BBC to station OB Vehicle in UAE

The BBC is to become heavily involved in training in the region with an OB vehicle.

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By  James Thornton Published  March 6, 2001

The BBC is to become heavily involved with training in the Middle East as they permanently station an outside broadcast unit in the region.

The 24 or 26 camera unit will be manned by Emiratis who will be provided with technical training and support for the crew from the BBC. When the vehicle is not in use for covering major sporting events in the UAE, such as cricket, powerboat racing and horse racing it will be stationed at technical colleges in the Emirates. This will allow students to practice their broadcasting skills in a 'real world' environment.

"We want to combine the best of a commercial venture with helping to provide training in conjunction with the Emirate's colleges," said Jeff Boden, Commercial Manager of the BBC Resources.
The OB vehicle will also bring benefits to professionals already working in the industry, the colleges and BBC are already developing refresher courses and full training programmes.

The project has the backing Sheikh Mabarak Al Nahayan and is being conducted in partnership with the local company, Bukhatar Group and CERT, the commercial wing of the country's colleges. The colleges are also developing training courses for professionals already active in the region who want to develop or refresh skills in outside broadcast.

John Rose, Broadcast Engineer at the Dubai Women’s College, said: “We are very happy to be working with a company with the prestige of the BBC on a project that can only bring educational benefits to the Emirates.

The permanent stationing of the unit in the UAE developed from the BBC sending a vehicle to cover the Coca Cola Cup cricket matches in Sharjah. The search for an autocue brought the BBC to the door of Dubai Women’s College where in addition to the autocue they found a fully equipped television studio and broadcast. Over twenty programmes inserts were produced from it. From this the partnership grew.

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