In a visionary move, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, recently unveiled a groundbreaking initiative that has the potential to transform Dubai into one of the top ten cities in the global gaming industry, making doing business in Dubai more lucrative. The Dubai Programme for Gaming 2033, as it’s aptly named, sets ambitious goals with a primary focus on generating 30,000 new jobs in the gaming sector over the next decade.
I chaired a meeting of the Higher Committee for Future Technology and Digital Economy to review the progress of upcoming projects and initiatives. We launched the Dubai Program for Gaming 2023, with great ambitions of positioning Dubai among the top 10 cities in the global gaming… pic.twitter.com/ch2hIEZBGJ
— Hamdan bin Mohammed (@HamdanMohammed) November 2, 2023
The initiative, driven by the Dubai Government, also aims to elevate the gaming industry’s contribution to the emirate’s gross domestic product (GDP) to nearly US $1 billion by 2033. This bold endeavour is a testament to Dubai’s commitment to embracing emerging technology trends, solidifying its position as a global technology hub, and making doing business in Dubai more diversified and open to new technologies.
As Sheikh Hamdan remarked during the launch of the programme, Dubai is strategically positioned to seize the vast opportunities within the gaming sector, which boasts a staggering global valuation of approximately US$200 billion. The emirate aims to play a pivotal role in advancing emerging trends such as virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI), promising more immersive and realistic experiences to gamers worldwide.
With the support of this initiative, Dubai aims to establish an incubating environment for developers, draw leading technology companies from across the globe, especially those specialising in digital content and experiences, and fuel entrepreneurship in the creative industries.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE, two of the Arab world’s largest economies, have recognised the immense potential of the gaming market. Boston Consulting Group’s Game Changer report highlights their prominent positions in the gaming industry within the Middle East. Gaming revenue in the MENA region is projected to soar to US$6 billion by 2027, nearly doubling the 2021 figures. This impressive growth underscores the region’s commitment to fostering a thriving gaming ecosystem.
On a global scale, the gaming industry is poised for remarkable growth. Market data platform Newzoo predicts that global gaming revenue will reach an astounding $212.4 billion by 2026, a 13% increase from the estimated $187.7 billion in 2023. This trend indicates that gaming has transcended niche markets and has become an integral part of mainstream entertainment.
Overseen by the Dubai Future Foundation, the Dubai Programme for Gaming 2033 focuses on three essential areas: talent, content, and technology.
The initiative will bring together digital content creators and provide training and job opportunities in collaboration with international companies, universities, and academic institutions. This commitment to nurturing local talent is a significant step towards establishing Dubai as a gaming industry powerhouse.
Dubai’s programme aims to support entrepreneurs and innovators in the gaming sector. It will also launch specialised educational and training programmes, reinforcing the emirate’s dedication to fostering homegrown gaming content.
Embracing technological advancements is at the core of Dubai’s gaming strategy. With a focus on AI, VR, and other cutting-edge technologies, Dubai seeks to elevate the gaming experience and attract tech companies specialising in these areas.
In conjunction with the gaming initiative, Sheikh Hamdan has also approved the launch of three new initiatives—the Metaverse Alliance, Metaverse Guidelines, and Metaverse Pioneers—as part of the Dubai Metaverse Strategy. The metaverse is an emerging space that enables people to interact in virtual worlds using avatars or three-dimensional representations. Dubai is at the forefront of integrating the metaverse into its economy and society, aiming to create virtual jobs and add billions to its economy in the coming years.
Dubai’s commitment to the gaming industry is not only a testament to its vision but also a reflection of the global gaming industry’s exceptional potential. With the Dubai Programme for Gaming 2033, the emirate is poised to unlock countless business opportunities, create thousands of jobs, and solidify its place in the technology industry’s future. Doing business in Dubai’s gaming sector is undoubtedly a promising prospect for entrepreneurs and developers seeking to be part of this transformative journey.
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