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Dubai to create 30,000 jobs in gaming

Dubai gaming Wam
Gamers at the Dubai Esports and Games Festival 2023: The emirate hopes to create 30,000 jobs in the industry
  • $1bn contribution to GDP by 2033
  • Hopes to be a top 10 gaming city
  • Mena is home to 377m gamers

Dubai has launched a plan to create 30,000 jobs in the gaming industry by 2033. 

Its Program for Gaming 2033 aims to increase gaming’s contribution to the digital economy to $1 billion within a decade.

The emirate’s Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said the strategy also aims to position it among the top 10 cities in the global gaming industry.

“The program aligns perfectly with the country’s economic diversification goals,” Mario Pérez, CEO of MENATech, a company owned by GGTech Entertainment, told AGBI.

“The Mena region is a major gaming hub, boasting 377 million gamers, with UAE’s engagement rates rivalling those of Europe and America. 

“The UAE’s booming gaming industry, fuelled by a youthful demographic, is evolving into a collaborative, interactive experience. Virtual reality, augmented reality, the metaverse and mobile gaming amplify this trend,” he added.

The new initiative is not only geared towards developers but also supports designers, programmers, entrepreneurs and startups in the creative industries. 

It seeks to create a platform in Dubai that brings together digital content creators and provides training and job opportunities in collaboration with international companies, universities and academic institutions. 

“Its focus on talent, content and technology will attract and support the next generation of gaming entrepreneurs,” Prashant Maurya, founder and CEO of Web3 infrastructure building platform Spheron Network, said.

70 percent of the Mena population is under the age of 30, making it an attractive region for gaming companies
Saudi ambitions

Various governments in the GCC have invested heavily and implemented strategies to attract gaming companies and foster local talent. 

Saudi Arabia launched a National Gaming and Esports Strategy last year aiming to create 40,000 jobs and develop 30 games by 2030.

In 2022, the kingdom’s Public Investment Fund invested over $3 billion in the gaming industry, part of a larger $38 billion commitment to its subsidiary, Savvy Games Group. 

New dedicated gaming hubs make the region an “attractive destination for global gaming companies”, said Dr Alexander Schudey, managing director and partner at Boston Consulting Group.

“The young and digitally savvy population, particularly in Saudi Arabia, where 70 percent of the population is below the age of 30, combined with higher disposable incomes and a preference for indoor activities due to the hot weather, further contribute to the region’s thriving gaming ecosystem,” he added.