Golden Era of Islam Becomes Video Game

A new video game allows players in the Middle East to experience the historical period of the rise of Islam. Arabian Lords , a video game developed in partnership by a Middle Eastern and an American company, allows players to take on the role of a merchant in different historical scenarios. The bilingual PC game, which ships in both Arabic and English, is a mix between real-time strategy and city-building. The entire gaming environment, from the art to the architecture and costumes, was inspired by the pan-Arab region, with each of the 11 gaming scenarios taking place from the 7th to 13th centuries.

In a recent interview with the game’s developers stated that their intent for the game was to create a relevant game for the Middle Eastern market, which, aside from a small niche of games, has been dramatically underserved. This is perhaps why FIFA has long been the favorite game at video game cafes in the region. The developers also stayed away from violent conflict in the game, choosing instead to focus on trade, though this has upset some players who claim that by focusing on trade the game perpetuates negative stereotypes of Arabs.

Screenshot of Arabian LordsScreenshot of Arabian LordsWhen asked if the game was slated for American release the developers said that they haven’t ruled anything out, but did not elaborate on any possible American release. The game is currently available in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan.

If you are curious, you can check out a review of the game at at or check out the video (in Arabic).

Lee Nunley
Guest Blogger


Sep 29, 2007
by Anonymous (not verified)


very informative