Gaming revenues are expected to almost double by 2027 from 2021 in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, reaching USD 6 billion, according to DMCC’s latest Future of Trade 2023 report titled “Gaming in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA): Geared for growth”.
A young and digital-savvy population, high levels of digital connectivity, and government support are driving the region’s emergence as a consumer and creator hub.
The report explores the driving forces behind the industry’s accelerated expansion in both MENA and global contexts. It delves into the profound impact of technology, culture, and business on gaming and esports, examining global consumer trends, MENA’s rise as a gaming and esports hub, and the key challenges that must be addressed to further amplify industry revenues.
The UAE and Saudi Arabia emerge as frontrunners in the region, leveraging high-income levels, strong digital engagement, and strategic public investment initiatives.
Globally, Asia Pacific constitutes the largest market share, and China, the US, and Japan are the largest individual markets.
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 in the MENA region and beyond. It also examines the impact on gaming and esports from a technology, culture, and business perspective, covering global consumer trends, the emergence of MENA as a gaming and esports hub, and the key challenges that the industry needs to address to increase revenues further.
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 regions, various international gaming developers have set up their regional headquarters in the country. Ubisoft is based in Abu Dhabi, while the gaming giant Tencent set up its MENA HQ in Dubai along with Riot Games.
In Saudi Arabia, the kingdom has included gaming as a core element of its Neom project and has already made investments worth over $1.7 billion in the gaming industry.