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Xbox Live launches in UAE and Saudi Arabia

The long wait is over for gamers wanting to play Xbox online

Xbox Live will launch in the UAE and Saudi Arabia on Tuesday October 23.

The launch will not only allow access to downloadable content through the game store, but Microsoft says online chat and multiplayer functions will also be active from the launch.

Basic Xbox Live membership will be free and includes chat and access to Arcade and Games on Demand titles.

Gold membership will be Dh210 a year. Gold membership will be required for online multiplayer gaming, and will also allow 500Mb cloud storage for save games and simultaneous chat with up to seven people.

Regional Xbox supremo Aman Sangar said: “With the launch of Xbox LIVE in both the UAE and KSA, we’re able to offer Xbox 360 fans a premiere on-demand content offering that’s entirely new to the Middle East.

“This is only the beginning as we will continue to roll out more service. It marks another step toward our vision for LIVE – to deliver innovative entertainment experiences and exciting new ways to keep in touch with people you care about, wherever they are around the world.”

Sangar – whose official job title is Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business Category Lead for the Middle East and Africa – had told journalists to expect an announcement "soon" at last month’s Games12.

Windows 8 devices will also be able to act as a second screen for Xbox Live games.

For a limited time, Microsoft will be offering one year’s free Gold membership if you buy a Cisco EA500 wireless router (Dh899).