This blog will discuss the localization sphere in the Arab world, particularly in the UAE. Moreover, there will be a discussion about the mobile and video game market in Dubai. Meanwhile, the blog will mention the developing market of game localization in Dubai, and several remarks about the gaming industry in the UAE. At the end of the blog, we will highlight the importance and the advantages of CCCI’s localizing games Into Arabic services.

Key takeaways:

  • The growing interest in online games has also been noted in the UAE, where the popularity of online games has been rising since the beginning of March 2020.
  • In 2019, the gaming industry in the UAE recorded the highest sales, at AED 668.9 million, up 6.3% from the previous year.
  • In March 2022, Dubai will host the largest festival of e-sports, comics, pop culture, and YouTube for the first time.
  • Saudi Arabia has made a significant jump from 2019 to 2021 in the electronic gaming sector, replacing the UAE, which was described as the largest market in the region until 2018.
  • According to statistics, the UAE game market dominates the region’s electronic gaming market in terms of revenue and proliferation.

Table of content

  • Game Market in Dubai
  • Mobile and Video Game Market in Dubai
  • Online Gaming in Dubai
  • Tips for Game Localization in Dubai
  • CCCI – Professional Game Localization Services into Arabic

Game Market in Dubai

In 2020, the gaming industry experienced significant revenue and profit growth despite global economic setbacks due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, there are certainly those who have benefited from the crisis. Many companies have increased their revenues as a result of the current situation, such as pharmaceutical companies, equipment and medical materials manufacturers, food delivery services, broadcast services, and, of course, gaming companies. Games have become one of the things users rely on to spend their time in the closing period, as well as the development of the concept and services of cloud games.

The gaming industry may have been the biggest beneficiary of covid-19 when people started spending more time at home relying on controllers, computers, or phones.

Experts expect the continued growth of the market share of mobile games, accounting for 59 percent of the entire gaming market with domain volume reaching $180 billion or 11 percent growth in current value, compared to 2019. The video game market exceeded $191 billion in volume as the mobile gaming sector grew actively, and mobile gaming accounted for 54 percent compared to 34 percent in 2015.

Mobile and Video Game Market in Dubai

Not surprisingly, the development of mobile games is gaining momentum, phones are getting smarter and faster and games are becoming more attractive and exciting, and day after day more users are cutting more time with all their interests, translating the popularity of mobile games with significant progress in the market sector compared to others.

Computer game developers took into account trends and adapted many of their desktop privileges on app store and Google Play, including popular games like FIFA, and the computer sector did not lose, but actually created a new life for its games.

However, during 2020, people found themselves locked in their homes. Many found a lot of free time in a comfortable environment. Consequently, they paid more attention to the controllers that provide the upper hand by controlling the game and the latest software solutions compared to mobile devices.

For a long time, gaming analysts said the future would be dominated by augmented reality and virtual reality, along with cloud gaming services.

In this regard, E-games are an attractive market for the Arabian Gulf investment, with significant and growing gains, which have well proven that they will not be affected by crises no matter how big and confusing the world, such as the Coronavirus, which has caused significant declines and losses to various industrial sectors and investments.

Pro Tip

Pro Tip

The Arabic gaming market is attracting more international gaming enterprises to expand their business in the field. It’s quite important to be aware of the potential prosperous revenues of this market.

Market research suggests that global games introduced by global developers already capture the lion’s share in the Gulf, and the most popular mobile games in the region are Big Mobile, Sultans Revenge, Fortnite, and Rise of Kingdom.

Despite this, demand for Gulf local content remains strong and has not been adequately met to some extent. In other words, developing game localization into Arabic is a must. 

This situation gives global developers the opportunity to take the lead and modify their content to satisfy Gulf users, or in return push users in the region to create global content themselves.

One of the most prominent aspects of the UAE game market investment in the field of electronic games was through the cooperation of the UAE-Saudi, which took place in November 2020, where The Boss Bunny Games Saudi Arabia and the UAE production studio “Limetree”, an agreement to develop electronic games inspired by local culture, signed by international standards.

According to the UAE News Agency, this partnership contributes to strengthening Saudi-UAE economic cooperation in the digital field and acquiring the share occupied by the region as a whole and the Gulf region in the electronic gaming industry.

In March 2022, Dubai will host the largest festival of e-sports, comics, pop culture, and YouTube for the first time. Brand Dubai, the creative arm of the Dubai Government’s Media Office, announced that the festival is organized by Galaxy Racer, a Dubai-based leading e-sports company, in collaboration with wave rider entertainment company.

Online Gaming in Dubai

Online games received the lion’s share (66%) in sales of digital video game software in the UAE in 2019, followed by mobile games (14%), digital console games (14%), and digital computer games (6%). Online games include subscription payments for online multiplayer games and other gaming services that require regular payment.

Online gaming sales in the UAE rose from AED 302 million in 2014 to AED 439 million in 2019, with a compound annual growth rate of 7.7%, and although mobile game sales were lower than internet games, they grew at a compound annual growth rate of about 8.5% from 2014 to 2019. 

The 5G network in populated areas in the UAE is about 80%, according to the UAE’s General Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, where the future application of this technology will support the growth of the online UAE game market. In addition, UAE game developers can succeed in the region by focusing on Arab values and culture and attracting more users.

The gaming industry in the UAE as a sport is one of the most profitable forms of entertainment in the world. Over the past few years, e-sports have become a global phenomenon and are today one of the most profitable forms of entertainment in the world, with the industry worth €121 billion last year. 

Tips for Game Localization in Dubai

If we take a deeper look, we’ll see that there are more big publishers who have joined game localization into Arabic, including Ubisoft as well as Sony, which has the largest share of the game localization in Dubai, from which we have seen great efforts in dubbing its games even. This generation has also seen the accession of other major publishers such as WB and Squire Inx, as well as the interest of Japanese publishers in the UAE game market, led by Bandai Namco and Capcom. It is also clear that the quality of translation has increased from one version to another in these chains as large companies are able to increase their knowledge of the trends of the Arab market.

Most of the big game publishers, such as Ubisoft and WB, have teams for localization of games today. But even for publishers who contract with product translation agencies, we’ll see that Arabic is becoming strongly present, and you just have to take a quick tour of their websites to see that most of them are particularly Arabic-language.

There are also very successful experiences from the same region in localizing, distributing, and publishing games, and even developing them, including the Jordanian company Tamatem Games, which localizes and disseminates games in the Middle East, and has great great success in this regard, with its specialization in mobile games. In addition, many large companies have opened development studios in different parts of the Arab world, other independent studios that serve publishers, as well as some of the bright Arab names in the gaming development sky.

Pro Tip

Pro Tip

In terms of localizing international (English-speaking games) into the Arab world, we should highlight the peculiarities of the Arabic language and culture.

We must first realize that localization or product translation is a relatively recent discipline that began in the 1980s only and was needed with internet access to non-English-speaking areas. The first thing that certainly comes to mind is the technical problems, the first of which is the problem of writing from right to left and different letters, which are always a problem with the different engine of the games and the way the game is programmed in general, and is certainly not limited to Arabic but applies to languages written from right to left and languages written in non-Latin characters.

There is also the problem of the quality of translation, although the Arabization of games is constantly improving and increasing, there are still some unfortunate examples and serious mistakes that disappoint the Arab player, as he feels that his language and region have not received adequate recognition and care.

CCCI – Professional Game Localization Services into Arabic

Choose only the best for your game localization in Dubai project. At CCCI, as an Arabic professional game localization/translation and support agency, we will help you convey the necessary information to the players and optimize the gamer user experience in no time.

Each member of our game localization in Dubai team is passionate about getting the best possible result for every game project with a modernized approach.

Our game localization process has three main stages. Firstly, we check all information provided by our client, such as artworks, videos, details on characters and scenery, a summary of the plot, descriptive texts, etc. Secondly, after checking the project files, we start the game translation and localization process. Thirdly, our native proofreaders and quality checkers ensure that the project is subjected to detailed quality control.