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The Future of Trade

Gaming and Esports in Middle East and North Africa

Explore Global Trends and Challenges in the Gaming and Esports Industry

This report serves as the first in-depth DMCC thought leadership report on the global and local gaming and esports ecosystem. It gathers contributions from key opinion leaders to share their views on where the gaming and esports industry is heading and places emphasis on the drivers of gaming and esports from a technology, culture and business perspective; global trends in terms of market revenue, audience development, and esports and gaming talent; the emerging place of MENA in the international gaming and esports ecosystem; and the key challenges both for the industry and for the MENA region.

Insights From Leading Esports and Gaming Industry Leaders


View a snapshot of the report in a quick presentation.

The Challenges

  • Professionalisation: Integrating skills, education, certification, and governance to develop gaming and esports into a well-developed commercial business.
  • Player care: Ensuring training, performance science, and player care to address mental and physical health tolls from intensive scheduling.
  • Competition integrity: Ensuring accountability and addressing cheating and unethical conduct in the industry.
  • Education pathways: Establishing legitimate education and training opportunities for players, coaches, and referees to support the sector's growth.
  • Personnel challenges: Finding professionals who combine a passion for gaming with relevant professional experience.
  • Regulatory review: Ensuring compliance with regional and local policy norms, such as protecting users from harmful content and restricting access to sites that contravene local laws.

Industry Recommendations

  • Improve public perception of the industry and promote gaming and esports as safe, viable career pathways for young people while tackling stigma.
  • Diversify revenue sources, including digital merchandising, loyalty programmes, and training platforms for amateur gamers.
  • Develop appropriate regulatory safeguards to ensure privacy, security, and safety online in the gaming digital ecosystem.
  • Professionalise the talent pool, including referees, coaches, and business development functions.
  • Explore intersections between gaming/esports and consumer industries like music, fashion, film, and music.
  • Develop a pro-business environment for the industry, including smoother visa systems for esports professionals and audiences attending live events.
  • Develop NFTs, digital assets, and tokens responsibly, allowing new layers of gameplay and commercialisation without compromising financial security or enabling scams or frauds.

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