• DEF Inspires and Engages UAE Students with STEM Learning and Promotes Gaming and Esports as a Viable Education Enhancement Platform and Employment Channel

Dubai, United Arab Emirates – 10 May, 2023: Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE) is delighted to announce the launch of a groundbreaking new initiative that will bring new ways of connecting and engaging pupils across a range of educationally important topics in the United Arab Emirates. The Minecraft Education Challenge, the ‘Education through Gaming’ initiative by Dubai Esports and Games Festival (DEF), is set to inspire and engage UAE students by offering a fun and innovative approach to education.

To be held at the Dubai Exhibition Centre, World Expo from 21 to 25 June, students can attend education days on 21 and 22 June, followed by the Minecraft Education Challenge finals, which will be broadcasted live from GameExpo on 22 June. The Minecraft Education Challenge qualifiers will take place in registered schools during May and June for students aged 7+ competing in teams of 3 to reach the final. The finals will be broadcast live from GameExpo on 22 June.

With a goal to promote gaming and esports as a viable education enhancement platform and employment channel, DFRE recognises the tremendous potential that gaming has in supporting Dubai’s economic growth through innovative initiatives and campaigns. DEF Minecraft Education Challenge offers a unique opportunity for UAE schools and students to experience the benefits of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning while showcasing the numerous opportunities available within the gaming and esports industry.

As a popular game worldwide, including in the UAE, where it has a significant following among players of all ages, DEF Minecraft Education is an excellent tool for teachers to incorporate into the classroom to enhance creativity, problem solving, communication and teamwork. With monthly average users of 110,000 and an average playtime of 124 minutes on a daily basis, Minecraft Education is a powerful Edtech platform facilitating the future generation of eLeaners.

Through the DEF Minecraft Education Challenge, students will enjoy a unique opportunity to combine learning and gaming in a fun and engaging way by participating in a Scavenger Hunt Challenge to find falcon eggs within a custom-made, Dubai-inspired Pirate Cove Bay map! With an integrated STEM learning, objective-based approach, DEF Minecraft Education Challenge aims to highlight the positive impact gaming can have on student learning and development.

Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), said: “We are proud to support Dubai’s economic growth through innovative initiatives and campaigns such as the DEF Education through Gaming programme, part of Dubai Esports and Games Festival (DEF)’s second edition. Gaming can be a powerful tool for education and skill building, and we are pleased to be at the forefront of this movement in the UAE. We invite all schools and students to participate in this programme and shape the future of education in Dubai. Join us in fostering growth and learning through gaming by registering your interest today.”

Dubai Esports and Games Festival is committed to continuing its efforts to promote education through gaming in the UAE. Join us and discover the educational potential of gaming through the DEF Minecraft Education Challenge, and get ready for the final taking place at GameExpo on 22 June at the Dubai exhibition Centre. Students can be registered for the Minecraft Education Challenge through their school by following the link here.

For more information on Dubai Esports & Games Festival 2023, please visit: For all additional enquiries, please email


About Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment

Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), is responsible for developing Dubai’s retail and festival sectors and supporting the positioning of Dubai as a world-class tourism destination with year-round family entertainment, shopping and events.

About Dubai Esports & Games Festival

Organised by Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), Dubai Esports & Games Festival (DEF2023) takes place from the 21 to 25 June. Launched in 2022, the annual festival is held at the Dubai Exhibition Centre at Expo City Dubai. The festival aims to set and influence trends across both the global and regional gaming industry, and bolster Dubai’s position as a global hub for esports and interactive tech-driven entertainment, and as a global city at the forefront of innovation. DEF2023 will feature a combination of events including a lively GameExpo, esports tournaments and influencer challenges for consumers, alongside a thought-provoking and business stimulating conference and b2b networking event that connects companies from around the world. 

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