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Sun 20 Jul 2014 08:55 AM

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Dubai One confirms production shutdown

“No administrative decision” on layoffs, claims DMI official, “relaunch” to take place in September

Dubai One confirms production shutdown

Dubai One,
the English-language television station run by Dubai Media Incorporated (DMI),
has confirmed that it will close down its local content production and will relaunch later this year with syndicated content.

Arabian
Business reported last Thursday that the channel would stop showing locally
produced shows, and that 80 percent of its staff would be laid off.

Dubai One
announced via Twitter on Friday that “our in-house produced shows won’t be
returning next season”, while the CEO of television and radio at DMI claimed
via a statement that no decision had yet been taken about laying off employees.

The
statement said that the changes at Dubai One were “a chore routine work that
occurs in all TV channels…[and]  a general review of our programs and
media content broadcast around the clock”. 

Dubai One will be “relaunched” on 14 September, Sarah Ahmed Al Jarman, the
channel’s general manager, said.

"With
the beginning of a new season Dubai One will be refocusing its strategy on
bringing our audience exclusive and first run movies primarily accompanied by a
diverse selection of international award winning dramas. Prime time will
concentrate on strengthening and specialising in quality entertainment
programming as always with a variety of new shows.”

Sources
told Arabian Business last week that the remaining staff at the station would
be transferred onto Arabic-language channels, but that an official announcement
was not expected until after Eid.

The channel
is designed to cater to an English-speaking audience in the UAE and the Arab
world, with a mixture of locally produced and syndicated content.

Among the
shows that will axed are business news show Emirates 24/7, daytime chat show
Studio One and entertainment programme Out and About.  

Founded in
2003, DMI is owned by the Dubai government. Aside from Dubai One, it runs seven
Arabic-language television channels, covering news, sport and lifestyle. 
It also manages a series of newspapers, including Al Bayan, Emarat Al Youm and
the English-language Emirates 24/7 news website.