Team members (above) who thought up the Duroooob board game, which takes players on an adventure in Dubai, won the first prize Image Credit: Karen Dias/Gulf News

Dubai : Who said an MBA was all work and no play? If you had visited Middlesex University Dubai's Exhibition of Innovative Board Games last week, you would've thought you were in a gaming arcade rather than a fierce competition among future business executives.

The competition was part of the MBA students' New Product Development segment of their Marketing Module, organiser Dr Cedwyn Fernandes, who is an Associate Professor in Economics and International Business at the university, said.

Developing the board games

The students' role is as a creativity consultant to help develop some new ‘toys', Fernandes said at the event. Each group forms a New Products Team and once this is done it is followed up by devising a branding strategy for the new product.

"In a world full of electronic games, the project challenges the students to develop exciting board games that will get family and friends interacting and at the same time meet entertaining and/or learning experience."


Creators of the Duroooob board game looked no further than their home city Dubai for inspiration.

The four-member team won first prize for their board game, which involves players who are tourists that have landed at Dubai International Airport. Using money that they've been given, the players have to make their way around the city by foot, bus or the Dubai Metro. They are required to visit tourist attractions like Burj Al Arab and collect attraction certificates.

"When we were brainstorming, we thought ‘why not Dubai?' It's a well-known brand in itself and we thought tourists would want to buy this board game during their visit or as a souvenir," team member Mirna Sarji said.

Sarji said the group hoped to attract investors so the game could be sold in the UAE.

Runners up

The second place runner up was the Chronicles board game. It is based on final-year high school students' history text book to help them learn a usually boring topic and make it an adventure the team members said.

Chronicles has a world map background and players have to complete their journey around the world with the help of question cards.

The game concept can also be adapted to other school subjects to make them more interesting they said.

Fernandes said the Dicey Cricket board game, which came third, would greatly appeal to fanatical Indian cricket fans in the UAE.

The game has two teams playing a cricket match where the number combination of the throw of the dice represents an outcome in runs or bowling.

Fierce competition

Other entries included:

Deep Dive: A 3D board game featuring an underwater theme for four to six year olds.

Headword: A game for three to six year olds aimed at aiding the development of mental agility through word association.

Majamati: Based on the Seven Wonders of the World, participants collect pieces of the puzzle to complete a picture.

Geotrek: An adventure trivia game focused on teaching players interesting facts and cultures of the world by travelling from continent to continent.

Helix: The game is about managing one's finances.

Who Bought Beckham?: Football and strategy is the aim of the game. Players can choose a football club and act as a football manager, competing against other managers to buy up the most players.

Booster: Is a race game and requires players to complete activities as they proceed to reach the finish line. The ultimate goal of the game is to keep players fit with mental and physical activities.