The UAE’s gaming ecosystem will have a new player in the mix with the launch of Arena Esports, a digital gaming initiative revealed by DCT Abu Dhabi and Etisalat by e&.

The collaboration aims to establish Arena Esports leagues and affiliated tournaments in the UAE over the next five years, providing a 360-degree gaming platform that will nurture emerging talent and elevate local events to international gaming benchmarks.

Khaled Elkhouly, Chief Consumer Officer, Etisalat by e& said the company plans to leverage interest in the sector, which has 377 million subscribers across the Middle East and North Africa region.

The news comes weeks after the launch of the ‘Dubai Program for Gaming 2033’, which seeks to position the emirate among the top 10 cities in the global gaming industry and generate 30,000 new jobs in the sector, while adding $1 billion to the economy by 2033.

According to an earlier report by video game and gamer data firm Newzoo, gaming revenues in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) are expected to reach $7.2 billion in 2023, with Saudi Arabia emerging as a key player in the region.

The report also attributed the growth of the industry to companies such as Saudi Arabia’s Savvy Games Group, which has dedicated nearly $8 billion to acquire and establish ownership in global games brands. The company also boasts a substantial $38 billion fund to facilitate future ventures in the sector.

(Writing by Bindu Rai, editing by Seban Scaria)