Dubai Studio City to woo broadcast crowd

Studio City takes space at IBC to attract international broadcast community to Dubai.

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Dubai Studio City will exhibit for the first time at IBC as part of its efforts to project the emirate as a hub for broadcasters and to woo international players to set up office in the emirate.

At the show, Studio City will also officially sign an agreement with EVS Global to mark the launch of the latter's Middle East operations in Dubai.

"Our aim is to attract the broadcast industry and the rest of the value chain such as the manufacturers, solution providers and systems integrators," explained Jamal Al Sharif, director of Dubai Studio City.

"IBC is a great platform for us to show the broadcast industry the benefits of operating out of Studio City, which has been designed specifically for them. We also have a tax-free policy and a politically stable government with a vision that is aimed at helping businesses grow."

Of the 18 boutique studios that have been built at Studio City under phase one of the project, 16 have already been booked.

"Seven clients are presently on site doing their fit out and as of October 1, 2007, they will be operational. By Q108, we expect to have a sound stage of 15,000 square feet ready, and another two studios of 25,000 square feet each are scheduled for completion in Q208. We already have a client that plans to hold weekly talk shows and will need this kind of space," confirmed Al Sharif.

He also revealed that Studio City would have an amphitheatre boasting an indoor seating capacity of 7,500 and outdoor of 10,000.

Many new channels are also scheduled to operate out of Dubai Studio City, including an educational channel called Mammoun TV and Wafrah TV.

Several broadcasters who are based in DMC are also looking to expand their operations into Studio City or open production facilities within the new site. "Aghani TV and Tadawul TV, for instance, have expansion plans," confirmed Al Sharif.

"We are also looking to attract new channels like lifestyle, family and sports channels to open their operations here."

Studio City is also seeking to boost Dubai as an ideal locale for film and TV production. The emirate has also seen a huge increase in the number of productions done here.

"Last year, our Location Approval Services (LAS) department processed 350 applications for productions in Dubai. This year, just between January and June, we have processed 400 applications for different clients who are doing Indian films, Western films, Arabic films and a lot of TV series as well. Dubai is growing and we have now built more space to accommodate this growth," added Al Sharif.

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