DEF 2023 GameExpo Summit to gather global industry professionals to strengthen gaming ecosystem in Dubai

DEF 2023 GameExpo Summit to gather global industry professionals to strengthen gaming ecosystem in Dubai

Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE) is thrilled to announce the GameExpo Summit, powered by Pocket Gamer Connects (PG), a platform to bring together professionals from all areas of the gaming and esports industry to share knowledge, network and discuss opportunities in the global gaming market.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Media Council, the two-day business conference will be held as part of the annual Dubai Esports and Games Festival 2023 (DEF), and is set to take place on 21 and 22 June at the South Halls, Dubai Exhibition Centre, Expo City, Dubai.

Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO of Dubai Festivals & Retail Establishment (DFRE), commented:

"We are thrilled to elevate the gametech sector in the UAE, nurturing this growing community and driving investment by bringing together global games professionals to Dubai. The GameExpo Summit is the region's premium games industry and B2B knowledge platform, with a full agenda, attracting professionals from around the world, making it an excellent opportunity for businesses to connect with potential partners from different regions. We are committed to strengthening Dubai’s leadership in gaming and esports, and the industry Summit will act as a regional hub for the sector.”

Chris James, CEO of Steel Media(the parent company of the PG Connects B2B events series which is powering the Game Expo Summit) said:

“The Middle East is the most dynamic and fastest growing frontier of the games market right now. Add in the fact that Dubai is a great hub for the region, a hot-bed of technological innovation, and an incredible place to visit in its own right, and the concept of having a games event here is obvious! At Steel Media we feel there's an opportunity to grow a meaningful games event in the city, starting this year - which is why we're bringing the best elements of the market-leading PG Connects conference series ( into the Dubai GameExpo Summit.”

The two day forum will feature more than 700 high-profile attendees, and a range of activities and talks by over 100 industry thought leaders and government agencies including; keynote speeches, panel discussions, fringe events, and networking sessions with a unique opportunity to catch up on the latest from game developers through the exciting activations and exhibitions on display.

The informative talks and interactive sessions will provide attendees with valuable insights into the latest developments in the gaming industry with topics including; AI Advances, Web3 Wonders, Mapping the Metaverse, Global and MENA Trends, Esports Innovations, Publishing Power, The Developer Toolkit, Show me the Money, and more.

This year, all registered attendees can enjoy free access to concepts including; the well known meeting and messaging platform Meet To Match, a simple and productive pocketbook with multiple features to maximise engagement and interactions other with attendees, from meeting requests to calendar management; The Investor Connector matchmaking activity, a networking session available at this year's event to help attendees meet with investors from across the globe coming to DEF to look for opportunities here in the region; and Publisher Speed Match, a curated networking opportunity that enables developers to connect with publishers through a series of speed-meetings.

The MENA market represents a growing gaming consumer base and a fast-developing industry, and the Summit will encourage the next generation of games businesses in the region, driving investment in an evolving ecosystem. Showcasing the freshest local and global talent, the brightest minds in the industry will meet to stimulate long-term business opportunities.

The finest minds from across the gaming world will share insights at the Summit including:




Kadri Harma



Andrey Kalugin


Regional Director

Hanting Zhu

Publicis Groupe Middle East

Gaming & Esports Lead

Nour Khrais


Founder & CEO

Thamer Matar


Head of Growth

Wonil Suh


EVP Corp Dev

Matt Nutt

Fenix Games

Co-founder and COO

David Fernandez

Sandsoft Games


Manish Agarwal


Elder Council Member

Jeff Lyndon

iDreamsky Technology

President / Co-founder

John Lacey



Maria Kochmola

The Games Fund

Founder and Managing Partner

Wayne Lee



Tony Pearce



Brett Krause

Transcend Fund

General Partner

Kyu Lee



Taewon Yun

Super Evil Megacorp

Chief Business Officer

Charly Harbord

Global Game Jam

Director of Operations

Returning for its second edition, DEF2023 will create a unique platform that unites global gamers, investors, entrepreneurs, and international players through a series of engaging activities that prioritise entertainment. Highlighting Dubai's position as a global hub for the games industry, the festival’s hero consumer event GameExpo will see a range of entertainment and lifestyle brands that cater to families and children, ensuring an inclusive experience for all attendees.

News Source: Dubai Media Office

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