MBC switches headquarters to DMC

After struggling to keep its plans under wraps for the big announcement, the Middle East Broadcasting Centre today finally unveiled its plans to move to Dubai Media City

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By  Barnaby Chesterman Published  March 20, 2001

In an eagerly anticipated press conference at Dubai Media City (DMC) today, the Middle East Broadcasting Centre (MBC) announced the relocation of its London headquarters to DMC. The announcement, one of the worst kept secrets in Dubai, was made at a joint press conference attended by Ali Al Hedithy, CEO of MBC, and Mohammed Al Gergawi, chairman of DMC.

Despite making valiant attempts to maintain a level of mystery surrounding the announcement, when the curtain was raised to unveil a giant MBC sign, there were not so many gasps of excitement as sighs of inevitability.

Al Gergawi called it “another major milestone in the evolution of the Arab media industry in Dubai,” before proudly proclaiming the move by MBC as “yet another vote of confidence for DMC.”

The decision by MBC supports the hopes in Dubai that DMC is now able to offer the competitive advantages that precipitated the broadcaster’s move to London 10 years ago. “MBC’s decision reflects its confidence in the fact that the facilities and infrastructure available here in Dubai are of world-class standards,” added Al Gergawi.

The strategic location of Dubai allows MBC to move closer to their target audience with the supportive advantages of Dubai’s established stature as a major hub for business, finance and services. There is no doubt that MBC will benefit from operating in the midst of a vast concentration of regional and international advertising agencies, production companies and other related media organisations.

Al Gergawi also paid tribute to the contribution of General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, crown prince of Dubai and UAE minister of defence, whose vision it was to bring the best regional and international media institutions to Dubai. “By providing an ideal environment in which media can grow and coupling that with an openness which allows freedom of expression, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed wants Dubai Media City to become the region’s media centre and one which welcomes the reputation of migrant Arab media,” said Al Gergawi.

Al Hedithy explained that MBC was hoping to start broadcasting in the region by January 1 2002, but conceded that there was a lot of work to do in the mean time. “The industry has changed a lot in recent times, particularly with the digital age,” he said. “This is a good chance to start afresh and build new studios. This will be a complete revamp and relaunch of MBC.”

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