Games for Change and AD Gaming has announced this year’s second Games for Change Middle East Summit. It will be held in Abu Dhabi from December 14-17, 2023.

The Games for Change Middle East Summit aims to support the regional industry’s growth by developing local talent, promoting sustainable and socially responsible business growth, and providing opportunities for developing international business relationships.

For the second year, the Summit will be expanding its focus on esports due to the increasing interest among gamers in the region. According to Games for Change, with local universities bringing to add esports as a program in their curriculum, “educators increasingly show interest in creating esports clubs and dedicated esports spaces for students,” which represents a huge opportunity in education and community engagement, “especially among you who comprise 34% of the Emirati population”.

In addition to that, the Summit will host two days of talks, workshops, masterclasses, “frequent” networking sessions, and an interactive arcade that aims to highlight games created by local game developers and students.

Games for Change Middle East Keynote Speakers

The keynote speakers for this year include:

  • Allison Matthews (Head of Minecraft Education, Microsoft)
  • Nanea Reeves (CEO, Tripp)
  • Jason Della Rocca (Co-Founder, Execution Labs)
  • Samir El Agili (Chairman/CEO, Tilting Point)
  • Paul Dawalibi (CEO, Holodeck Ventures)
  • Dean Takahashi (Lead Writer for GamesBeat, VentureBeat)
  • Dr. Constance Steinkhuler (Professor, University of California, Irvine)
  • Seth Gerson (CEO, Survios)
  • Sultan Alriyami (Section Head of Gaming & Esports, AD Gaming)

“The pipeline of games set to be launched from Abu Dhabi over the next 12 months is the strongest it has ever been. Genre-defining titles are being developed right in the heart of the emirate by AD gaming members, and as we bring this content to the world, Games for Change will play a crucial role in ensuring the Abu Dhabi’s developers target positive impact through their work,” said James Hartt, Director of Gaming and Digitial Development, AD gaming, in a press release.

The first Games for Change Middle East Summit was held in October 2022 and drew over 400 participants from the UAE games industry, government, and education. The Summit is part of an ongoing partnership between Games for Change, the United States, and the UAE.

Mufaddal Fakhruddin
Mufaddal Fakhruddin

Mufaddal Fakhruddin has been writing about games and technology for the past 15 years. He has lost count as to how many reviews he has written over the years, but he is sure headphone reviews make up at least 70% of that.


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