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The GIRLGAMER Esports Festival opened at the Meydan Grandstand on Wednesday Image Credit:

Dubai: The world’s leading event to celebrate and promote women’s competitiveness in esports, the GIRLGAMER Esports Festival, opened at the Meydan Grandstand on Wednesday.

The three-day Festival will host the GIRLGAMER World Finals, apart from gaming, cosplay, concerts, activities and an industry conference under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Media Council.

The biggest esports and entertainment festival to be held in Dubai, the Festival is organised by Galaxy Racer Esports, and supported by Dubai 10X Media, a subsidiary of the Government of Dubai Media Office (GDMO), as part of its strategy to drive the development of the region’s esports industry and establish Dubai as a regional and global hub for competitive esports events.

Abdulla Al Mansoori, Team Leader of Dubai 10X Media said: “Hosting events like the GIRLGAMER Esports Festival not only further positions Dubai as a hub for the global eSports industry, but also engages the youth of the region to develop their capabilities in a sector that is being shaped by their innovation and enterprise. We see Esports creating a host of new opportunities for the development of talent, creativity, next-generation skills and entrepreneurship, all of which will be on show at this event.”

The opening day of the Festival saw the start of a two-day GIRLGAMER Industry Conference, featuring some of the most prominent personalities from the worlds of esports, gaming, media, and entertainment.

Speaking at the conference, Lamia Khan, director of Dubai Ladies Club, said: “The Girl Gamer Dubai Festival is a prime example of taking action and showing leadership to influence positive change in the area of gender balance and women’s leadership, as well as challenging stereotypes and showing the world that girls can do anything.”

Participants at the Festival have challenged stereotypes and transformed an industry to be more inclusive of girls and women, she pointed out.

Addressing girl gamers at the event, she said: “You have undoubtedly inspired young people to believe in themselves and the idea that they can pursue their goals. You girls are showing other young women around the world that anything is possible – no career is out of reach, no challenge is too difficult, and no goal is too unattainable.”

From February 20-22, the GIRLGAMER World Finals will offer Esports enthusiasts an opportunity to catch the world’s best CS:GO and League of Legends gaming action. The Festival also features the Interschool Esports Tournament, taking place on February 21. Scholarships totalling Dh255,000 will be given out to winners of the tournament.

Fernando Pereira, President, Grow Up Esports said:”It is also monumental for us to introduce the UAE’s first all-women team at this event, who will be competing with other countries at the World Finals. All of this is happening in our first year. We can’t wait to bring you even more in our future editions.”

Paul Roy, CEO, Galaxy Racer Esports said: “We are proud to present GIRLGAMER, the UAE’s biggest Esports Festival, which is now scheduled to be a five-year festival. We invite everyone to join us on February 20 and 21 to enjoy a jam-packed line-up of exciting events and activities.”

Highlights

Inaugural Interschool Esports Tournament

First-ever L.O.L. Surprise! and Little Tikes event

Cosplay and video gaming competitions

Unlimited deals on comics and collectibles

Meet and greets with renowned experts

Performance by rap superstar Gucci Mane.

Line-up of special guests

Illustrator Naruse Chisato

Comic Book Illustrator Des Taylor

Voice Actress Kari Wahlgren

Illustrator Shimadoriru

$5,000 Cosplay Competition judges

Alodia Gosiengfiao

Saud Al Hazzani AKA Vega Cosplay

Sumi Cosplay

Live events

Performance by rap superstar Gucci Mane

Performance by award-winning DJ and producer Dany Neville

MGA Entertainment’s L.O.L. Surprise! Fun Zone

Little Tikes Play

Middle East launch of MGA’s brand-new line of toys, Na! Na! Na! Surprise