- The United Arab Emirates are moving towards opportunities in the world of gaming in an attempt to diversify their industry
- GHME’s CEO Saad Khan, one of the pioneers in the region, believes in the potential of MENA player base
- Big Bunny Games on the way to create one of the first local games
The popularization of gaming reaches Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, where numerous people show interest in creating and supporting local industry.
The Plans to Capitalize on the Growth of a Gaming Market
The Middle East and North Africa region has been rather slow on picking up the pace when the gaming industry is concerned. However, several people are currently working on changing that and creating a local ecosystem for gamers. This is a part of numerous efforts to explore new possibilities outside the United Arab Emirates’ oil industry.
One of those pioneers is Saad Khan. Founder and CEO of the Gamers Hub Media Events, the Indian immigrant seeks to provide local enthusiasts with tournaments and events. Khan admitted that he got inspired four years ago when he saw the interest in cyber cafes in Dubai. Khan hopes to give gamers “the best experience possible.”
The Gulf’s revenues from gaming are reportedly going to surpass $800 million this year, but this is still a fraction of the astonishing $139.9 billion the game industry globally reported for 2020, according to Nielsen.
Despite that, Khan mentioned that there had been a significant increase in interest from MENA players. He said that numerous young teams are being formed, and the number of players has grown overall. GHME has now expanded as well and currently partners with some of the giants in the world of gaming techs – such as Dell Alienware, Intel, Lenovo Legion, HP’s Omen, and even BMW. GHME will also expand further and open offices in India, Spain, and South Africa. However, the CEO refused to comment on his own company’s profits.
Ghazi Beydoun is an emigrant from Lebanon who is now GHME’s leading business developer. In an interview with AFP, he said that player talent already exists in the region and just requires support. Beydoun assured that GHME is on the way to provide that support.
Boss Bunny Games and “The First Game Inspired by Gulf Culture”
One of the other contributors to the development of gaming in the region is Boss Bunny Games. It’s a gaming company based in Dubai that is currently developing a video game inspired by local culture.
The game will adapt “Freej,” a children’s show about four traditional Emirati women living in contemporary Dubai. According to Boss Bunny Games’ CEO Geraint Bungay, the private project has received UAE’s support and is labeled “the first video game inspired by Gulf culture.”
Bungay is a British ex-pat who has worked in the industry for 25 years. He was attracted by the local interest in technological development. In an interview, Bungay also shared that Saudi Arabia is in fifth place when it comes to the consumption of games. The British believe that many people underestimate the MENA region’s potential.
As mentioned before, the interest in gaming is a part of efforts to both expand local industries and give Gulf countries a degree of self-sufficiency outside of the oil market.