The Rise of Online Gaming in Arab Countries


  • The Rise of Online Gaming in Arab Countries

    Online gaming is now one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the world. If we take the 2020 worldwide online gaming revenue as a starting point, it was $21.1 billion, which is an incredible sum of money. Fast forward to 2023 and that figure stands at $26.1 billion, which is a growth of $5 billion over the space of three years. Much focus is given to the American and European online gaming markets, but we have also been seeing a rise in online gaming in Arab countries.

    Map highlighting Arab nations.

    Online Gaming Statistics in the Arab World

    Online gaming rose to prominence in Arab countries back in 2014 and it has been on the rise ever since. Many of those who enjoy online gaming are living in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia but the number of people online gaming from other countries is also on the up. If we take Saudi Arabia as an example, which is the Arab world’s largest economy, the online gaming market is expected to be worth close to $7 billion by 2030. As of 2022, mobile online gaming is continuing to grow and revenue from eSports is expected to grow to $1.62 billion in 2024, which would be almost 50% more than the previous year.

    Why is Online Gaming Growing in Arab Countries?

    If we stay in Saudi Arabia, one of the main reasons why online gaming is growing is the continued support of the Saudi Crown Prince. Mohammed bin Salman is known to be an avid gamer and enjoys playing Call of Duty among other online games. The prince has gone one step further than simply enjoying online gaming personally and has outlined a national eSports plan for Saudi Arabia, which will create thousands of jobs and drive the development of new online games in the Arab world. As with most countries around the world, the advancement of the internet has given people in Arab countries the opportunity to try playing online games. Over 97% of the population in Saudi Arabia are actively online and this is three times the number of people when compared to the figure from 1990. Over 65% of people in Saudi Arabia enjoy online gaming and of those people, 84% play online games using a mobile device.

    Online Gambling in Arab Countries

    In addition to the rise in online gaming in Arab countries, we have also witnessed an increase in the number of people playing online casino games for real money. There are few Arab countries that have legalized online gambling, with Morocco and Lebanon being the two who have taken the biggest steps in legalizing online casinos and sports betting. However, many people who want to play casino games can access foreign online casinos, in most aspects, these are the best online casinos in Arab countries. Despite being illegal across many Arab countries, online casino gaming is continuing to increase in popularity as people access foreign online casinos. Governments do try and block foreign online casinos and sports betting sites, but individuals have not been at great risk when choosing to gamble online.
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