Dubai e-sports brand signs $45m Saudi franchise deal

23 January 2024
Local investment agreement paves way for launch of 150 e-sports clubs across Saudi Arabia

True Gamers, a Dubai-based e-sports brand, has signed a franchise deal for Saudi Arabia that will see Nawaf Albishri, CEO of investment firm Falak, invest $45m in the establishment of 150 e-sports clubs across the country.

The deal hopes to capitalise on the rapid growth in the Saudi gaming market, which is projected to expand by 8.53 per cent annually over the next three years to reach a market value of $1.3bn by 2027, according to Statista.

The first e-sports venue under the deal is expected to be opened in Jeddah within the next six months, and the aim is to have ten centres operating in Saudi Arabia by end of 2024.

The agreement will also tap into the role of True Gamers as an e-sports event organiser in the UAE, where it hosts existing tournaments, by rolling out similar event hosting across the Kingdom.

True Gamers stated that the deal had the potential to “play a pivotal role in propelling the growth of the Kingdom’s eSports industry” by helping to “fostering a vibrant gaming community within Saudi Arabia … and make it accessible to a broader audience in Saudi Arabia and beyond.”

The development of e-sports in Saudi Arabia is a part of Saudi Vision 2030 and the subject of its own government roadmap, the National Gaming and Esports Strategy, that expects the sector to create 39,000 jobs and unlock more than SR50bn ($13.3bn) in value by the end of the decade.

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