The gaming industry in the Middle East is experiencing significant growth, and the UAE, along with Saudi Arabia, is poised to become a major player in this sector. Major video game companies and hardware manufacturers have been organizing prominent e-sports events to attract gaming enthusiasts from the UAE and neighboring nations. In the UAE, the gaming industry is rapidly expanding, with nearly nine out of every ten adults engaging in video gaming. In light of these encouraging figures, numerous free zones across the country are providing business licenses to streamline the establishment of e-gaming enterprises in the UAE.
Running a gaming & e-Sports business offers a variety of approaches. You can establish an e-commerce platform to sell video games, set up a physical location for gaming enthusiasts, or create a subscription-based service for online gamers to engage and enjoy themselves. Each business model comes with its own set of pros and cons, and the crucial step is to refine your company's focus through a carefully developed business strategy.
The UAE offers an ideal environment for investors to launch their gaming ventures, and there are several compelling reasons to consider this country:
Investors can take advantage of gaming business free zones, which offer 100% ownership and the ability to repatriate capital. These free zones provide a premium space for your gaming venture, complete with a range of attractive amenities. Once you've completed the necessary legal requirements, you can promptly initiate your gaming business in Dubai or anywhere in the UAE.
The Dubai Multi-Commodities Centre (DMCC) has inaugurated the DMCC Gaming Centre, which enables entrepreneurs to secure a gaming license in Dubai. This initiative was introduced during the Dubai Esports Festival to streamline the establishment of gaming enterprises in Dubai. The DMCC Gaming Centre is instrumental in fostering a conducive environment for a wide spectrum of gaming and e-sports businesses to flourish. At present, DMCC is the home to more than 50 gaming enterprises, encompassing game developers, game content creators, e-sports teams, and tournament organizers. If you require additional information about the DMCC Gaming Centre, Dubai-based business setup consultants are available to assist you.
The Sharjah Media City (SHAMS) free zone offers a cost-effective opportunity for entrepreneurs to establish a gaming company in the UAE. With the Shams e-gaming license, budding gamers can explore three income-generating avenues: organizing gaming events or competitions, independent game development, and online game streaming. As a free zone, Shams also extends logistical and regulatory assistance to multiple e-sports and gaming enterprises, facilitating the organization of tournaments and content creation to foster the growth of the local and regional gaming and e-sports industry.
The Abu Dhabi-based twofour54 free zone provides a Gaming Development license tailored for both businesses and freelancers. This specific license empowers individuals and entities involved in various creative domains, including game development, e-sports, virtual and augmented reality, animation, as well as web and app development, to establish their ventures within the twofour54 free zone. It's worth noting that twofour54 was the pioneer in the UAE to introduce this specialized gaming license, subsequently setting a precedent that has been adopted by numerous other free zones. If you're interested in obtaining a gaming license through twofour54, you can seek the assistance of business setup consultants in the UAE.
The e-gaming license offered by Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ) is designed to assist investors involved in the rapidly expanding gaming industry, encompassing software and hardware developers, publishers, as well as streaming and support service providers. The RAK e-gaming package encompasses 18 essential e-gaming activities, allowing investors to choose up to three of these activities for inclusion in their primary license. This license also grants access to the RAKEZ business center.
The Dubai Development Authority (DDA) is a free zone authority responsible for the supervision of various free zones in Dubai, such as Dubai Internet City and Dubai Media City. If an entrepreneur intends to engage in gaming or e-sports activities, these DDA-regulated areas offer trade licenses to facilitate your business in Dubai. These free zones grant permissions for activities in the digital and interactive game development sector, gaming publishing, organizing Esports events, marketing in the gaming industry, E-sports, importing and exporting gaming-related products, assembling products, and various other gaming-related activities.
Establishing an e-gaming business in Dubai presents an attractive prospect for gaming and e-sports entrepreneurs. The Registration process is strict for an overseas entrepreneur, but that’s the reason we are here offering our extensive range of services from A to Z steps.
Select the type of business to identify the necessary licensing. These licensing options encompass professional, commercial, and industrial licenses. In the UAE, a gaming venture can either operate as a gaming studio where individuals gather to play or establish a retail outlet for direct game sales.
Choose a name for your e-gaming enterprise while keeping in mind that it must comply with naming regulations in the UAE. It should not include offensive language, references to religion, or initials. Smart Zones UAE will provide support in the process of registering your business name.
Securing a free zone license for a gaming business enables you to establish a store or offer gaming-related services within the commercial district of the country. When initiating your gaming enterprise in a Dubai free zone, locate a suitable location within one of the city's 50 designated trade zones.
Establishing a business in the UAE provides you with the opportunity to find the ideal location for your workplace. Free zones offer a variety of options for setting up your business. Once your business is established, you can organize essential services like internet connectivity, electricity connections, and other amenities. Prior to hiring employees, it's advisable to review the rules and regulations available on the DED website.
The cost of setting up a gaming or esports business in Dubai or the UAE will vary depending on a number of factors, including:
However, as a general guide the Business setup costs you can expect AED 10,000 to AED 50,000 (depending on the type of business license you require)
If you want to know exactly how much it'll cost, get in touch with the specialists at Smart Zones® UAE. They can provide you with an accurate quote.
Looking for a seamless business setup experience? Trust Smart Zones® Dubai to pave the way.
The UAE offers a number of benefits for gaming and esports businesses, including a large and growing audience, a high GDP per capita, and support for virtual reality. The country also has a number of free zones that offer 100% ownership and the ability to repatriate capital.
Top UAE Free Zones offering Gaming & e-Sports Trade Licenses:
Gaming and E-Sports Business Registration Process
The cost of setting up a gaming or esports business in Dubai or the UAE will vary depending on a number of factors, including the scope and size of the business, the type of business license required, the location of the business, and the number of employees needed. However, as a general guide, the business setup costs can range from AED 10,000 to AED 50,000 (depending on the type of business license required).
You can get more information about setting up a gaming and esports business in the UAE from the following sources:
There are a wide range of gaming and esports businesses that you can set up in Dubai, UAE, including: