Dubai: Dubai has marked the conclusion of the Dubai Esports and Games Festival (DEF 2023) and is celebrating record visitor numbers, with more than 26,000 people visiting the five day festival. The Vox Gaming Theatre engaged gamers during the Play Beyond tournament featuring beloved influencers in a Regional Team, composed of four influential gamers from the Middle East and including the charismatic team captain AboFlah (Instagram: @aboflah) and an International Team, consisting of four renowned influencers from different corners of the world and captained by MiniMinter (Instagram: @MiniMinter). Families, friends and gamers, also enjoyed a diverse range of events at the region's biggest ever and most exciting esports and games festival, held at the Dubai Exhibition Centre, Expo City, Dubai. Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, DEF 2023 was designed to cater to every gaming passion and had something for all visitors with casual gamers, esports enthusiasts, and seasoned industry professionals immersing themselves in the world of gaming. Gamers transformed the development of the gaming technology landscape with over 75,000 of the best local and global gamers participating in a variety of esports tournaments and games at the event. The dynamic line up of events included pulse-pounding tournaments and mind-bending virtual reality experiences. A focal point for the convergence of innovation in the gaming and esports sectors, DEF 2023 celebrated and empowered gaming talent, fostering the growth of esports communities in the UAE and throughout the world. Held from June 21 to 25 June this year, the incredibly popular DEF 2023 featured the GameExpo Summit, GameExpo, Regional Tournaments and the new Play Beyond tournament with the South Halls of the Dubai Exhibition Centre, Expo City Dubai, filled to capacity and transformed into a gamer's paradise. The festival and summit brought players of all ages together to enjoy incredible experiences and some of the latest and biggest games in the world. DEF 2023 kicked off with the GameExpo Summit, powered by Pocket Gamer Connects (PG), with more than 1,800 high profile attendees enjoying over 50 engaging sessions, panels, and talks by over 100 industry thought leaders and government agencies. Cementing its reputation as the region's premium games industry and B2B knowledge platform, over 2,000 meetings were held using the ‘MeetToMatch' system, with 38 investors and developers meeting on Investor Connector to elevate the gametech sector in the UAE. Dubai's biggest gaming weekend happened at GameExpo with an unmissable line-up of 14 esports competitions including high-octane Play Beyond Tournaments, all-time gaming classics at the Retro Zone, cutting-edge gaming products and the latest games, including 11 newly released games. Eager gaming fans, families and the public played 57 unmissable games with attendees immersing themselves in the world of virtual reality, with gaming enthusiasts connecting in the Dubai Police Esports Arena and more than 40 exhibitors, including industry giants such as Xbox, Ubisoft and Capcom. Official leading UAE-based sponsors included Du, Emirates NBD, KitKat, Emirates, VOX Cinemas, Rove Hotels, Alienware and Virgin Radio Dubai with Ubisoft, Capcom and Teleios displaying their latest games in the du Gamers District. In addition, more than 3,200 students attended the exclusive ‘schools only' days aimed at promoting careers in gaming and driving a passion for esports at the grassroots. The exhilarating second edition of DEF 2023 transformed Dubai into the epicenter of the esports and gaming industry, cementing its position as a global destination for enthusiasts worldwide. The festival catered to gamers, families, friends, industry professionals and esports experts with the aim of uniting and developing the gaming and esports communities in Dubai and the region with next year's dates confirmed for 1 to 5 May 2024.