DUBAI: Video games fans in the UAE were excited for the 2nd edition of Dubai Esports and Games Festival (DEF 2023) that was held from June 21 to 25 at Expo City Dubai.
At the festival, visitors immersed themselves in the world of gaming, and were a part of the global gaming community.
Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE) told Arab News Japan about the main features and highlights at this year’s edition of Dubai Esports and Games Festival: “The event is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Media Council, who has been instrumental in driving initiatives to raise Dubai’s status as a global centre for transforming the gaming and esports industry both in the emirate and the wider region. The festival is one of a series of events that form part of the leadership’s vision to harness the new creative, digital and technological possibilities offered by the evolving media sector to raise the emirate’s profile as a media hub.”
“DEF 2023 covers the GameExpo Summit, the B2B networking event powered by PG Connects, that offers the opportunity for people to present their games, and the GameExpo, where students from local schools and universities compete in designing games, participate in career talks and eSport competitions, including a custom map for Dubai’s key attractions made in Minecraft Education Map, and took part in finals held exclusively for students on 21 & 22 June.”
About the differences of this year’s edition of Dubai Esports and Games Festival from the previous edition that happened last November, Al Khaja said: “The first of its kind in the region, the biggest regional and international influencers came together to compete with each other and DEF attendees for the new Dubai Play Beyond Trophy. Locked in a heated battle of exhilarating challenges and games of multiple genres, these prominent gaming influencer teams competed for the victor’s crown and the ultimate bragging rights. Fans got to watch and learn from their favorite influencers live in action, getting tips and enjoying meet-and-greet sessions. Overall, the festival brings local and global talent together to discuss the industry and showcase the largest and biggest games in the world.”
Festival goers marked their calendars for the GameExpo Summit, a two-day business conference powered by PG Connects, which took place on June 21 and 22. With over 100 speakers delivering talks, panel discussions, workshops, and networking sessions, the GameExpo Summit equipped guests with the knowledge and connections to level up their game.
The consumer show was in full swing, showcasing cutting-edge gaming products and the latest games on Dell computers. In the du Gamers District, visitors enjoyed industry giants such as PlayStation, Xbox, Ubisoft, Capcom and Teleios as well as family fun activations and esports tournaments with KitKat, Vox Cinema and more.
Visitors immersed themselves in the world of virtual reality and tried new web 3.0 games hitting the market in the Emirates NBD Future Zone, tried their hand at the new and latest releases, and connected with fellow gaming enthusiasts in the Dubai Police Esports Arena.