Middle East's broadcast industry set for further growth

You’d think the entertainment space was saturated given the spate of new channels that have burgeoned in the Middle East. You’d also think that at least the lack of space in Dubai Media City would act as a deterrent for some potential investors. But that’s not to be.

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By  Vijaya Cherian Published  May 3, 2006

|~||~||~|You’d think the entertainment space was saturated given the spate of new channels that have burgeoned in the Middle East. You’d also think that at least the lack of space in Dubai Media City would act as a deterrent for some potential investors. But that’s not to be. From a tiny boutique office in Dubai Media City, Al Aqariya has shown us how it can easily accommodate more than 100 staff members and operate three channels (we are told there will be more). Most TV stations that started with one channel are gradually considering expanding to more channels; sometimes in another language, sometimes, merely separating the topics they cover in their existing channel to make it more relevant to specific target audiences. Last year we saw a spate of music and entertainment channels coming up. And we thought that would be the end of it. But now we see a new set of investors coming in with other ideas. In the next couple of months, expect to see more news on the launch of channels that focus on business, IT, holiday and tourism, documentaries, children’s programmes and so on. We are also seeing a different breed of investors coming in; this time from other countries, such as Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Syria. These investors are looking at Dubai as a base from where they can broadcast programmes more freely to their respective home countries. From whichever angle you look, one thing is certain. The broadcast industry is still booming in the Middle East and Dubai seems to be at its forefront. ||**||

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