24 march 2024

Unlimited excitement with Dubai Esports and Games Festival’s schedule of events announced

An unbeatable celebration of gaming and esports, DEF 2024, starting on 19 April, is set to be the Middle East’s biggest and most exciting gaming festival yet

The third edition of the festival, organised by Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment,, welcomes gaming legends and industry experts, with thrilling tournaments and diverse activations across the city

Tickets are now available for the festival’s most anticipated events – GameExpo from 3 to 5 May and GameExpo Summit from 1 to 2 May at Dubai World Trade Centre

Gaming enthusiasts can get 25 percent off tickets to GameExpo, a favourite highlight event of Dubai Esports & Games Festival for a limited time only

Dubai, United Arab Emirates – 24 March 2024: Gaming enthusiasts can rally their squads and plan their visits to the Dubai Esports & Games Festival (DEF 2024) as an action-packed calendar of events happening across the city is announced. The festival, in its third edition, returns in its biggest celebration of gaming and esports yet, marking an epic celebration of gaming culture organised by the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE).

Taking place from 19 April to 5 May, DEF 2024 will enable families, fans and gamers to discover one-of-a-kind gaming experiences, witness thrilling tournaments and also be part of them, enjoy meet-ups with gaming legends, and catch up on industry insights straight from the experts.

All eyes on GameExpo

Tickets are now available with a 25 percent early bird discount for the immersive GameExpo, a highlight of the festival, which is primed to deliver the excitement this year too. Taking place from 3 to 5 May at Dubai World Trade Centre, in Zabeel Halls 5 and 6, it will enable visitors to immerse themselves in non-stop gaming action and play the latest games with friends, watch awe-inspiring tournaments live, win cool new gaming gear, and even come away with some stardust as they get up close with regional and global gaming giants.

Fans can also look forward to a showcase of gaming pop culture at The Narrows, where a selection of up-and-coming and experienced Middle East artists will present their most recent works across a range of media, take guest commissions, and connect with other artists and fans.

In what promises to be a truly unforgettable experience for all, families can bond over gaming match-ups at the all-new Family Zone, while the Electric Avenue features specialised electronics retailers showcasing the latest gaming gear, and the Gaming District unveils the latest cutting-edge game releases and previews.

Adding to the excitement, a diverse schedule of activations including cosplay, esports tournaments, coding workshops, and Minecraft family challenges will keep fans buzzing throughout the three-day extravaganza.

One-day passes can be purchased starting from AED 21.75, or visitors can make bookings for full attendance over the three days with weekend tickets starting from AED 44.25. Families of two adults and two children can book a day ticket from AED 89.25 or a three-day pass from AED 224.24. For an enhanced one-day experience, limited VIP tickets are available for Saturday or Sunday starting from AED 269.25 and include enhanced access to the Play Beyond Influencer Meet and Greet, priority seating, and an AED 100 food and beverage voucher. Tickets can be booked through link.

GameExpo Summit

On 1 and 2 May, the GameExpo Summit, powered by Pocket Gamer Connects, will gather more than 1800+ industry professionals and brands from around the world including publishers, developers, service providers and investors who will share their expertise in a schedule of insightful talks, panels and seminars. Taking place in Zabeel Hall 4 at DWTC, this ticketed event features a packed schedule of activities including the Publisher Speedmatch, Investor Connector, and the Big Indie Pitch, connecting industry professionals with one another. Tickets can be booked through link.

Chance to get into character

An exciting opportunity for all levels of cosplayers to join in this vibrant subculture of gaming. The Dubai Cosplay Championship will give creative gaming fans the chance to show off their inspiring costumes and performances of their favourite characters and be in with the chance of winning amazing prizes. On 3 May, cosplayers in attendance can show off their creations in the cosplay catwalk where they will be given just three seconds to wow judges by getting into character. Then on 4 May, cosplayers will compete to be crowned the Dubai Cosplay Championship winners. One individual or group will be chosen from each of the three categories: Kids, Craft and Performance.

Play Beyond

On 4 and 5 May at DWTC, gaming enthusiasts can watch their favourite gamers go head-to-head in the ultimate gaming showdown, as two teams of four gaming stars each battle it out in a thrilling live show of the best gaming talent. Adding to the excitement, fans with VIP tickets can also meet their gaming heroes in meet and greet sessions.

Ramadan tournaments

Throughout the Holy Month, huge prizes of up to AED 20,000 are up for grabs in the GameCentric Ramadan League, which will involve over 6,000 gamers in exciting tournaments held online. Enthusiasts will be up against fellow gaming talents as well as top influencers as they embrace the thrill of this rousing tournament, which will culminate in exciting live finals.

In the final competition of Ramadan, through 11 – 14 April, gamers will join a thrilling game of League of Legends in a competition with combined prizes worth AED 6,000. To register, visit GameCentric.

Gamers can also join the UAE PC Cafe Master Cup 2024, supported by DEF and Riot Games, in which eight cafes across the city will host exciting tournaments with a total prize pool of AED 15,000. A new event for 2024, PC Cafe goers will compete in 5v5 Valorant qualifiers in venues across Dubai. Qualified teams will then represent their respective cafes in a thrilling final clash to be named Dubai’s best PC cafe.

Educational engagement

Inspiring the next generation of gaming professionals in the region, students can finetune their digital skills in the Microsoft MakeCode Competition and the Minecraft Education Challenge, which will culminate in a thrilling live tournament on 1 May. Talks by industry experts held in schools and universities will support aspiring young gamers in refining their skills and gaining insights about the industry, while in-school tournaments will offer an exciting opportunity for students to play popular titles such as Rocket League and Fortnite, with university students battling it out on EAFC 24 and Valorant. University students can visit https://gamecentric.io/def24 to register.

On 26 April, the DEF Gamers Day will offer students and staff the chance to show off their creativity by dressing up as their favourite gaming characters at school. On 1 and 2 May, dedicated school days will provide students a first-hand experience at GameExpo, where they can engage with interactive exhibits, gaming showcases, live tournament finals and more. The DEF Education Programme is offered free to all registered schools and universities.

On 25 April, the Google Gaming Day will be held at American University in Dubai, bringing together government, industry and Google gaming leaders to deliver an exciting, engaging and educational half-day session to students, for free, for the first time ever in the UAE. Students are urged to keep an eye out on DEF socials for the free registration link which will be live after Eid.

Please visit https://www.dubaiesportsfestival.com for more information and to register for ticket updates on Dubai Esports & Games Festival 2024.

For school and university tournaments, career talks, free visits to GameExpo, and to enter Microsoft MakeCode, registration can be completed here: Registration Link.