LONDON: The revenue for the gaming industry in the Middle East and North Africa region is set to reach $6 billion by 2027, almost doubling the figure from 2021, according to research by Dubai Multi Commodities Center.
The Future of Trade 2023 report highlights how the gaming industry in the MENA region is set to grow over the next few years, led by a young and digital-native population, high levels of connectivity and government support.
These factors are driving the region’s emergence as a consumer and creator hub.
“Gaming has come to the fore of entertainment globally, driving rapid growth especially in the MENA region, which now constitutes 15 percent of the global player base,” said Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and CEO at DMCC.
Both gaming and esports are thriving. Leading the pack in the region are the UAE and Saudi Arabia, fueled by high incomes, digital engagement and public investment.
Globally, Asia-Pacific is the largest market with China, the US and Japan being the top players.
According to the report the global gaming market is expected to reach about $340 billion by 2027, from $198.4 billion in 2021. By 2025, there will be more than 318 million esports enthusiasts worldwide, up from 215.2 million in 2020.
Meanwhile, around 322.7 million people are projected to be occasional viewers of esports by 2025.
Sulayem said that the boom was partly due to the rise of “gamification” of sectors including education and healthcare.
“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 trade,” he said.
“As DMCC seeks to solidify Dubai’s reputation as a global trade and economic hub, efficiently activating opportunities within the gaming sector will prove essential.”
The report gathers contributions from key industry leaders including Jad El-Mir, Partner at Strategy&, and Klaus Kajetski, CEO and Founder of YaLLa Esports, to establish the critical drivers of the industry’s accelerated growth.
It also examines the impact on gaming and esports from a technology, culture and business perspective. It explores global trends and challenges, and MENA’s rise as a gaming hub.
Seeking to tap into its economic potential, DMCC in December partnered with YaLLa Esports, the Dubai-based professional esports organization, to launch the DMCC Gaming Centre.
The centre supports the growth of the gaming industry in Dubai by providing businesses with access to global capital, leading industry talent, and an ecosystem that allows them to operate efficiently and with confidence.
Thanks to the UAE’s robust business environment and strategic location, international gaming developers like Ubisoft, Tencent, and Riot Games have set up offices in the region.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has invested over $1.7 billion in the gaming industry and integrated it into its Neom project.