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Tue 17 Nov 2009 04:00 AM

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Abu Dhabi activates content production

A new TV and broadcast show will be hosted in Abu Dhabi next month. Many industry figures have been calling us to find out what it’s all about.

A new TV and broadcast show will be hosted in Abu Dhabi next month. Many industry figures have been calling us to find out what it’s all about.

“Why do we need two shows in a country that’s so tiny anyway?” most protest.

Several manufacturers and distributors are wary of having to expand their marketing budgets during a recession to accommodate one more show in the region. Others fear being at a disadvantage if their competition is exhibiting at a show at which they are not.

The question, therefore, on everybody’s lips is why does Abu Dhabi need another show like CABSAT or another international film festival when there is one just 100 kms down the road.

Besides the obvious reasons of the UAE capital sparing no money and effort this last year to drum up publicity for itself and wanting to be perceived as a regional media hub, I believe the new event is likely to complement what we already have in the region rather than compete with it.

No doubt CABSAT is presently the Middle East’s largest broadcast exhibition and an established show that has proved its worth in the last few years. Dubai will continue to be the bold innovator, ready to take risks and seek new avenues for growth thanks to the vision of the emirate’s ruler, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

However, the Middle East Broadcast Solutions (MEBS) and the Middle East TV shows in Abu Dhabi are seeking to bring something more to the region as a whole. Surely, there will be synergies. MEBS will follow along the same lines as CABSAT and seek to woo the same technology suppliers.

However, METV is looking to bring something more to the table. It wouldn’t be wrong to conjecture that Nexus, the show organiser, is seeking to create a mini MIPCOM in the region. Dubai has already ventured in this direction on a smaller scale with the Dubai Film Market, which runs alongside the Dubai International Film Festival every year.

However, Abu Dhabi will seek to widen the scope of such an event by including exhibitors, speakers from international studios and the like to ensure that it provides a common platform for creating, co-producing, buying, selling, financing and distributing entertainment content across all platforms.

At some point, the UAE capital also hopes that all the other initiatives it has put in place such as the Abu Dhabi Film Commission, twofour54 and its partnerships with international players to encourage the production of Arabic content will bear fruit. This will, in turn, help not just Abu Dhabi but the UAE as a whole to become an active player in the content production and distribution chain.

The objective is noble. We say, Go Abu Dhabi!

Vijaya Cherian is the editor of Digital Studio.

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