Dubai serves as a global destination for media companies and professionals, thanks to the support provided by Dubai Media City, Dubai Studio City and Dubai Production City, part of TECOM group. This media cluster offers a conducive environment for businesses to thrive and grow, with world-class infrastructure, facilities and services. We spoke to Majed Al Suwaidi, Senior Vice President of Dubai Media City, about some of the new initiatives and services that attract companies to its media ecosystems.
Tell us about some of the new initiatives that TECOM has put in place to attract media houses to its media cluster.
A good number of companies here today are part of one of our ecosystems, whether it’s Dubai Media City, Dubai Studio City or Dubai Production City. Our enduring mandate has been to attract companies from around the world to establish their businesses in Dubai. Initially, the challenge was to attract companies to Dubai but now, that’s no longer a concern. So, our focus has shifted to what companies who came here wanted. We have adapted to industry changes and developed infrastructure to support new entrants, offering services to simplify the set-up process and logistical details, allowing companies to concentrate on their core business.
Can you elaborate on some of the services you have offered to clients at TECOM?
Over the last two decades, we’ve been pioneers in simplifying company set-ups in the region. We’ve sat with a lot of companies and learned from our extensive interactions with them on what their concerns are and have tried to address them. Based on their feedback, we’ve refined our services and streamlined processes for swift set-ups. Our one-stop shop concept facilitates ease of operation, making it attractive for companies to collaborate with us. There are companies that still would need to fly in employees to Dubai for their business. That is a tedious task, but with Emirates flying to more than 200 destinations, I guess we have made it easier for people to fly in and fly out. Still, a lot of time is wasted in travel.
Tell us about some of the new media companies that have come on board in recent months.
One of the recent significant entrants to our space is Blinx. They have come with a very innovative concept and impressive content. In the last two years, 200 to 300 companies, including freelancers and startups, have joined us. We’re keen on fostering regional content creation for global distribution, recognising it as the next significant development across the GCC. We have seen some great content on Shahid, StarzPlay, OSN+ and so on. Content is the next big thing across the GCC, and we anticipate further developments that will add significant value to the entire media ecosystem.
I hear you do tours of your soundstages?
Indeed, the soundstages are the crown jewel of Dubai Studio City. For the content production market, it is quite impressive to see the filming facilities in the UAE, which many may not be aware of. Our soundstages give people the opportunity to create top-notch content, whether it is for long form or short form. These soundstages are one of the largest in the world, spanning more than 50,000sqft of filming space. The equipment and amenities we have are one of the best in the region. We organise tours often to Studio City and would be happy to do this for interested businesses.
What are the specific challenges that media companies have brought to your attention here in the UAE, and how have you tried to address them?
We act as mediators, impartially dealing with diverse challenges from different businesses that work with us. We try to ensure that your logistical environment is more conducive for you to be able to do business here. A lot of the benefit that Dubai Media City brings to the table today is its network and the opportunity to come together with industry peers and see if there is an opportunity for them to collaborate. What are the productions that you can work on together? How can you make bigger and more interesting productions for the world? We are here to help facilitate that.
I think the region is also going through a massive restructuring. The earlier stereotypes about our region are gradually being rectified with content that showcases the development and opportunities that we have here. The media cluster plays a major role in consolidating these aspects. The opportunities here are immense.
Our focus extends beyond logistics to offering legislative support as well, collaborating with legislators to create business-friendly environments and opening up new markets for exploration. We are very happy to sit down with clients and look at what they want and create a conducive environment for businesses to succeed as well as collaborate.