DUBAI. – SHEIKH Sultan bin Khalifa bin Shakhbout Al Nahayan, president of the Emirates Esports Association, said the UAE will be able to compete internationally in esports over the next few years.
He also underlined the importance of seeing esport as an economic, social and cultural catalyst for the young generation around the world.
Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan Al Saud, President of the Saudi Federation of Electronic and Intellectual Sports (SAFEIS) and the Arab Federation of Electronic Sports (ARESF), drew attention to the rich competitive advantages offered by the region. of the Middle East for growth. the gaming sector, with a high percentage of young people, and the availability of digital infrastructure.
Their comments came during a panel discussion on âThe Current State, Emergence and Future of Esportâ at the Esport Conference, which took place during the fourth edition of the World Summit. of manufacturing and industrialization last Friday in Dubai.
Hosted by the Global Esports Federation, the event was part of GMIS week, which took place November 22-27 at the Dubai Exhibition Center at Expo 2020.
During the session, Sheikh Sultan gave an overview of the efforts of the Emirates Esports Association, highlighting that it has strived, since its inception in 2015, to create a vibrant eSports community by connecting with young people and families, and encouraging players to develop their skills.
He pointed out that many companies were working to transfer economic and social activities to the metaverse, which already exists in the world of electronic games.
âThe UAE has a lot to offer esports internationally, and we are proud to support the nation’s message of tolerance by hosting the UAE Tolerance Esports Games Championship, which reflects the spirit of esports that connects people. regardless of their nationality and origin, âsaid Sheikh Sultan.
He expressed hope that esports will one day make it to the Olympics so that players can compete, win medals and hoist their country’s flags high.
He stressed the importance of regional and global cooperation to promote these games and take advantage of the opportunities they offer.
In this context, he praised the efforts of SAFEIS and the GEF, which align with the Federation’s slogan, â#uâ.
Prince Faisal said electronic games have seen unprecedented growth since the Covid-19 epidemic, which exceeded 70% from the previous year.
âWhat’s important to us is growth at a regional level, and we want to make sure that we are making progress in all esports communities.
“We are proud to have an active regional community of esports players.”
Prince Faisal underlined the importance of the human factor in esport.
âThe most important thing in esports is that you get to know people and start to bond and relate to them based on their skills without knowing their identity or background.
âWe saw it for ourselves in the Kingdom when we hosted the Gamers Without Borders event, and it was a great opportunity to see how young people are leading this stage of change and to explore how they can help us. to move towards our goals.
âIt’s more than just playing – it’s related to society as well as mental health.
âGames encourage human communication and don’t isolate people from one another.
âOn the contrary, they have become a way of improving communication and bringing people together around an activity, and if we can build on the principle of bringing young people together and giving them the opportunity to get to know each other, to connect and lead the future, we will have accomplished a lot.
GEF chief executive Paul J. Foster said that over the past two years they have been able to reconnect the world, despite the pandemic, thanks to events in the United States, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
He highlighted the continued work of the federation to encourage innovation, inclusion and tolerance through esport as a means of communication, which connects people all over the world, in a virtual world.
Foster described the opportunities that electronic games present, saying they are an essential tool for improving mental health, as well as for the digital economy, including digital currencies.
He underlined the importance of the Middle East in the future strategies of the GEF and the intention of the federation to invest significantly in the region.
The session ended with the signing of a strategic partnership agreement between the GEF and the Emirates Esports Association, in order to strengthen cooperation, define strategies and develop the esports segment. – menafn.com-APCO