Gaming revenue in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region is expected to double from 2021 to reach US$6 billion by 2027, according to the latest Future of Trade 2023 report from the Dubai Multi Commodities Center (DMCC).
The report, titled “Gaming in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena): Gearing up for growth,” says a young, digitally savvy population, high levels of digital connectivity, and government support are driving the region as a market for consumers and creators. reader center.
Gaming and esports are both fast-growing consumer segments, benefiting from rapid technological advancements and wider and more inclusive audiences.
UAE and Saudi Arabia
The UAE and Saudi Arabia lead the region, backed by high income levels, strong digital participation and public investment programmes. Globally, Asia Pacific constitutes the largest market share, with China, the US, and Japan being the largest individual markets.
The report brings together contributions from key industry leaders, including Jad El Mir, Partner at Strategy&, and Klaus Kajetski, CEO and Founder, YaLLa Esports, to identify key drivers of the industry’s accelerating growth in the MENA region and beyond . It also examines the impact on gaming and esports from a technological, cultural and business perspective, covering global consumer trends, the emergence of the Middle East and North Africa as a gaming and esports hub, and the key challenges the industry needs to address to further grow revenues.
To steer the global industry’s revenue growth from nearly $200 billion in 2021 to $340 billion in 2027, the report outlines a series of key recommendations for governments and businesses, namely:
• Diversify esports revenue streams from sponsorships to new direct-to-fan monetization models — including digital marketing, loyalty programs, and training platforms for amateur gamers — to grow revenue.
• Develop appropriate regulatory safeguards to ensure online privacy, safety and security in the digital gaming ecosystem and provide a business-friendly environment – including a smoother visa system to allow esports professionals and spectators to attend live events – to attract talent to the region and elevate it to become a global industry leader.
Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and CEO of DMCC, said: “Gaming has been at the forefront of global entertainment, driving rapid growth, especially in the Middle East and North Africa region, which now accounts for 15% of the global player base. Gamification in education, The rise of healthcare and other sectors is a testament to gaming’s role in boosting economic activity more broadly. Ensuring accelerated growth in the gaming industry will have a measurable impact on the future of global markets and the future of trade. As the DMCC seeks to cement Dubai as a With its reputation as a center of global trade and economics, the opportunity to effectively activate the gaming industry will prove critical.”
Esports is one of the most watched segments, with MENA revenue expected to grow by 23.3% between 2019 and 2024. Driving this is the region’s young population, the involvement of international broadcasters and sponsors, and government support. Capitalizing on this economic potential, DMCC has partnered with Dubai-based professional esports organization YaLLa Esports to launch the DMCC Gaming Center in December 2022. The hub supports the growth of Dubai’s industry by providing gaming businesses with access to global capital, leading industry talent, and an ecosystem that allows them to operate efficiently and confidently.
Due to the UAE’s strong business environment and infrastructure, as well as its status as a gateway to the Middle East and Asia Pacific, various international game developers have set up their regional headquarters in the country.
Ubisoft is headquartered in Abu Dhabi, while gaming giant Tencent, along with Riot Games, has its Mena headquarters in Dubai. In Saudi Arabia, the kingdom has made gaming a core element of its Neom project and has invested more than $1.7 billion in the gaming industry.
The special edition of DMCC’s Future of Trade report follows the July 2022 release of its flagship biennial report, which lays out the key drivers of global trade over the next decade. The Future of Trade report series has been downloaded and viewed 1.3 million times. — trade arab news agency