AD Gaming joins up with Sawa Group to boost Abu Dhabi’s gaming ecosystem

Agreement aimed at making Sawa's game library more accessible to Arabic speakers across the Mena region

Abu Dhabi aims to become a global hub for gaming and e-sports. Khushnum Bhandari / The National
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AD Gaming, the entity responsible for developing the gaming and e-sports industry in Abu Dhabi, has signed a partnership with Sawa Group, a game-publishing and e-sports company, to support the gaming ecosystem in the UAE capital.

Under the deal, Sawa Group, which supports the localisation of global video games largely developed in China, will relocate to Abu Dhabi, the Abu Dhabi Media Office said in a statement on Tuesday.

The move will make Sawa's game library more accessible to Arabic speakers across the Mena region, the statement said.

“Demand for high-quality gaming content across the Arabic-speaking world has never been higher,” said Sultan Al Riyami, head of gaming and e-sports at AD Gaming.

“The opportunity to tap into this market from Abu Dhabi is substantial, and Sawa’s expertise in the localisation of gaming e-sports content addresses this head on.”

AD Gaming is building an ecosystem that supports “all segments of the gaming and e-sports sector”, he said.

“Bringing Sawa into the fold both diversifies and expands our community as we continue to advance Abu Dhabi’s gaming industry.”

AD Gaming was launched by Abu Dhabi’s media free zone, twofour54, in March 2021.

It supports game developers, players, consumers and businesses and is backed by companies such as Unity Technologies, Flash Entertainment, UAE Pro League, Emirates E-sports Association and the Media Zone Authority.

Last month, it also joined forces with AA Meta, a local metaverse and Web3 development company, to enable next-generation gaming.

The agreement with Sawa will help enable the international expansion of Chinese gaming and e-sports companies through Abu Dhabi and provide the local industry with access to new audiences, the statement said.

Sawa Group recently published the localised SLG game Infinity Kingdom, which has been downloaded millions times across different app stores.

“Aligned with AD Gaming, Sawa Group is dedicated to enhancing the gaming and esports ecosystem in the UAE, creating more opportunities for the country’s passionate gamers to experience global content in their native language,” said Jing Wang, chief executive of Sawa Group.

“We are confident that Abu Dhabi will become a premier global destination for gaming and e-sports.”

Updated: February 21, 2023, 6:13 PM