A British ex-pat currently living in Dubai has penned an article that examines what it’s like to be a gamer in the United Arab Emirates.
Josh Brindley wrote the two-part piece for GamesLatest and began by outlining some generalities, such as how Dubai gamers seem to prefer single-player gaming over multiplayer, though the writer points out that this may be more of a factor of Xbox Live not being officially supported yet in the UAE. Sony’s PlayStation network, however, has been supported in the country since the PS3’s introduction.
UAE gamers also seem to prefer the PS3 over the Xbox 360 and sports games over shooters.
Brindley also details how easy it is to acquire banned games in the UAE:
Despite being officially banned, many games can be acquired over the counter fairly easily in the gray market because the gamers demand for it is high, and everybody’s willing to pay to play.
Many expats who’ve just moved into the country don’t know about the grey market games, so they aren’t be able to buy them.
He sums up:
Most of the differences are because gaming isn’t quite as popular as in the UK, but the market is growing rapidly so it won’t be long before most of the differences are resolved. If the UAE adopted some of the methods of distribution the UK uses, then I think the gaming market would grow faster.