Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – 23 March 2023: Aldar Education and Lenovo launched the first esports hub at a K-12 school in Abu Dhabi today. The state-of-the-art facility, located in Aldar Education's West Yas Academy, will provide students access to world-class gaming equipment, cutting-edge software, and immersive experiences. It will enable students to explore the world of esports and pursue their passion for gaming.
The launch event included a small tournament where West Yas Academy students from various year groups competed in Lenovo's esports zone, showcasing their proficiency in the popular game Rocket League. The experience allowed the students to engage in healthy competition and develop other essential skills such as critical thinking, team building, communication, and sportsmanship.
Commenting on the Lenovo esports program, Mohammed Hilili, General Manager at Lenovo Gulf, said: 'At Lenovo, we believe that education is the foundation of a better future – breaking down barriers, fostering equality, and lifting the next generation through opportunity. With this new initiative, Lenovo is continuing its commitment to supporting education and empowering young people to unlock their full potential through technology. Aldar Education has illustrated a clear understanding of gaming's potential to profoundly impact students' lives and confidence in Lenovo to deliver an integrated and customised esports solution. We look forward to working with Aldar Education to bring this exciting new initiative to life and involving all the students through the gaming tournament.'
Together with its partners, Lenovo is bringing exciting emerging technologies like virtual reality to the classroom – expanding teachers' toolkits and enhancing students' experiences. As part of the collaboration, Lenovo's gaming zone at West Yas Academy will feature a 360-degree solution consisting of industry-leading PCs and monitors for gaming immersion.
Commenting on the rollout of the new Lenovo's esports hub at Aldar Education's West Yas Academy, Andrew Turner, Group Head of Education Technology at Aldar Education, said: 'We are thrilled to open this exciting and cutting-edge learning space for our students at West Yas Academy. Esports is a rapidly growing industry and we have introduced it to all our students across our family of schools. Many people believe that esports involves only the playing of digital games and this is not the case. This industry opens up opportunities for our students to enter into careers associated with entrepreneurship, marketing, graphic design, coding, and many others. Within this new learning space, our students will learn a wide variety of topics associated with the gaming industry including coding, game design, and 3D prototyping. We are excited to offer our students the opportunity to explore the opportunities associated with the esports industry and to develop valuable soft skills such as teamwork, communication, and problem-solving. The new Lenovo esports hub is a great addition to our ongoing strategy to ensure that our students have access to the latest technologies and unique learning experiences.'
Aldar Education's commitment to providing its students with a holistic approach to education that includes academic and extracurricular activities makes it the ideal choice for launching Lenovo's esports hub. West Yas Academy's emphasis on technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship aligns perfectly with Lenovo's mission to empower individuals through advanced technology.
In the Middle East, gaming continues to grow exponentially, with forecasts suggesting that average esports players in the UAE will spend at least $115 per year in the next five years. This has motivated governments to invest billions of dollars in theme parks and other venues where esports players can access the games or participate in competitions. Considering that about 70% of UAE's population is below 30 years, the entire business will potentially involve about 20 million people – many of whom are students in schools.
Esports has been experiencing significant growth in the Middle East in recent years, with increasing numbers of fans, players, and investments pouring into the industry. The esports market in the Middle East and North Africa region is expected to reach $105 million by 2024, with annual growth rates of up to 25%. There are currently over 18 million gamers in the region, with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt being the largest markets.
The growth of esports in the Middle East has also been reflected in the increasing number of tournaments, events, and facilities, such as the opening of Lenovo's esports gaming zone in Abu Dhabi, which provides a dedicated space for players and fans to compete and connect. As the popularity of esports continues to rise, it is expected that the industry will become a significant contributor to the region's economy and provide opportunities for both local and international players and investors.
As part of its commitment to advancing the gaming industry in the Middle East, Lenovo consistently seeks sponsorship deals and partnerships in line with the region's growth and in efforts to further strengthen the esports landscape. Lenovo's range consists of laptops, monitors, and accessories engineered with the latest technologies and cutting-edge designs for enhanced immersion.