Nearly 90% of people in the UAE and Saudi Arabia play games on their mobile phones at least once a week, according to a new survey by AdColony EMEA and OnDevice.
The survey found that among adults over 16, all age groups play games on their mobile devices, with 84% of women and 87% of men in the UAE saying they played mobile games and 89% of women and 93% of men in Saudi. Only the over-45s showed less interest in mobile gaming, with 79% of UAE respondents and 50% of Saudi respondents age 45 or over saying they play games on their mobile.
Over two-thirds of respondents (66%) said they play every day. Around half of gamers in both countries play from 10 to 40 minutes per day, while one quarter (26%) play for over an hour.
The most popular place to play was at home, although cafes, restaurants and while travelling were also popular venues.
Over 80% of gamers said they were happy to watch video ads to gain free in-game content or rewards.
The mobile gaming market is expected to account for nearly half of the global gaming market this year, with revenue of $50billion.
Samantha Billingham, Regional Sales Director at mobile advertising platform AdColony EMEA said: "The gaming industry is no longer a niche arena for a certain age group or consumer segment. With the advent of mobile gaming and improvements to hardware used in playing these games, gaming has become a viable form of entertainment for players from all backgrounds and ages. Almost 90% of the smartphone owners in United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt are playing mobile games. You might not consider yourself a mobile gamer but this doesn't change the fact that you are playing games on your mobile phone."