Abu Dhabi ‘esports island’ for gaming buffs


Esports Island project planned in Abu Dhabi Image: True Gamers

The esports lounge network True Gamers has announced plans to build a large-scale ‘esports island’ in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

‘ESPORTS INSIDER’ stated that the island will include training facilities, a tournament venue, content creation spaces, and hotels for accommodating esports and gaming personnel.

True Gamers was founded in 2019 and currently runs five esports lounges within the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as well as venues in Eastern Europe. The company has an approximate monthly client base of 300,000 and recently raised $13.5m (£10.6m) for an expansion into MENA.

‘ESPORTS INSIDER’ further stated that the ambitious idea is based on an actual, real-world island located near the UAE capital Abu Dhabi. True Gamers is currently in talks with the “high-profile investors” to acquire the $280m (£219m) needed to both acquire the island and build all facilities that are needed for the project.

According to a release, the project is the result of a long-term research effort by True Gamers which included input from over 100 organizations that operate in the esports space. This apparently includes more than 30 teams from North and South America, Europe and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

True Gamers has specifically mentioned Virtus.pro (an international esports organization founded in 2003 in Russia and acquired by Armenian investors in 2022), Team Spirit (an international esports organization based in Belgrade, capital of Serbia) and BetBoom (Russian esports organization) as some of the organizations that provided input for the project.

The island will feature several locations focused on competing, providing boot camps or offering accommodation. The Digital Tower is the name of the island’s hub which will include spaces for meetings, startup accelerators and animation studios. In addition to the tower, an arena will be built, called the TG Arena. It will feature spaces for esports tournaments as well as a computer club with around 100 personal computers (PCs), a simulation racing section and a space for console gaming.

The project will be rounded up with a boot camp section, which will be “akin to American collegiate fraternities”. The boot camp will feature accommodation and technology for training, and will be created with inputs from the team managers around the world, according to the creators.

The island will also have a hotel, called the GG Resort, which will offer 200 rooms with gaming PCs along with traditional hotel amenities. The island will also have a ‘parachute jump check-in’ inspired by PUBG (mobile game previously known as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds). Alongside True Gamers, a team of architects including Abdullah bin Baz and Haitham Khojali helped design the island project.

Abdullah bin Baz is an Architect Engineer at Hadeeth Al-Emarah Architecture. He is known for his thoughtful and strategic design solutions that are adapted to meet the needs of his firm.

The Hadeeth Al-Emarah Architecture is an engineering consultation that plans studies for the regional and urban areas, and coordinates building designs for health and administrative purposes.

Haitham Khojali is a Senior Interior Designer with the Al Fattan Ship Industry which is a shipbuilding and repair company based in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE). It builds metal ships, manufactures, fabricates, repairs, and maintains aluminum marine vessels and fiberglass boats. The company also provides naval vessels, marine logistics and marine construction equipment.

The island’s creators did not provide exact dates for its opening, but did note that they anticipate a return on investment (ROI) in 10 years after the Esports Island is opened.

Asserted Anton Vasilenko, head honcho and Co-Founder of True Gamers, “True Gamers conducted a comprehensive market analysis of the MENA region’s esports landscape and the global esports industry’s growth trajectory before esports Island development. This in-depth analysis gives us the confidence that the proposed business model will be instrumental in bringing esports island to life.”

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