In a strategic move to advance the gaming industry's growth in the emirate, Abu Dhabi Gaming (AD Gaming) has integrated with the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi).
The collaboration reaffirmed DCT Abu Dhabi’s commitment to nurturing the gaming and esports ecosystem to position the emirate as a global gaming hub.
His Excellency Saood Abdulaziz Al Hosani, Undersecretary of DCT Abu Dhabi, said: "As gaming grows in popularity around the world, we are working to harness its potential to bolster the UAE's journey towards economic diversification and innovation-driven growth. Bringing AD Gaming under the umbrella of DCT Abu Dhabi is the next step in that journey, adding a new dimension to our aspirations for creative industries."
"Abu Dhabi's thriving gaming and esports sector is a cornerstone of the emirate's digital transformation and a core driver of creative industry expansion, and we eagerly anticipate the boundless possibilities this partnership will unlock."
James Hartt, Gaming and Digital Development Department Director of AD Gaming, said: "The gaming industry is growing faster in the MENA region than anywhere else in the world and Abu Dhabi has a clear role in spearheading this growth. Gaming businesses across the world are looking to tap into this growth, which will lead to considerable job creation within the emirate’s gaming sector in the coming years."
"Now operating as part of DCT Abu Dhabi’s cohesive ecosystem, the opportunity for AD Gaming to deliver further value to both local and international gaming businesses, and to the UAE’s economy, has never been clearer."
Key AD Gaming projects include: The AD Gaming Hub; located in Yas Creative Hub, the AD Gaming Hub is a dedicated space to showcase the latest gaming technologies, content ideas, and development. The AD Gaming Hub fosters creativity to generate high-quality gaming content. It also facilitates access to partners, including publishers, developers, artists, and freelance talent.
The second AD Gaming project is Unity Centre of Excellence; Unity Technologies, a leading platform for creating and operating real-time 3D content, joined forces with AD Gaming to provide support to students, professionals, and small businesses across the MENA region in the game development industry. The first Unity Centre of Excellence in the MENA region is situated in the AD Gaming Hub, offering in-house support for partners.
The projects will also include university partnerships. Unity Technologies and AD Gaming have formed strategic alliances with UAE universities to upskill and empower students by providing training, courseware, support and examinations. This initiative equips students with the skills needed to enhance their employability and gain game development qualifications alongside their degrees.
The final project is the BLAST Premier World Finals. AD Gaming collaborated with global esports giant BLAST Premier to bring the Counter Strike: Global Offensive world final tournament to Abu Dhabi as part of a three-year deal. The first edition of the tournament was held in December 2022 and became the most-viewed esports event ever in the region.
To establish a thriving gaming and esports ecosystem in the UAE capital and nurture innovation, talent development, and economic growth, earlier this year DCT Abu Dhabi revealed its plans to drive job creation in the e-gaming industry, with the positions distributed among more than 20 new companies.
AD Gaming also works with the education sector and strategic partners to train the next generation of gaming industry professionals, while supporting local studios in their mission to create great games.
Founded in 2021, AD Gaming is a government-led initiative that focuses on developing talent, games and esports. AD Gaming has boosted the expansion of the region's gaming industry, offering career opportunities to aspiring talent and producing world-class content in the emirate. It has become the largest concentration of gaming companies in the MENA region, with more than 70 companies operating across the gaming sector.