Systems integrator Media Group International (MGI) built a full radio station for the Children's Media Network (CMN), the company that launched the UAE’s first dedicated children's radio station, PearlFM.
The project, which took MGI three weeks to complete, involved designing and installing two radio studios and a back-up studio that doubles up as a production facility when not required for live broadcasts. MGI also installed server rooms which can store broadcast material for up to 60 days.
John Aslett, managing director of MGI, said: “This was an incredibly exciting project to be involved with because we were helping CMN make history. There has never been a dedicated children's radio station in the Middle East and we are very proud to have played a key role in making this happen.”
Based in Dubai, CMN is committed to establishing a multimedia platform related to children. The company also aims to provide a support network for parents as well as a number of local and international family events.
The initial idea for CMN came about 20 years ago when founding partner Jeff Price was working with Great Ormond Street Hospital Radio in the UK. This life-changing experience inspired Price to join forces with Nick Watson, who champions children’s health awareness campaigns in the UAE.
Earlier this year CMN was appointed to launch and manage PearlFM, an English and Arabic language radio station specifically for children and their families. The station will play a significant role in reflecting the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum to provide a cultural space in Dubai dedicated to enriching the lives of children through a wide range of cultural learning and artistic programmes.
The equipment chosen for the new station includes Clyde Broadcast Synergy Master Control systems that have been installed in all of the studios. These are complimented by RCS play out systems; microphones from Clyde Broadcast, Shure and Beyerdynamic; Sonifex delay units and a range of production and control software from various manufacturers.
PearlFM launched in October 2014 with a live broadcast from the Al Jalila Cultural Centre for Children in Dubai. Catering for children up to the age of 12, the station will present a wide variety of interactive radio programmes that combine music with discussion topics. It will also give school children the opportunity to get creative by taking over the airwaves and presenting their own shows. PearlFM will also provide a support network for parents who can phone in during talk shows or simply listen to experts discussing a range of topics covering health, wellbeing, education and current affairs.
Once PearlFM is established, CMN plans to launch a sister station, LuluFM - the first all Arabic radio station for children. Ultimately, CMN plans to expand within the Middle East, Europe and Asia by developing its Radio, Television and online brands.