July 22, 2023

Gaming Trends to Watch in the Middle East

Online gaming has become a big business since the turn of the century, particularly in the United States, Asia, and Europe. 

However, the landscape is slowly changing, with several Middle East nations starting to make their mark in the gaming industry. 

Creating a gaming ecosystem in the region presents a wealth of opportunities for companies in the sector, particularly from a technology perspective. 

With that in mind, read on as we take a closer look at some key technology trends to watch in the Middle East over the next few years.

Gaming Trends to Watch in the Middle East: eAskme
Gaming Trends to Watch in the Middle East: eAskme

Mobile Gaming:

Academic research has shown that consumers in the Middle East are more tech-savvy than many other regions worldwide. 

The sizeable younger demographic in the region is eager to engage with digital technology – a factor that has driven massive smartphone adoption. 

To take advantage of this, governments in several Middle East nations have plowed significant resources into mobile gaming development. 

This trend will continue, helping the region become a rival to other major gaming jurisdictions worldwide.

Mobile Payment Regulation:

While the Middle East is on track to become a major player in mobile gaming, some significant issues need to be addressed. 

‘Instalment payments’ are a big area of concern, with numerous gaming developers using this controversial tactic to generate more revenue. 

While ‘buy now, pay later’ has been around for decades, it still causes ethical debates about whether people can afford to utilize it. 

On that basis, we anticipate lawmakers in the Middle East will work towards implementing greater regulation of mobile payments in the gaming sector.


The associated iGaming sector is ripe for growth in the Middle East, with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at the forefront of the drive to cash in on this lucrative industry. 

With a formal licensing and regulatory structure in the midst of being created, online casino operators have moved to open their doors to Arabic players. 

YYY Casino is among the sites that have made significant inroads in the Middle East, and we anticipate significant further growth over the coming years. 

Games such as blackjack, poker, and roulette are proving to be hugely popular, while live casino games are a future trend worth monitoring in the region.

Artificial Intelligence:

Artificial intelligence (AI) is already influencing online gaming, but the technology is expected to become far more sophisticated. 

AI is increasingly used to shape gameplay, with in-game characters adjusting their behavior based on how gamers act. 

The tech is also used to support marketing and customer service functions, helping to relieve the repetitive workload on human support agents. 

Game fairness and payment security are among the other primary ways AI will considerably impact gaming in the future.

VR Gaming:

While the UAE, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia have witnessed a boom in VR gaming, they have only scratched the surface of the possibilities in this sector. 

Increased focus by regional companies to deliver new VR products and services will drive massive growth in the region over the next few years. 

Government investment is driving innovation, allowing development firms to push the boundaries of VR technology in gaming. 

With the latest gaming consoles fully compatible with the technology, the Middle East may become a world leader in VR by the decade's end.

Gaming Laptops:

Increased demand for quality products in the mid-range laptop sector is forcing manufacturers to up their game in developing gaming-specific products. 

Poor performance and cheap build quality have blighted the gaming laptop market, resulting in an underwhelming experience for gamers who do not have a big budget. 

However, growing competition from emerging laptop brands has given the more established manufacturers a much-needed kick up the backside. 

The gaming laptop marketplace must keep evolving to remain relevant in the face of stiff competition from smartphone technology.

Wi-Fi Hardware:

Several Middle East Nations were quick to adopt 5G Wi-Fi connectivity, including the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. 

While this was an exciting development for the region, the move placed significant pressure on companies manufacturing the supporting hardware. 

One of the key areas for future development is Wi-Fi extenders, with gamers increasingly demanding greater signal range from the hardware they use. 

We expect to see a greater focus on developing gaming-specific routers over the next few years as online games become more multifaceted.


Having forged strong links with the traditional sports industry in recent years, several Middle East nations have now recognized the potential in the emerging eSports sector.

The UAE government is investing heavily in eSports, while Saudi Arabia is also trying to grab a piece of the lucrative global revenue pie.

 The recent creation of a new eSports circuit in the Middle East will drive further growth in a market dominated by Asia and the United States.

Potential future inclusion in the Olympic Games will also ramp up Middle Eastern interest in eSports over the next few years.


Watching several other regions benefit from the gaming boom makes it easy to see why the Middle East is keen to jump on the bandwagon.

With some countries reporting that half their population views themselves as gamers, the region is ripe for significant growth.

The burgeoning eSports sector will likely see more Middle Eastern participants over the next few years, helping the genre become even more diverse.

Backed by significant government investment, the gaming industry’s upward trajectory in the Middle East could become truly stratospheric.

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