Noura Al Kaabi, CEO of twofour54, contributed to a panel discussion at the Women in Global Entertainment Power Lunch at MIPCOM, the leading international showcase for television and entertainment content. The top-level, invitation-only networking event which took place earlier this week was part of the MIPCOM 2013 content market taking place in Cannes, France.
Panellists participating in the discussion included Emily Mortimer, award-winning British actress and co-creator and writer of the series ‘Doll & Em’; Nancy Dubuc, President & CEO of A&E Networks; and Roma Khanna, MGM Television Group & Digital President. The discussion panel was moderated by The Hollywood Reporter’s Television Editor for the East Coast, Marisa Guthrie.
During the discussion which focused on MIPCOM 2013’s main theme, ‘the new golden age of television’, H.E. Noura Al Kaabi highlighted the growth of the media and entertainment industry in Abu Dhabi and also spoke about the role of Arab women in developing the media industry and enriching Arabic content.
Her Excellency’s audience heard that the golden future of television is linked to content creation and that content creators should leverage the increasing interactivity of the TV platform. Al Kaabi stressed the importance of developing locally relevant content that can compete with popular international formats.
Speaking specifically about the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) market, H.E. Noura Al Kaabi said:
“We might not be ‘Hollywood’ or ‘Bollywood’ yet, but we are open to different cultures and our media industry is growing rapidly. There are more than 300 million Arabic speakers eager for content that reflects Arab identity and culture and that matches the quality of content that can be found on international channels.”
Al Kaabi talked about twofour54’s role in developing and supporting talented Arabs by providing facilities, mentoring and expert guidance to help kick off careers.
Al Kaabi emphasized the importance to broadcasters and online content providers of offering customized content for different audiences particularly in light of the over-supply of content available online. She said that advertising must also change in a way that resonates with the needs of different audiences.
In that regard, Al Kaabi said:
“Google and Apple TV give audiences audio, video, and photo content, while Amazon and Netflix promise easy to use, high quality, smart and interactive TV. This revolutionary TV experience will take us to a whole new world.”
Her Excellency also highlighted twofour54’s efforts to develop the film industry in the UAE noting that there have been many high profile, big budget movies shot in the Emirates, with many more to come. She called on local talent to join the training programmes organized by twofour54, and tap into the support mechanisms available to them.
Speaking on the role of Arab women in the media industry, she indicated that although women have made much advancement, they still need to enter new sectors and take on new roles. The media industry is not just about standing in front of camera, rather there are many sectors in this dynamic industry which women can be involved in.