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Fri 18 Oct 2019 01:52 PM

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International Esports Federation seeks to make Dubai its global HQ

IeSF chief Colin Webster reveals plan after talks with Dubai Sports Council chief Saeed Hareb

International Esports Federation seeks to make Dubai its global HQ
IeSF chief Colin Webster with Saeed Hareb, secretary general of Dubai Sports Council.

The International Esports Federation (IeSF) is keen to move its global headquarters to Dubai, it has been announced.

The declaration follows a visit by IeSF's chief Colin Webster to the city for the Dubai Artificial Intelligence in Sports (DAIS) Conference and Exhibition, which was held earlier at Dubai World Trade Centre.

According to a statement, IeSF also has plans to organise a number of top events in Dubai, including its annual conference which brings together stakeholders on a common platform to exchange ideas, create synergies and to reach a mutual consensus on how to develop esports.

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Webster, who signed an MOU on behalf of IeSF with Dubai Sports Council on day two of DAIS, revealed his plans on a visit to DSC on Wednesday where he met Saeed Hareb, secretary general of Dubai Sports Council, and Nasser Aman Al Rahma, assistant secretary general of Dubai Sports Council, for discussions.

“I have been to Dubai before and every time I return, I just get blown away by the incredible pace of development here,” said Webster, who edged Russia’s Constantine Surkont to take over as president of IeSF last year. “I am just stunned."

He added: "It is an incredible city, with a great vibe and we would love to shift our global headquarters to Dubai. I believe Dubai can be the global hub of esports. We would love to bring our annual IeSF summit here next year, especially since it is the year of Expo 2020 here.

“We are looking forward to working alongside Dubai Sports Council and the local esports federation to launch new international competitions that will be held here in Dubai. We would love to organise something like esports Club World Cup here, at one of Dubai’s many mazing sports venues. To organise this tournament at a venue like, say, Hamdan Sports Complex would be just amazing.”

The UAE is a member of IeSF, which boasts 60 member states, including five other Arab countries - Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon and Syria.

It has organised 10 World Championships since its formation in 2008 and South Korea, current home of IeSF, have been the dominant team, winning eight of the 10 World Championships.

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