Dubai Studio City to open in 2006

In response to a growing demand for more studios and production infrastructure from both broadcasters as well as Bollywood and Hollywood filmmakers, DMC has announced the launch of Dubai Studio City.

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By  Vijaya Cherian Published  February 26, 2005

In response to a growing demand for more studios and production infrastructure from both broadcasters in Dubai as well as Bollywood and Hollywood filmmakers, Dubai Media City has announced the launch of Dubai Studio City. US $109 million will be invested in the first phase of the project, which will be headed by Dr. Amina Al Rustamani, director of Dubai Studio City. The infrastructure for the first phase of the project is scheduled for completion by the first quarter of 2006. “There has been considerable demand from broadcast and film production companies in DMC for more production facilities,” says Abdulhamid Juma, CEO of Dubai Media City. “Today, there are more than 120 channels operated by 40 broadcast companies, all of who are based in Dubai Media City. Currently, only 20% of their production work is done in Dubai. As much as 80% of these companies are looking to do their production in Dubai itself. Dubai Studio City is creating the infrastructure and capacity to cater to this demand,” he adds. The new free zone will be built within the Dubailand complex. It will offer a complete technical and community infrastructure for the film, TV and music production industry to flourish. It aims to include a large cluster of companies from across the industry value-chain. These will include production companies, support service providers offering production and post-production facilities, animation studios and services such as dubbing, makeup, costume designing, stage designing and building, casting agencies as well as telecine and lab facilities. Dubai Studio City will feature a Broadcast Centre housing offices and post-production studios and a Business Centre for freelancers. It will also have a Production Studio Complex that will accommodate pre-built studios, sound stages, workshops, backlots and stage areas. Companies can build their own studios and facilities in custom-sized plots in the free zone. The cluster will also house film and television schools as well as academies and companies providing location shooting, location management services and music recording services. Dubai Studio City will tap into the rapid growth of the film industry in Europe, the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent. Globally the film industry is estimated to grow from US $65 billion in 2003 to US $87.6 billion in 2005. The share of these regions will be US $22.6 billion. The Middle East region alone produced 115 films in 2003. Out of them, 76 came from Iran and 22 from Egypt. Speaking about the initiative, Dr. Rustamani promised that Studio City would provide the required support services to establish the industry. “Dubai Studio City will provide a single, fast-track window for applying for production permits and visas. Flexible labour laws will also ensure that the industry’s needs for part-time and temporary requirements are met,” she says. Studio City will provide the same benefits as all the free zones in Dubai. These include 100% tax exemption for 50 years and 100% ownership of business.

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