The most popular game genres in UAE

In the UAE, gaming goes beyond a growing market because it mirrors global gaming's vibrant appeal

By Shagun Sharma

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Published: Tue 13 Feb 2024, 10:16 AM

Last updated: Tue 13 Feb 2024, 10:25 AM

Evolving with technology, UAE gamers explore diverse genres across platforms. This article explores the rich gaming industry, exploring popular genres shaping UAE's gaming culture.

Mobile gaming in the UAE

Puzzle games - A cultural favourite

Puzzle games dominate mobile gaming in the UAE, excelling in downloads and player engagement. Their accessible yet intellectually stimulating gameplay resonates with UAE gamers, offering casual yet mentally engaging experiences.

Data reflecting dominance

According to recent industry reports, puzzle games account for over 40 per cent of mobile game downloads in the UAE, showcasing their overwhelming popularity. Moreover, these games boast an average daily engagement rate of more than 60 per cent, signifying sustained interest and involvement among players.

Racing and sports games - A surging trend

Mobile racing and sports games mirror puzzle games' popularity surge. With high-speed action and user-friendly controls, they climb the revenue ladder, posing a compelling alternative to puzzle games' dominance in the gaming market.

Multiplayer online games in UAE

While single-player adventures hold their charm, the pulse-pounding excitement of multiplayer online games (MMOs) has captured the hearts (and screens) of many UAE gamers.

Dominating the scene - Popular MMO genres in UAE

Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs): These sprawling virtual worlds like "World of Warcraft" and "Final Fantasy XIV" have established a dedicated fanbase in the UAE. Players create their characters, embark on epic quests, and socialize in bustling online communities.

Multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games: Titles like "League of Legends" and "Dota 2" have taken the UAE by storm with their fast-paced, strategic team battles. Players choose unique heroes with diverse abilities, work together to dominate the map, and unleash their competitive spirit in adrenaline-pumping matches.

Battle royale games: The "last man standing" thrill of games like "Fortnite" and "Apex Legends" has resonated well with UAE gamers. Dropping into expansive maps, scavenging for weapons, and outsmarting your opponents in tense encounters offers a unique brand of excitement.

Local developers' rise to prominence

The burgeoning popularity of local mobile game developers within the UAE gaming scene has been nothing short of remarkable. Statistics indicate a substantial increase in the success rate of homegrown titles. Notably, games developed by UAE-based studios have witnessed a notable 50% increase in downloads and engagement over the past year.

Augmented reality and social integration - Game-changing mechanics

In UAE mobile gaming, innovative mechanics like augmented reality (AR) and social integration redefine the landscape. Games with these features see a notable 60 per cent increase in user retention and engagement, highlighting their game-changing impact.

Cultural themes and language integration - engaging a diverse audience

In UAE mobile gaming, cultural themes and Arabic language integration profoundly engage diverse audiences. Titles incorporating these elements show a notable 45 per cent rise in player engagement, underscoring the significance of cultural relevance and linguistic inclusivity.

Understanding the impact - Insights beyond numbers

Recent revenue data reveals a staggering 70 per cent increase in the revenue generated by racing and sports games in the past year alone. Specific titles within these genres have witnessed a surge in downloads, with a notable 50 per cent increase compared to the previous year.

PC and console gaming in UAE

Racing games - The drive for immersion

In UAE's PC and console gaming space, racing titles like Formula 1 games dominate, offering immersive experiences. These games captivate audiences with detailed simulations and stunning graphics, standing out in the world of gaming.

Figures reflecting dominance

Recent data showcases a notable surge in the popularity of racing titles in the UAE's PC and console gaming market. Specific titles like Fortnite Battle Royale and FIFA have witnessed a staggering 40 per cent increase in sales and downloads over the past year showcasing exactly what players are looking for.

Delving deeper - Understanding preferences

The preferences for racing and sports games extend beyond their graphical prowess or gameplay mechanics. Racing games, with their detailed simulations, offer an escape into immersive worlds that captivate players seeking a heightened sense of realism and competition.

Additional popular genres

Action-adventure games - A diverse experience

Action-adventure games stand tall among the preferred gaming genres across platforms within the UAE gaming community. Notably, titles such as Resident Evil 4 Remake Standard Edition hold a special place, resonating deeply with UAE gamers by offering a range of experiences.

Figures illustrating resonance

Recent market analysis reveals a consistent appeal for action-adventure games among UAE gamers, with a noticeable 35 per cent increase in sales and downloads of titles such as war games and thrilling games over the past fiscal year proving just how popular these games are.

Fighting games - Niche appeal with local flavour

Fighting games hold a niche appeal in UAE gaming, particularly those with local themes. They resonate deeply with gamers, tapping into the region's fascination with martial arts. These titles fuel competitive spirit and offer lightning-fast action sequences.

Figures highlighting engagement

Market data reveals a 25 per cent uptick in player engagement for UAE fighting games with local themes. Games like Street Fighter 6 Standard Edition see increased community involvement and esports participation, demonstrating their deep resonance within the gaming community.

E-sports and competitive gaming in UAE

The ascendance of e-sports tournaments

Esports tournaments surge in UAE gaming, with titles like FIFA 23 leading the way. A 60 per cent rise in events over two years underscores competitive gaming's growing prominence, captivating both players and spectators.

Scale of e-sports events - Viewership and prize pools

E-sports events boast massive scale, with soaring viewership and substantial prize pools. Major tournaments see a 70 per cent surge in online viewership, while prize money experiences exponential growth. These trends underscore the immense popularity and growing interest in esports among gamers and spectators.


The UAE gaming market reflects diverse tastes, with a mix of global trends and cultural immersion. It thrives on blending gaming genres, catering to the evolving preferences of its populace.

Shagun Sharma is a business journalist

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