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Dubai GameExpo Summit powered by PG Connects welcomes over 1,350 attendees in 2024

More than 1,350 games industry professionals joined us for the two-day conference last week
Dubai GameExpo Summit powered by PG Connects welcomes over 1,350 attendees in 2024

Last week saw the return of the Dubai GameExpo Summit powered by PG Connects for its spectacular second edition.

We were thrilled to welcome more than 1,350 games industry professionals from over 60 countries to find out more about how they could get involved in the exciting Middle East and North African (MENA) market. Some of the 650 companies that came to the event included Epic Games, Xbox, Google, Meta, Sandsoft, Tamatem and many more.

Over 2,000 meetings were arranged through the MeetToMatch online networking platform, with countless more taking place organically.

The 10-track conference schedule featured more than 80 renowned games industry speakers from all over the globe delivering insightful seminars, panels and round tables covering everything from the metaverse and AI to the unrivalled growth of MENA's games industry.

Thank you!

After an incredible debut in 2023, we're delighted that we could return for such a strong showing this year. With many familiar faces being joined by new names, we look forward to the Dubai GameExpo Summit contributing to the region's remarkable growth.

“The second outing of the Dubai Game Expo Summit - the B2B portion of the Dubai Esports Festival - was a huge success on pretty much all fronts," said Steel Media CEO Chris James.

"Whilst the region may still be comparatively young in games industry terms, it’s certainly not lacking in energy, enthusiasm or talent. And we were delighted to welcome over 1,350 developers, publishers, investors and related companies from all across the region (and around the world) into the fabulous city of Dubai to discuss the vast opportunities that lay ahead in this fast growing space.

"As you’d expect from a PG Connects conference, there were a multitude of insightful talks covering the pertinent issues in the industry from marketing and monetisation to emerging technologies such as Web3 and AI, which are especially celebrated in this region. The lively expo and ID@Xbox sponsored indie zone showcased a variety of talent and services, whilst frenzied networking meetings took place both during and after hours.

"But there were plenty of fresh additions too; senior officials from government departments and the likes of the Dubai Future Foundation shared bold visions for the region (and the 2033 Games Plan), whilst the inaugural MENA Games Awards celebrated the very best of the current crop of games, game-makers and related businesses.

"And of course the whole was sat alongside the lively consumer-facing Game Expo, offering a chance to mingle with consumers in a cyberpunk-styled hall.

"I need to say a massive thanks to our partners in the region, in particular the DET, Dubai Future Foundation, Dubai SME and the DMCC, alongside all our sponsors, speakers and delegates.

"We’ll definitely be back again next year as part of our mission to properly support and lead the events and media in the fastest growing region of the global games industry.

"Up next, we’re headed to the gorgeous Dead Sea resort in Jordan on November 9th to 10th, and have further plans we’ll be announcing soon before we return to Dubai in May 2025!”


Top news from the Dubai GameExpo Summit 2024

Reporting live from the event as it happened, here are the top stories on PocketGamer.biz:


The MENA Games Industry Awards

The MENA Games Industry Awards 2024 celebrate the best businesses and individuals propelling the region's games industry forward. After weeks of public nominations and deliberations by our panel of 80 expert judges, the winners of the first MENA Awards were revealed live on day two of the Summit, including:

  • Best Developer (Sponsored by ID@Xbox): Mad Hook
  • Best Publisher: Tamatem Games
  • Dubai Games Star: Yalla Group
  • MENA Game Of The Year (Sponsored by Xsolla Funding): DC Heroes & Villains (Jam City/Sandsoft)
  • MENA Market Legend: Nour Khrais (Maysalward)

See all the winners.


The Big Indie Zone Audience Choice Award Sponsored by ID@XBOX

All attendees were invited to vote for their favourite game of the summit being shown in the Big Indie Zone expo area. Featuring thrilling projects from up-and-coming indie teams from the Dubai region and beyond, the overall winner was Cosmic Race: Galactic Showdown by Psypher Interactive.

Based in Bengaluru, India, the studio says the game offers "the ultimate intergalactic racing experience... Speed reigns supreme in this breathless journey through a galaxy of adrenaline-fueled excitement."

Cosmic Race was the clear winner for the audience, receiving almost 30% of the votes. Of the 19 contestants, honourable mentions go to The Breach Studios, Emeraldz Studio and Lucid Labs.


The Very Big Indie Pitch

Celebrating new indie games! The ever-popular pitching competition - with instant expert feedback for all participants and media coverage for the winners - was as hotly contested in Dubai as ever!

The winner was the stylish and intriguing puzzle game KORE by Tekore Studio for PC and Xbox. Players solve shadow puzzles to interact with life that lingers in shadows - and maybe begin a new life cycle. KORE takes inspiration from Māori mythology in its art and storytelling.

  • 1st Place: KORE by Tekore Studio (PC, Xbox)
  • 2nd Place: Bloom by Lucid Labs (iOS, Android, Switch)
  • 3rd Place: Times of Survival by Can Games Studio (PC, PlayStation, Xbox)

Read more about the winners on PCGamesInsider.biz.


Connecting Soon...

We're returning to the heartland of mobile gaming that is Helsinki, Finland this October 1st and 2nd. More than 1,700 delegates will hear from 200 of the world’s leading authorities at PG Connects Helsinki.

If you're like us and can't get enough of the MENA market, we're back this November 9th and 10th for the last Connects event of the year - PG Connects Jordan 2024.