TwoFour54 has introduced a raft of measures aimed at supporting the media sector through the Covid-19 pandemic, including ensuring the continuity of nearly $100 million (AED 367 million) worth of productions.
Home to more than 4,000 media professionals and 550 media companies. This strategic support includes rent relief initiatives for more than 115 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to date.
TwoFour54’s measures for film and TV production is also creating business opportunities for other media firms that support these projects, as well as freelancers’ licenses, which grew by 75% in Q1 2020 compared to the same period last year.
Michael Garin, CEO of TwoFour54 Abu Dhabi, said: “TwoFour54’s business agility, backed by close coordination with ADQ, our holding company, the Abu Dhabi Government has enabled the continuation of a significant volume of productions that are not only driving the local media sector, but also maintaining Abu Dhabi’s position as a magnet for regional and global productions.”
Katrina Anderson, director of commercial services of TwoFour54 Abu Dhabi added: “The pandemic has really demonstrated the UAE’s ability to protect people and businesses. It has shown that the country is a safe and stable haven not just within the region but even compared with more developed nations.
“Supporting our community has always been our top priority at TwoFour54, and SMEs are at the heart of our support efforts. We are working tirelessly to provide the services and facilities, whether physical or digital, they need to navigate these unprecedented times and come out the other side even more creative and resilient. We want them to succeed in withstanding economic challenges and to continue producing high quality content that keeps the UAE public informed, educated and entertained.”
While media firms continue to operate, TwoFour54 is adapting its talent development and partner support initiatives to provide enriching virtual experiences and services for its community to develop their business during this time.
This includes a series of webinars and virtual workshops with industry experts on a range of topics including guidance on labour laws, the new economic substance regulations and how to creatively look to the future. The TwoFour54 team assisted in providing references for the freelancers and SME’s eligible for the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge development subsidy programme and consulted with key business groups, including the British Business council, to find the best ways for partners to navigate their business pressures and to help them support their employees.
TwoFour54, working closely with the Government of Abu Dhabi, has developed a blueprint that allows production companies to continue to shoot and edit in the Emirate despite the challenges presented by the pandemic.
The freezone authority has reiterated that the media industry is among those sectors deemed an essential services provider by the government and has, therefore, been exempted from movement restrictions, provided organisations and individuals follow all necessary precautionary measures.
As a result, TwoFour54, working with Abu Dhabi Film Commission, the National Media Council and the Government of Abu Dhabi, has ensured that production continues safely on $100 million worth of projects.
This includes MBC Studios, TwoFour54 and Image Nation Abu Dhabi’s co-production Inheritance, the Arab World’s first soap opera.
The soap opera explores Saudi Arabia’s social, economic, and cultural aspects within a dramatic family setting and has been one of only a few international soaps that has been able to continue production during the global pandemic.