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GEMS FirstPoint and GEMS Modern Join with Lenovo to Create Powerhouse UAE Education Hubs for Gaming and ESports
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GEMS FirstPoint and GEMS Modern Join with Lenovo to Create Powerhouse UAE Education Hubs for Gaming and ESports

by Jon WestleyFebruary 22, 2022

GEMS Education has agreed Head of Terms with Lenovo, the world’s largest PC vendor, in a massive boost for investment in UAE education and study programmes in computer programming and new AED multi-billion industries in esports and game design.

This year (2022) esports alone will generate “somewhere in the ballparks of $2 Billion” according to Insider Intelligence, in a report that identifies that “[i]t’s essential to think of the esports opportunity in this way—one inclusive of gaming, media, pop culture, and commerce—as it shines a light on opportunities beyond gaming events alone.” Read the report here.

Lenovo is best known for completely buying out IBMs PC workstation and ThinkPad business in the 90s, as well as its rage of IdeaPad, Yoga and Legion solutions in education and broader business and industry. GEMS Modern and GEMS FirstPoint will be the first to see the building of new esports zones in their schools, supporting major partnerships with industry in the gaming sectors and the roll out of new qualifications for students. GEMS FirstPoint is the first school in the region to launch BTEC qualifications in Game Design and Esports – read the full story here.

Photograph of an example esports hub in education as pictured in the MOU between GEMS Education and Lenovo

The decision builds on Lenovo’s strengths in gaming infrastructure and community in the emirates, with the company being awarded “Best New Community” at the 2022 Community Industry Awards by CMX for the evolution of its 63,000 strong Legion gaming community in the emirates.

The aim is to provide a springboard for students who want to pursue careers in the gaming industry – one of the key industries highlighted in a recent HMC Report that need significantly more investment by schools. Read the damning report here to understand the importance of investment in technology education and sectors like esports.

The new investments in GEMS Modern and GEMS FirstPoint are scalable – they can grow according demand and the development of new technology. Initially the centres will see delivery of latest generation Legion PCs and monitors for gaming immersion, performance ThinkStation workstations for seamless designing and programming and Yoga Tab tablets for linking technology and learning across the schools. The Centres leverage Esports venue software and services provider ggCircuit, a platform engaging more than 2.1 million players, 16,000 plus PCs and near 700 esports centres globally.

The GG Circuit Operating System will power GEMS Education Gaming hubs at GEMS FirstPoint School and GEMS Modern in a major new partnership with Lenovia for their Legion backed esports solution for schools


Mohammed Hilili, General Manager, Lenovo Gulf, said:

“Gaming is profoundly impacting not only the entertainment and sporting arenas, but also future job roles and upskilling.

As an industry leader, GEMS Education has illustrated a clear understanding of gaming’s potential to profoundly impact students’ lives, and confidence in Lenovo to deliver an integrated and customized Esports solution.

We look forward to continuing to foster this important dialogue and further strengthening our partnership in the months ahead.”

Matthew Tompkins, Principal and Chief Executive Officer, GEMS FirstPoint School, told SchoolsCompared:

“We are excited to be the first school in the UAE to offer International BTEC Esports and Creative Media – Game Design. GEMS FirstPoint is a pioneer in this critical 21st century industry – and our courses are supported by Pearson, the British Esports Association, and global and local industry and university partners, including now Lenovo. Watch this space.”

Nargish Khambatta, Principal, GEMS Modern Academy and Vice President – Education, GEMS Education, said:

“Over the years, we have witnessed a paradigm shift in learning and teaching. Gaming, for example, which was seen largely as a recreational hobby, is now an enviable skill and is being considered preparatory ground for a full-time career.

We are excited to be one of the first educational institutions in the region to leverage the Lenovo Esports program, and explore how gaming can be used to nurture talent, expertise and future readiness in innovative and academically stimulating ways.”

Shabeer Mohammed, Chief Information Officer, GEMS Education, said:

“At GEMS, it is of utmost importance to provide the best opportunities to the students at our schools.

We aim to provide environments in which they can develop as exponential thinkers while providing opportunities for students to build on their skills within their existing framework.

Infrastructure is a key part of this, and we are delighted to be partnering with Lenovo on this unique project.”

In British education, the new technologies are placed centre stage with the launch of the new T Level in Digital Production, Design and Development – although the race is on to see which school will be the first to launch T levels in the emirates. T Levels are the new technical stream equivalent to gold standard A Levels. Each T Level is the equivalent of 3 A Levels and is designed to provide fast-track entry for students not only into universities but directly into business and industry.  More on the new T Level can be found here.

Until then, watch this space.


Further information

Read our review of GEMS FirstPoint School here.

Read our review of GEMS Modern here.

Read more about Lenovo here.

Read more about GEMS Education here and its mission to see Genius in Every Child here.

© 2022. All rights reserved.

About The Author
Jon Westley
Jon Westley is the Editor of and UK. You can email him at jonathanwestley [at]

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