July 14, 2024


Marking the first industry event in the third edition of the Dubai Esports and Games Festival, Gaming Matters Dubai, hosted at the iconic Museum of the Future, concluded with resounding success on 30 April. The forum brought together global gaming industry leaders and senior government officials for the first time in the region to explore the transformative power of gaming.

The event marked the latest initiative of the “Dubai Program for Gaming 2033”, launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Dubai Future Foundation (DFF). The strategy is overseen by the Dubai Future Foundation, with the aim to position Dubai among the top 10 cities in the global gaming industry and generate 30,000 new jobs in the gaming sector.

Hosted by award-winning global event producers Branded, in partnership with the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), Dubai Esports and Gaming Festival (DEF), and Museum of the Future, Gaming Matters Dubai brought together more than 250 industry leaders, visionaries, and enthusiasts from around the world. A packed day of dynamic sessions, networking opportunities, and global discussions enabled speakers and businesses to explore extensive opportunities to leverage Dubai’s position as a global gaming hub and establish their companies in the city.

The event served as a key highlight of DEF 2024, organised by the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE) to accelerate progress towards achieving Dubai’s ambition to become one of the top ten gaming cities in the world by offering unparalleled experiences, exploring innovative industry insights, and bringing together top industry leaders in one place as part of the game-changing festival. DEF 2024 is delivering against the objectives of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33 goals by supporting SME growth, driving technological advancements, and fostering Dubai’s economic development through digital innovation.

Government representatives from the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), Dubai Future Foundation, and Dubai Future District Fund explored sophisticated strategies alongside the latest trends and technological innovations shaping the industry. High-profile speakers included H.E. Mohammad Lootah, President and CEO, Dubai Chambers; H.E. Abdelrahman Almuaini, Assistant Undersecretary for IP Sector, Ministry of Economy; Abdulaziz AlJaziri, Deputy CEO & Chief Operations Officer, Dubai Future Foundation; Faisal Kazim, Director of the Dubai Program for Gaming, Dubai Future Foundation.

The event’s agenda encompassed dynamic sessions covering emerging opportunities for a multitude of sectors across the local, regional, and global gaming landscape, while providing attendees with unparalleled opportunities for learning and networking in an equally inspiring space. Speakers from leading companies such as Disney, Tencent Games Global, PlayStation, The Walt Disney Company, Mastercard, Gameloft, EA Sports, TikTok, Metaverse Game Studios, and several others, shared their insights and expertise, exploring the unique blend of culture, innovation, and creativity across MENA that makes the region a thriving hub for the gaming industry, as well as the convergence of gaming, esports, and traditional sports.

The sessions covered key industry topics including the business of gaming in MENA; gaming and esports’ convergence with sport; the latest trends and tech innovations in gaming; leveraging celebrity, social media, and influencer marketing; monetising gaming events and content; as well as emerging technologies, new genres, and potential societal impacts.

Dr. Abdul Rahman Al-Muaini, Assistant Undersecretary for the Intellectual Property Sector, Ministry of Economy, commented, “We are proud to be aligned to the national strategies supporting the creative industries and of the innovation required to develop the protocols and laws to see the growth of these companies coming to the UAE.”

Abdulaziz AlJaziri, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Future Foundation, discussed key objectives of the “Dubai Program for Gaming 2033”, which aims to enhance Dubai’s position to become a global center for the gaming industry, and explored the initiatives, partnerships, and investments that are shaping the city’s gaming ecosystem.

Faisal Kazim, Director of the Dubai Program for Gaming, Dubai Future Foundation, highlighted how the “Dubai Program for Gaming 2033” is set to become a key enabler in building and nurturing Dubai’s digital ecosystem, attracting and developing talent, significantly boosting the gaming sector’s contribution to Dubai’s digital economy, and increasing the GDP by approximately $1 billion by 2033.

Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO, Dubai Festivals & Retail Establishment said, “It is our honour to bring the inaugural Gaming Matters event to Dubai, with the event providing an exceptional and exciting opportunity to cultivate meaningful conversations, foster innovation, and showcase the significance that gaming and digital innovation plays within our city. Underscoring Dubai’s ambition to be the region’s gaming hub, the conference has been a key highlight of the Dubai Esports & Games Festival, offering an ideal platform to empower gamers and the esports communities to prosper in the Emirate, wider GCC, and beyond.”

Jasper Donat, CEO of Branded said: “Gaming Matters is the longest-running gaming conference in Asia, and we are proud to have brought the event to Dubai for its first successful outing. Dubai is a dynamic city built upon innovation, out-of-the box ideas, and doing things differently; a perfect backdrop for our guests to delve into the transformative power and opportunity that lies in gaming. We look forward to bringing Gaming Matters back to Dubai in the future.”

Gaming Matters Dubai also featured the Gaming Matters Academy, a free public forum that upskilled aspiring and emerging gamers and future industry leaders through robust mentorship. The event helped attendees unlock the skills required to become the next generation of gaming industry leaders through training and knowledge-sharing opportunities by global gaming industry experts.

Gaming Matters Dubai was made possible by sponsors and partners including Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism, Museum of the Future, Dubai Future Foundation, Nodwin Gaming, Ampverse, Freaks 4U Gaming, Enjinstarter, and Dubai Program for Gaming.

For more information and highlights from Gaming Matters Dubai, visit

Last Updated on 2 months by Middle East News 247

    Middle East News 247

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