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In a first for the region’s publishing sector and the immigration industry, Gulf News’ brand-new content creation arm, agnc3 will launch Bayat: A Solemn Promise, a fictional four-part web series that explores issues faced by those choosing to migrate from the UAE to foreign lands.

Raising awareness

Produced in partnership with Bayat Legal Services, a UAE-based immigration and second citizenship by investment consultant, the four-part web series, to be launched on April 14, is an anthology that comes with a narrative based on true-life incidents faced by Bayat’s clients.

Launching on April 14

The immigration sector in the UAE is dynamic and evolved, but like all industries, it has its pros and cons. With the high number of potential migrants that the UAE sees every year, the scope to offer migration consultancy services is huge, but the chances of ordinary people being duped by unscrupulous immigration consultancies is high as well. In such a situation, the need for a credible voice within the immigration consultancy space to raise awareness on the sector is required, something that Bayat Legal Services seeks to accomplish through the exclusive web series.

This web series is certainly the first initiative of its kind in our area. These series project real situations, which will help viewers better understand our message, which is to be proactive in planning migration. The sad reality of my industry is the lack of regulation, leaving most migration agencies unchecked. Hopefully, after viewing our series, potential and future applicants can better plan and also select the right advisors.

- Sam Bayat, Founder and Owner, Bayat Legal Services

Using a professional cast and film crew, Bayat: A Solemn Promise was shot extensively over a two-week-long schedule across locations in Dubai. The four episodes look at the lives of four fictional UAE-based families hailing from different expat communities as they look to migrate, receiving requisite support from the Bayat team along the way.

Content, the new currency

Publishing houses globally are leveraging content as the new currency to create compelling narratives that strike a chord with audiences while helping sell brands and related services. Bayat: A Solemn Promise, the partnership between Bayat Legal Services and Gulf News’ agnc3, is a pioneering step in a similar direction, for the UAE and the region.

Sam Bayat, Founder and Owner, Bayat Legal Services agrees that the exclusive web series is a form of content that would help build awareness about the region’s immigration sector while drawing attention to pertinent issues that people wishing to migrate from the UAE would face. “It’s certainly the first initiative of its kind in our area. These series project real situations, which will help viewers better understand our message, which is to be proactive in planning migration,” says Bayat. “The sad reality of my industry is the lack of regulation, leaving most migration agencies unchecked.

"Hopefully, after viewing our series, potential and future applicants can better plan and also select the right advisors.”

David George, Publisher – agnc3, Gulf News, reads the potential in exploring web series and short films as a content vertical for publishing firms. “This is a significant departure from the regular advertising models of Gulf News, as we experiment with a whole new format that could possibly generate new business for the organisation.

“A decade or so ago there wasn’t a huge market for short films, but Vimeo, YouTube, IGTV, and streaming services have made short films more accessible than ever before. Publishers globally have turned to short form as a differentiator to help drive online success, and that is a sweet spot we want to be in. Working on the Bayat series is the first step in that direction for us.”

Bayat: A Solemn Promise launches on Gulfnews.com and agnc3’s newly launched YouTube channel on April 14. Watch the official trailer now!