition to date on Nov. 12 and ran until Nov. 16.
New entrants include established names such as Columbia University, Goldsmiths and the University of Pennsylvania, alongside leading universities from countries participating for the first time, including Colombia, Kuwait and the Philippines.
Global Grad Show is a significant component of Dubai Design Week, which is held under the patronage of Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, chairperson of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority. Earlier this year, Global Grad Show was named as a key initiative under the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority’s plan to evolve Dubai into a global hub for culture and innovation.
Sheikha Latifa said: “This initiative is at the heart of Dubai’s vision to create a brighter future for all people through progress and innovation. Global Grad Show is a call to action for government and private entities to revisit their challenges and needs in response to current socioeconomic issues. I encourage all entities to engage with the students and collaborate to bring their ideas to life.”

HIGHLIGHT

This year’s expanded program includes an entrepreneurship program supported by A.R.M. Holding, which has pledged 10 million dirhams ($2.7 million) to advance projects into startups.

Mohammed I. Al-Shaibani, executive director and chief executive of Investment Corporation of Dubai, said: “With each year of Investment Corporation of Dubai’s participation at Global Grad Show, we have witnessed ever greater enthusiasm and interest from the international cultural, creative, and intellectual communities. This reception is a true endorsement to the calibre that the Global Grad Show has developed over its five years.”
Under the curation of Eleanor Watson, Global Grad Show explores how innovation can impact our lives through different spheres: The Human, The Home, The Community, The City and The Planet. Some of the projects correspond to themes such as health, wealth and disparity, gender and equality, sustainability, education and technology.
Ranging from high-tech to low-tech solutions, highlight projects in the 2019 exhibition include: “Swiv,” a toothbrush for children with cognitive disabilities, allowing them to clean their teeth with a single physical motion; “Jarvis,” a mixed reality headset, enabling doctors to accurately measure the brain’s response to distractions or activities when conducting cognitive tests for severe head trauma, pharmaceutical efficacy and ADHD; and “Ro-Biotics,” a microscopic robot created from 4D printed materials to be ingested in the place of an antibiotic, which captures infections in the blood stream.
This year’s expanded program includes an entrepreneurship program supported by A.R.M. Holding, which has pledged 10 million dirhams ($2.7 million) to advance projects into startups.