New Arabic media content creation zone in Abu Dhabi

October 13th, 2008 - 3:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Abu Dhabi, Oct 13 (IANS) A new Arabic media content creation zone, twofour54, has been unveiled here.Representing the geographical coordinates of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), twofour54 will be a centre of excellence for Arabic content creation that is internationally renowned, the official Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.

Crown prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan attended the launch of the initiative here Sunday.

The new zone has been launched with the aim of creating a new industry opportunity for the region by providing a collaborative and fully equipped centre that brings together local, regional and international companies ranging from film, broadcast, digital, publishing and music industries.

“The Abu Dhabi 2030 vision seeks to establish the Emirate as a regional centre for culture with a ‘global capital city’ as its hub,” Tony Orsten, chief executive of twofour54, said at the launch of the new initiative.

“An extremely important part of achieving this vision lies in creating a thriving international media industry which, to be successful, needs to be local at the same time,” he added.

According to Orsten, providing a collaborative campus where all types of media companies can work together will see Abu Dhabi become a centre for content creation and culture throughout the Middle East.

The new zone has already attracted several of the largest and most influential content creation companies of the world, including CNN, BBC, Random House, Harper Collins, Rotana Studios, Financial Times, Abu Dhabi Media Company, C Sky Pictures and the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The media zone is built around four pillars - twofour54 tadreeb, twofour54 ibtikar, twofour54 intaj and twofour54 tawasol - located within a campus style environment.

twofour54 tadreeb will be the region’s premier vocational training academy, targeting young Arabs and graduates considering a career in the media industry. It will also provide existing media and entertainment professionals with opportunities to develop skills across a comprehensive range of media and content industry disciplines.

twofour54 ibtikar will provide innovation support and funding for new, local businesses and promising creative ideas across print, online, mobile and television platforms in the Middle East and North Africa.

This fund will not only provide financial support but also practical advice and input from industry experts and specialists to guide initiatives to successful fruition.

twofour54 intaj will focus on supplying state-of-the-art production and post-production facilities, media asset management, broadcast and technical support services for use within twofour54. It equips companies with all of the latest communications technology required, including playout, uplink and downlink services.

Finally, twofour54 tawasol will provide a one-stop-shop facility to support the relocation and establishment of content organisations, making it simple for local, regional and international companies to move into twofour54.

According to a global study by PWC (Global Entertainment and Media Outlook Report 2008-2012), the Middle East media market is forecast to expand at double-digit annual rates over the next five years, much above the average of 6.6 percent predicted growth across the rest of the world.

“The market opportunity is substantial by any measure, but the industry needs more than just a location - it needs a cohesive environment that supports education, investment, collaboration and creative partnerships,” Wayne Borg, chief operating officer of twofour54, said.

“twofour54 places media right at the heart of the Arab world and offers the tools and infrastructure for driving international-standard quality and success,” he added.

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