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Celebrating the best of the MENA games industry.

The MENA Games Industry Awards, taking place exclusively at the Dubai GameExpo Summit, are a prestigious awards established to celebrate the very best businesses and individuals who are propelling the exciting MENA games industry forward.

We shine a light on every part of the ecosystem, from the game developers and publishers through the advertising and monetisation companies, the tool-makers and support companies, to the new emerging technologies that enable the magic to happen. We also pay homage to true industry legends who have made their mark on this glorious industry.

The awards are lobbied for by all members of the industry, voted on by select MENA representatives, and then ultimately revealed at our ceremony focussed entirely on celebrating the very best talent of this great sector.

Here’s the list of categories you can submit your nominations for:

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Dubai Games Star

This special award recognises a Dubai-based games company who has demonstrated a considerable amount of success, influence, and impact despite their relatively recent arrival within the industry.

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Best Games Startup

Any MENA games company that has been established (in 2023) for 18 months or less, has significantly evolved their business, and made an impact on the industry through innovation, creativity and other initiatives – but has not necessarily brought a game to market yet.

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Best Game Innovation Hub / District

Showcasing the innovation hubs that support developers with centres that cultivate creativity, enable locally produced content, and accelerate the MENA gaming space.

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Best Tool & Service Provider

This accolade is for companies that support the MENA ecosystem through either dedicated development tools – game engine, AI, middleware, etc – or the enabling of monetisation via advertising (or other means), thereby helping developers create their games and grow their audience.

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Most Innovative Game

Any MENA-based game, released in 2023, which pushes the boundaries of the game dynamics – whether through play mechanics, technical achievements, or use of technology itself – to deliver a unique experience for players.

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Best Arabic Localisation

This accolade awards companies that have supported games over the last year in the areas of localisation, ensuring that both new releases and updates go live with as few hiccups as possible, and are localised appropriately for target MENA markets.

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Best In Esports (Service)

This award recognises and celebrates the most impressively implemented and strategically sustained MENA esport-related support service of last year.

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Best In Esports (Team)

This award recognises and celebrates the most consistently successful MENA-based esports team performance throughout 2023.

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Best Web3 Gaming

Showcasing the company that is bringing the most impactful use of, or support for, Web3 technology to the MENA game development scene.

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Investor of the Year

This award showcases an investment within the MENA games industry that has played a vital role in the success and growth of a company in the region during 2023.

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Best Developer

Any MENA games company that has released a game, or successfully grown an existing game, during the past year, as well as expanded their business and made an impact on the industry through innovation, creativity and other initiatives.

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Best Publisher

Celebrating a MENA company that has assisted developers in releasing a game during the last year, whether through publishing support, marketing, co-development, or investment.

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MENA Game of the Year

This award recognises the finest games experience released last year based on creativity, play mechanics, technological, artistic and aural achievement, innovation, audience engagement, and both critical and commercial success. To be eligible for this award, games must have been given a full release, received a significant update, or maintained substantial live ops activity, during 2023.

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MENA Market Legend

This illustrious lifetime achievement award recognises a person from the MENA region who has achieved a considerable amount of success in their career and has acted as a pioneer in, and made an outstanding contribution to, the regional games space.

The MENA Market Legend is a special award, selected directly by the organisation committee of the MENA Games Industry Awards.

Nominations were open until April 7th via simple online submission forms. The shortlists is then voted on by the judging panel. The winners will finally be unveiled at a celebratory awards ceremony on May 2nd during the Dubai GameExpo Summit.