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Dubai to launch inaugural Esports festival in November

The event will cement Dubai’s position as a year-round global hub for esports and gaming.

Dubai to launch inaugural Esports festival in November
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

As the Middle East and North Africa’s leading esports hub, Dubai has developed an esports ecosystem by investing in technology and a new regulatory framework. In line with its commitment to furthering its position as a tech leader, Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) has announced that the city will host the inaugural Dubai Esports Festival (DEF 2022) from November 9-20, 2022, at the Dubai Exhibition Centre at Expo City Dubai. 

DEF, hosted in partnership with VSPN, will be the first international leisure event at the Dubai Exhibition Centre following the Expo 2020 Dubai.

DET and VSPN will roll out a series of events and activities, including an international esports tournament, the launch of a school tournament, an immersive GameExpo, and an industry networking event for domestic, regional, and international stakeholders and partners.

At the GameExpo, visitors will experience various activities ranging from classic games, the latest game drops, shopping for creative one-offs, and competitions at a cosplay stage. 

“With this region being one of the world’s fastest-growing gaming markets, DEF will be a new annual festival that will build a legacy for esports and interactive entertainment companies, paving the way for high-quality, innovative content that will allow esports enthusiasts from around the world to enjoy the ultimate gaming experience,” said Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE). 

Apart from engaging a community of esports enthusiasts and showcasing Dubai as a year-round destination for gamers, DEF is also designed to attract esports companies and game studios to establish a base in the city. 

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