17 Feb 2021
twofour54 Abu Dhabi and Emirates Esports Association have signed an agreement that will accelerate the growth of eSports in the UAE, the latest development in twofour54’s mission to establish Abu Dhabi as the regional hub for gaming and esports. The MoU was signed during a virtual meeting attended by His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa al Nahyan, President of the Emirates Esports Association.
The Emirates Esports Association, the UAE’s governing body, will establish their headquarters at the Gaming Hub within twofour54’s new media and entertainment campus, Yas Creative Hub, when it opens later this year.
As a member of both the Arab Esports Federation and International Esports Federation, Emirates Esports Association will work with twofour54 to expanding its regional eSports reach, improve the standardisation of industry regulations for the benefit of players, fans, content owners, developers and event organisers, as well as bringing more tournaments and eSports conferences to Abu Dhabi.
“As we continue our journey of establishing Abu Dhabi as the region’s top destination for gaming and eSports, it is partnerships with entities such as the Emirates eSports Association that will add incredible value to all stakeholders in the growing eSports industry,” said James Hartt, Director, Strategy & Business Development, twofour54. “The gaming and eSports markets in the MENA region are growing faster than anywhere else in the world. As the regional gaming hub, Abu Dhabi is an ideal location for gaming businesses, and this creates an abundance of employment opportunities for skilled gaming industry talent,” he added.
The Emirates Esports Association pioneered the inaugural esports Tolerance Games alongside the Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence and the International Esports Federation, as part of the Global Festival of Tolerance in 2020. The event was the first official government-supported Esports initiative in the UAE and served as an opportunity to celebrate the diversity of participants. The event allowed sport to support the conversation around tolerance and coexistence.
His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa al Nahyan, President of the Emirates Esports Association, said: “we look forward to our partnership that will help accelerate the growth of eSports in the UAE. Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates are very much a beacon in the region across a number of initiatives and sectors, We look forward to working closely with Abu Dhabi’s gaming sector in supporting their journey of being a world class hub for the global eSports and gaming community.”
Saeed Al Taher, Secretary General, Emirates Esports Association, said: “Emirates Esports is delighted to partner with twofour54 to support Abu Dhabi vision to be a leader in eSports & gaming. Great strides have already been made in establishing a world-class eSports scene in the emirate and we look forward to collaborating with twofour54 to continue this growth.
Yas Creative Hub will be the new home for the international and regional gaming firms already based at twofour54 – including industry titans Unity Technologies, as well as the new companies looking to tap into the MENA region’s fast-growing gaming and eSports sectors. Last year, twofour54 announced almost 60 new bespoke license categories for gaming and eSports companies and freelancers to support the industries growing eco-system.
The global gaming industry is projected to generate US$300 billion in revenue by 2025, with the MENA region witnessing the highest growth rates. Additionally, the eSports sector is growing twice as fast in MENA than the global average due in part to a young population.