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March 2, 2024

Boost for MENA esports with new Abu Dhabi-backed tie-up

etisalat by e& has partnered with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) to revolutionise the esports landscape in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

The two entities launched ‘Arena Esports’, a digital gaming initiative that is set to become a cornerstone for the regional gaming matrix.

The arena, which is designed to be a catalyst in the transformation of Esports, embodies etisalat by e& and DCT Abu Dhabi’s shared vision to spearhead Esports leagues in the MENA region.

The partnership seeks to nurture emerging gaming talent and elevate local events to international gaming benchmarks. etisalat by e&

“Our alliance with etisalat by e& is a testament to our commitment to growing the creative industries, of which gaming and esports is a key pillar. This synergy aims to boost the gaming ecosystem in the UAE and the MENA region, and we are eager to see the positive impact,” said Adnan Al Awadi, Support Services executive director at DCT Abu Dhabi. esports

The partnership will leverage the unique strengths of both entities to create a sustainable and innovative Esports space. The venture, which will focus on the UAE, aims to establish and oversee Arena Esports leagues and associated tournaments over the next five years.

Etisalat by e& advances UAE esports

Meanwhile, the UAE and Saudi Arabia lead the MENA region, supported by high-income levels, strong digital engagement, and public investment initiatives.

Gaming and esports are both fast-growing consumer segments, benefiting from rapid advancements in technology as well as more inclusive audiences.

etisalat by e& said Arena Esports promises a gaming odyssey with minimal latency, compelling challenges and exclusive digital content that guarantees uninterrupted gameplay.

With the gaming market expected to reach $5bn by 2025, it is worth noting that the UAE has the highest percentage of adult gamers in the world, with nine out of ten adults playing video games.

The MENA region is solidifying its position as a force to be reckoned with in the esports industry, driven by a large population of gamers, major esports events, recent investments, and ambitious initiatives in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

“Abu Dhabi Gaming serves as the home for the Nigma Galaxy esports club and has hosted top-tier events like the BLAST Premier World Final for CS:GO,” BCG said in a report in October.

Dubai cemented its status as a premier esports destination by hosting the electrifying PUBG Global Championship in 2022. Similarly, the region has its captivating local events, such as the Dubai Esports Festival, the Games for Change summit in Abu Dhabi, and an anime and gaming festival in Al Ain.