Dubai woos big budget filmmakers

Just four years ago, when Dubai announced a free zone for the media, no one was sure who would come to this tiny emirate. Today, more than 160 channels are broadcast from the free zone alone and more private investors are seeking entry into the Media City.

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By  Vijaya Cherian Published  September 1, 2006

|~||~||~|Just four years ago, when Dubai announced a free zone for the media, no one was sure who would come to this tiny emirate. Today, more than 160 channels are broadcast from the free zone alone and more private investors are seeking entry into the Media City. But today, if you have to get an office there, you'll need to queue up. That is how successful Media City has been. Now, the emirate has come up with the idea for a second free zone to absorb the spillover and also accommodate some of the gaps that Dubai Media City has not been able to address. In fact, it is now seeking to create separate free zones to accommodate the broadcast and production sectors. Currently, there are only a couple of big studios in the United Arab Emirates. With the launch of Dubai Studio City, which will accommodate several studios, a state-of-the-art sound stage, as well as the talent, skills and services necessary to enable the production of big Hollywood and Bollywood films, Dubai will be attracting a whole new section of the production community that was thus far hesitant to come here. In fact, to give this zone a boost, the emirate is also in talks with a major Hollywood studio to produce one of its films here. If Studio City takes off, it will attract a whole new section of the vendor community to the emirate. So far, the focus has been on media asset management, automation and server systems, graphics solutions, consoles, lighting and so on. But now expect to see more vendors who are involved with the production aspect of films setting up a stronger base here. And this is only the beginning. Soon Dubai will have all the essentials to enable a successful working environment for the production community. ||**||

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