- DEF 2023 will continue to cement Dubai’s position as a year-round global hub for esports and games
- DEF 2023 will feature an all-new Play Beyond! event alongside the festival
- Event set to attract world renowned professional esports influencers
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 4 May 2023: Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), is thrilled to announce the return of the annual Dubai Esports & Games Festival (DEF 2023) from 21 to 25 June 2023 at the South Halls, Dubai Exhibition Centre, Expo City. The festival aims to celebrate the Video Games Industry, interactive tech-driven entertainment and promote Dubai's position as a global hub for esports and gaming.
DEF 2023 will feature an array of events, including an interactive consumer show, Regional and Influencer esports tournaments, influencer challenges, a thought-provoking business conference and B2B networking event that connects companies from all over the world. The festival will also hold the GameExpo Summit powered by PG connects, which will serve as a forum for regional leaders to collaborate on ways to further springboard the strong growth in the gaming industry. The Play Beyond! event is a new addition to DEF 2023, bringing together international influencers into the mix.
Dubai Esports & Games Festival launched in 2022, and is set to be bigger and better for its second edition. DEF 2023 will build upon the success of 2022, with a bigger GameExpo space for gamers and an updated GameExpo Summit. The global games industry will host an unmissable conference experience with more components, featuring more international speakers and joint sessions with the Dubai Future Foundation. It is a huge opportunity to engage with gaming in the region and beyond, providing a regional alternative to world-leading events such as Gamescom, G-Star and China Joy.
The education engagement programme will provide school and university students with a platform to explore how gaming and esports can nurture talent, share expertise and raise awareness for innovative future career paths for the next generation. Students will participate in a fascinating Minecraft Education Challenge exploring a Dubai based map. There will also be a MakeCode competition, showcasing their coding and gaming skills, concluding in live grand finals at Expo City. In school influencer visits, a cosplay theme dress up day and career talks from industry professionals will also make for an exciting educational offering for pupils and parents alike.
Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), commented: “We are delighted to host the second edition of the interactive Dubai Esports and Games Festival following the success of last year’s event. Inspired by our visionary leadership’s goal to make Dubai the best city in the world to visit, live in, work, the festival further reinforces Dubai’s position as the top regional hub for esports and gaming. With this region being one of the world’s fastest-growing gaming markets, DEF is a highly anticipated annual festival that builds 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. The return of DEF will also build momentum across multiple mobile and digital platforms, helping Dubai tap into the vast market potential for esports and gaming and inspire the next generation of esports and games industry talent.”
As part of the Dubai Esports & Games Festival, there will be the second GameExpo Summit powered by PG connects in partnership with Steel Media LTD, who run the Pocket Gamer Connects events. The Summit will highlight that Dubai is the fastest-growing region of the international games industry, hosted by DFRE. Discussions will be held on pressing topics facing the games industry, such as new technologies from the Metaverse, AI and Web3, the latest techniques and trends in development, fintech and monetisation, as well as the unprecedented growth of the MENA market.
More than 100 speakers across two streams of content will participate this year, with a powerful line-up of discussions, talks, and workshops taking place. The summit will feature ten tracks, including Global Trends, Show Me the Money, The Growth Track, Esports Innovation, Developer Toolkit, Incredible Indies, Live Ops Landscape, Monetiser, Education & Ecosystem which is new for 2023 and Games Industry 101.
The GameExpo Summit 2023 presents an unparalleled opportunity for people in the industry to expand their networks and meet professionals from all around the globe and all areas of the industry ecosystem. Last year's Summit was a huge success, with over 600 attendees from 70+ nationalities and 66 companies. The finest minds in the industry spoke at the event, including His Excellency Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence in the United Arab Emirates, Dr. Saeed Kharbash, Dubai Culture, Ahmed Tehemar, Binance, and many others.
Dubai Esports & Games Festival and GameExpo Summit 2023 will provide an excellent opportunity for people in the industry to get involved early on and make the right connections. With its growing gaming consumer base and a fast-developing industry, the MENA market represents the fastest-growing segment of the games industry. The festival and summit will bring players together to enjoy some of the latest and biggest games in the world as well as showcasing the best local and global talent and minds in the industry.