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When it comes to entertainment technology, Dubai is far from a desert. The city is currently being placed in a broader context of an upward trend in the Middle East. In 2020 alone, the region has expanded the gaming market by 25%. Indeed, 2020 was the best year ever for this market in the MENA (Middle East and Africa) region.
Dubai is in a privileged position to reap the benefits of this tree. It has been thriving here since the 1990s with cyber cafes on every corner. Those cafes and salons provide the perfect environment for esports and other gaming activities. See what else there is to do in Dubai.
Mobile gaming is rapidly increasing in the region. Mobile usage in the MENA region doubled between 2014 and 2019. According to Habib Chams, the local gaming market is worth $4 billion.
The mobile gaming sector is the largest in the gaming industry. Indie developers built very successful and popular games especially for mobile phones and smartphones. Traditionally, PC and console games are now getting mobile adaptations so that these studios and publishers can take advantage of this booming industry. Online casinos were one of the first to make this switch. Their browser-based service was optimized for smartphones and dedicated apps were developed. Of course, one of the biggest benefits was how accessible they became, which led to many existing customers using their apps alongside the new customers taking advantage of these benefits. Choose customers: play online – how do they have a special app – because they optimized their variety of themed slots, classic poker and live casino in this format. Leading mobile technology and 5G will soon expand the possibilities even further, which will undoubtedly further consolidate the mobile preference for both gamblers and gamers.
Despite of Bitcoin’s rollercoaster-like behavior, more people use it in online transactions. Online casinos are no exception. This payment method is gaining ground among online players due to its anonymity and low cost. Recently, a user moved about 2 billion dollars worth of bitcoins for less than a dollar.
A golden age for gamers?
A faster internet connection and incredibly capable consoles make for the perfect online gaming environment. Video games and computer games left the cellars for good. Now the niche is becoming more and more professional. Of course, an industry worth $135 billion worldwide is sure to attract top competitors.
Those competitors are organized into teams, which are usually active on social media. Many of them have Twitter accounts, where they live stream matches and more.
The Dubai Mall invests in VR entertainment to create the world’s largest VR park. Local fans eagerly await a Transformers game based on VR technology. This product is released exclusively in the Middle East.
Dubai is working hard to be a part of this scene, with local tournaments awarding more than $10,000. That’s why esports teams hone their skills to perfection. That is why they also receive sponsorship from giants such as Red Bull. In 2018, the city hosted the Playerunknown’s Battleground (PUBG) Mobile Star Challenge Global mega event. The highest award was $600,000.
The Rise of eSports
Dubai attracts more professional games and investors every year. The opening for Fortnite Season 8 saw YouTube star Ali A play against the players of the UEA. The city has built the region’s first high-capacity stadium for eSports tournaments: the XDubai. The plan is to attract more high stakes tournaments.
Dubai already had a natural talent for eSports due to the countless cyber cafes scattered across the city. Soon, Dubai became not only a tech hub, but also a gamer hub. The growth in the technology sector is part of a broader context of business diversification. Private investors are looking for alternatives outside the oil industry.
As one of the leading tech hubs in the Middle East, Dubai is brimming with innovation. Game developers constantly need to catch up with the latest technologies. One of those innovations is removing consoles altogether. Now players can choose their games from the cloud.
The service, called Etisalat, is a kind of Netflix for video games and is available exclusively to residents of the UAE. It allows players to play directly from the TV, without consoles, with the aim of cutting costs. For 30 dirhams per month, users can play up to 20 games unlimited.
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