Tony Orsten, chief executive of twofour54 (left) with twofour54 COO Wayne Borg (centre) and Charisma chief executive and founder Ayman Al Zyoud during deliberations in Abu Dhabi. Image Credit: Supplied

Cannes: Leading independent Arab production house Charisma has chosen Abu Dhabi as its new production base in the Gulf.

A leading producer of commissioned content in the region, Charisma produces more than 1,200 hours of television programmes a year.

With this move to base itself at media group twofour54, Charisma says it will have the opportunity to create dynamic new programming, using state-of-the-art production, post-production and broadcast facilities available at twofour54 intaj.

The move was announced at the MIPCOM entertainment content market in Cannes, France.

Charisma Gulf says it plans to produce, in the first three years of operation, close to 4,000 hours of quality scripted and non-scripted programmes, entertainment shows and documentaries by uncovering cultural insights that shape viewers' expectations.

It says the operation will create new job opportunities, forecast at more than 70 for the first year alone and, in line with established practice, largely including the recruitment and training of local talent.

It is also planning to approach regional drama with international production standards to "cater to an increasingly demanding audience in the GCC and broader Mena markets".

The GCC headquarters will also offer media management services to TV channels, from market analysis to 360 use of their content.

Ayman Al Zyoud, chief executive and founder of Charisma, said: "The GCC market has always been of great importance to us, and our focus on insightful content makes it only logical for us to expand our operations within the Gulf.

Cultural relevance

"It's this shared vision of cultural relevance and original content, along with their infrastructure and production facilities that made us choose twofour54 among the many options that were available."

Wayne Borg, twofour54's chief operating officer said: "Charisma's commitment to Abu Dhabi is a vindication of our vision to create a sustainable content creation community. I'm delighted that Charisma will be a totally integrated partner in our community, which is developing local and regional Arab talent through training and investment and providing production facilities second to none in the region."

He said that by the end of 2010 twofour54 was expected to be home to more than 100 regional and international partners developing quality media content from its Khalifa Park campus.

Tony Orsten, twofour54's chief executive, said: "We launched twofour54 intaj's production, post-production and broadcast facilities at the end of 2009 and have since booked more than 500 production days to produce close to 1000 hours of TV programming.