In its latest ‘FUTURE OF TRADE’ report, the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) has predicted that gaming revenues in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region are expected to reach $6bn (~£4.84bn) by 2027.
This figure is nearly double that of the revenue generated by gaming in the MENA region in 2021.
When examining esports in MENA, the report highlights that esports revenues are expected to grow 23.3% between 2019 and 2024.
The DMCC reported that the younger, more digitally-savvy population and government support explain the region’s emergence as a consumer and creator hub, in esports but also more broadly gaming as well.
The report has also outlined a set of key recommendations for governments and businesses to examine the impact of gaming from a technological, cultural and business perspective.
Such recommendations include diversifying esports revenue streams from sponsorship models to newer monetisation models which are ‘direct-to-fan.’ This includes digital merchandising, loyalty programmes and training platforms for amateur gamers.
Additionally, the report recommends taking action to develop appropriate, regulatory safeguards to ‘ensure privacy, security, and safety’ in the digital world of gaming and provide a ‘business-friendly environment.’ Crucially, this includes a smoother process of obtaining VISA to allow players (and audiences alike) to attend esports events in-person.
Industry leaders have noted MENA’s rapid growth. Gaming giant Tencent and its leading video game publisher and esports organiser subsidiary Riot Games, have set up respective headquarters in Dubai, the UAE’s capital city. French-founded video game publisher Ubisoft has done the same.
Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at DMCC, commented: “Gaming has come to the fore of entertainment globally, driving rapid growth especially in the MENA region, which now constitutes 15% of the global player base.
“Ensuring the accelerated growth of the gaming sector will have a measurable impact on the future of markets around the world, as well as the future of trade. As DMCC seeks to solidify Dubai’s reputation as a global trade and economic hub, efficiently activating opportunities within the gaming sector will prove essential.”