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Wed 16 Oct 2019 06:11 PM

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What to expect at the inaugural Insomnia Dubai gaming fest

Dubai is set to host the region's largest gaming festival, which starts on Thursday at the Meydan Grandstand

What to expect at the inaugural Insomnia Dubai gaming fest
The Dubai edition will host 14 of the most popular games for gaming enthusiasts to Turn Up & Play, as well as from mobile gaming, VR, tabletop games, cosplay, esports finals, and diverse stage shows.

Dubai is set to host the region’s largest gaming festival, Insomnia Dubai, which runs from Thursday to Saturday at the Meydan Grandstand. 

The mega event, which mirrors the Insomnia Gaming Festival, the UK’s largest event for gamers, features a three-day gaming extravaganza that is expected to attract a total audience of 45,000. 

Insomnia Dubai’s launch is part of the expansion of the festival’s global footprint in the Middle East after Insomnia started 20 years ago in the UK.

The Dubai edition will host 14 of the most popular games for gaming enthusiasts to Turn Up & Play, as well as from mobile gaming, VR, tabletop games, cosplay, esports finals, and diverse stage shows.

Top UK gaming festival set for Dubai launch

Insomnia Gaming Festival, the UK's number one gaming event, is set to launch in Dubai in October

The event was launched in Dubai as part of a multi-year partnership with Global Event Management (GEM).

Mona Al Marri, director general of the Government of Dubai Media Office said: “Hosting Insomnia Dubai is part of our commitment to the 10X vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, which has inspired us to develop projects positioning Dubai as a key player in shaping the world’s future industries.

"Holding the event is also aligned with our strategy of enhancing Dubai’s status as a major hub for the global eSports industry. Dubai and the UAE are at the centre of the Middle East’s fast-growing eSports community, with the city attracting some of the world’s best eSports tournaments, teams and leagues.

"In the years ahead, Dubai will continue to host more world-class eSports events, bringing together players and fans from across the world.”

Insomnia Dubai is being held at a time when the gaming industry in the Middle East and North Africa region is showing the fastest annual growth globally of 25 percent.

With gamers constituting six out of 10 of the online population in the region, prospects for the industry are bright. Women in the region are avid followers of gaming and in Saudi Arabia women game more than men.

The global industry as a whole is expected to generate another $1.5 billion in annual revenues by 2020. 

There are now more than 2.5 billion gamers across the world. Combined, they will spend $152.1 billion on games in 2019, representing an increase of 9.6 percent year on year.

Insomnia Dubai will feature a glittering array of the world’s biggest gaming stars. Josh, Ethan and Tobi of YouTube gaming superstars The Sidemen, original Pokémon theme singer Jason Paige, industry icon Tommy Tallarico, and YouTube gaming sensation Fasoleyya have been confirmed as special guests.

Joining The Sidemen will be the singer of the generation-defining, original Pokémon theme song – Jason Paige while Tommy Tallarico, an icon who helped revolutionise the gaming world, will also be in Dubai.

Saudi Arabia-based YouTube gaming influencer Fasoleyya is another star who will be appearing at Insomnia Dubai as part of the Fortnite feature area while Minecraft star Seapeekay will also be present.