Everyone has heard the stats about the explosive growth in gaming, and the Middle East is no exception. Gaming’s growth in the region is expected to surpass $210B in the next three years, making the Middle East a major player in the sector. In addition, the diversity of the gaming audience presents intriguing opportunities for advertisers.

A Hub for Gaming Enthusiasts

With over 60% of consumers in the Middle East identifying as gaming enthusiasts, it’s evident that gaming has become a cultural norm. This fervor is reflected in the region’s dominance in mobile app downloads and with gamers who prefer to spend over 50% of their time gaming on a mobile device. Recent strategic investments in the region underscore the long-term commitment in the region, with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) establishing gaming centers that position gaming and e-sports as key drivers of economic growth.

The region’s gaming audience is experiencing rapid growth, particularly in the UAE, where 77% of the population are gamers, and 67% fall within the 25-44 age bracket. In Saudi Arabia, 54% of the population engages in gaming, with 64% of the audience aged between 25 and 44. Notably, women constitute 42% of Saudi gamers. Further analysis reveals that the top three interests of this gaming audience include personal finance, art and culture, and evenings out.

Gaming’s Growth in the Middle East

Several factors contribute to the gaming boom in the Middle East. First, the region’s youthful and digital-savvy population, particularly in Saudi Arabia, where 70% of the population is below the age of 30. This creates fertile ground for gaming adoption. Additionally, higher average disposable income and the propensity to spend more time indoors due to hot weather make gaming a natural choice for entertainment and recreation.

In addition, the Middle East’s strategic location between East and West makes tourism an important element in the equation. The region’s efforts in actively promoting tourism while integrating gaming and e-sports experiences offer a unique selling point attracting visitors from all over the world.

As the region transforms into a gaming and e-sports hub, advertisers have a unique opportunity to engage this highly enthusiastic and diverse audience. The convergence of platforms, the growth of mobile gaming, and the increasing acceptance of in-game advertising underscores the dynamic nature of the gaming industry in the Middle East.

Stock photo of a gamer man with headphones playing a video game in front of the tv

Advertising and Gaming

With this growth comes more opportunities for advertisers to connect with gamers. By aligning with gamer preferences and leveraging context, advertisers can not only drive positive brand perception but also tap into a burgeoning market with immense potential.

Gamers prefer ads that seamlessly integrate with the gaming experience to avoid interruption to the flow of gameplay. Relevant and realistic ads, particularly those in sync with the game’s content, are more impactful and likely to be positively received by gamers.

Rewarded ads, offering in-game currency or unlocking new levels, remain popular among gamers, with 74% of gamers expressing acceptance of this type of ad. This positive reception underscores the importance of non-disruptive and contextually relevant in-game advertising strategies.

Equativ’s Gaming Capabilities

Whether you’re looking to utilize high-impact gaming formats to exceed your KPIs or leverage our unique curation platform to build a dedicated gaming marketplace, we have the expertise and tools to help you achieve scale and drive results.

At Equativ, we understand the nuances of the diverse gaming landscape and gaming audience and we want to help you connect with gamers in, around, and beyond the game. Our omni-gaming strategy approach extends to all formats and screens, ensuring an optimal and tailored experience that resonates with both gaming consumers and advertisers alike.

Gamer playing a mobile  video game

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