Dubai Esports and Games Festival expected to reach next level as biggest and best yet

Event includes an industry summit and a weekend full of activity

The 2024 Dubai Esports and Games Festival will be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Antonie Robertson/The National
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The stage is set for one of the Middle East's most anticipated gaming events of the year.

The third Dubai Esports and Games Festival promises to be a celebration of broader gaming and the increasingly popular world of esports. Organised by Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, this year's event is expected to be the biggest and most exciting yet, drawing gaming enthusiasts from across the region.

The festival includes two major events, the GameExpo Summit from May 1 to 2 and the GameExpo from May 3 to 5. Set to take place in Zabeel Halls 5 and 6 of the Dubai World Trade Centre, the GameExpo promises non-stop gaming action, live tournaments, opportunities to play the latest games, and interactions with regional and global gaming icons.

One of this year’s unique offerings is The Narrows, in which Middle Eastern artists will showcase their latest works, connect with fans and delve into gaming pop culture. Families can enjoy gaming matchups in the new Family Zone, while tech enthusiasts can explore the latest gaming gear at the Electric Avenue and Gaming District.

This year's festival boasts a diverse schedule of events, including cosplay, esports tournaments, coding workshops and Minecraft family challenges.

Ahead of the weekend’s GameExpo, a summit will bring together more than 1,800 industry professionals from around the world, including publishers, developers, service providers and investors, for insightful talks, panels and seminars. The summit will take place in Zabeel Hall 4 at Dubai World Trade Centre on May 1 and 2.

The highlights of the festival will be on May 4 and 5, when gaming enthusiasts can witness their favourite gamers go head-to-head. Two teams of four gaming stars will battle it out to determine who is the best. VIP ticket holders will have the chance to meet their gaming idols in exclusive meet-and-greet sessions, adding an extra layer of excitement to the event.

Multiple activities have been running ahead of the main event, including educational events at schools and universities in Dubai. On April 26, the DEF Gamers Day offered students and staff the chance to show off their creativity by dressing up as their favourite gaming characters at school.

On April 25, the Google Gaming Day was held at American University in Dubai, bringing together government, industry and Google gaming leaders to deliver half-day session to students.

Organisers have expressed their excitement about festival's potential to elevate the gaming scene in the Middle East. They emphasised their commitment to providing an unparalleled experience for attendees, blending entertainment, competition and innovation.

Tickets are available starting at Dh 21.75 for a one-day pass. Weekend tickets are priced at Dh 44.25, while families can select special packages starting from Dh 89.25 for a day ticket or Dh 224.24 for a three-day pass. Limited VIP tickets offer enhanced experiences with access to exclusive events and priority seating.

Updated: May 01, 2024, 3:04 AM