Dubai: The Arab Information Ministers Council Wednesday named Dubai as the Capital of Arab Media for 2020.
The announcement was made at the Council’s 50th meeting in Cairo, Dubai Media Office has tweeted.
“The 50th meeting of the Arab Information Ministers Council announces #Dubai as the capital of Arab media for 2020,” the tweet read.
Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, welcomed the decision. “We welcome the selection of Dubai as the Capital of Arab Media for 2020 by the Council of Arab Ministers of Information in Cairo. Choosing Dubai is a new evidence of the leading role of the UAE and Dubai as a hub for Arab and international media,” he wrote on his Twitter account.
Media outlets are not mere channels to cover events and disseminate information. Media is a partner in achieving development goals, setting their direction and driving their impact. It is a role that comes with great responsibility.
“20 years ago, Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched Dubai’s media strategy that aimed to position it a media hub through pioneering initiatives and projects. Today, Dubai is home to more than 4,000 Arab, regional and international media organisations,” he added.
The Council’s decision confirms the UAE’s role in supporting Arab and international media and further recognises Dubai’s prominent media stature, WAM reported.
Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, said that the selection of Dubai as the capital of Arab Media is a tribute to the vision of the Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, which he articulated when laying the foundation for a media hub in the emirate 20 years ago.
“Shaikh Mohammad tasked us with establishing Dubai Media City and Dubai Internet City as he realised at an early stage that these two sectors will merge in a decade or two. Today, the region is at the forefront of content creation regionally with more than 4,000 media companies,” Al Gergawi said.
“His Highness entrusted Emirati youth with the task of launching a new media sector, and extended his support to all media projects. Dubai’s ability to create new sectors and lead the implementation of new ideas has made it a model for many countries,” he added.
Al Gergawi also said that the selection of Dubai as the capital of Arab media is a major achievement for the UAE, and places more responsibility on all professionals in the media sector to accelerate the country’s development journey. “Today, media is a major engine of development and a tool for positive change. It is also a key driver of the soft diplomacy of any country that seeks to advance its global status.”
Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber, Minister of State and Chairman of the National Media Council, NMC, said: “We congratulate President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, on the announcement of Dubai as the Capital of Arab Media 2020.”
20 years ago, Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched Dubai’s media strategy that aimed to position it a media centre through pioneering initiatives ... Today, Dubai is home to more than 4,000 Arab, regional and international media organisations.
The Minister of State said the naming of Dubai as the Capital of Arab Media 2020 coincides with the UAE’s hosting of Expo 2020 Dubai, under the theme, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, which is expected to welcome 30 million visitors. “We are keen to cooperate with the Arab League, radio stations in Arab countries, Arab journalists, writers and poetry organisations, as well as the Gulf Cooperation Council, GCC, TV and Joint Production Foundation,” Sultan Al Jaber affirmed.
The UAE plays a pivotal role in the media sector and supports ambitious media projects and initiatives via its openness to other cultures and societies, as well as promoting the values of moderation and tolerance, and combating terrorism and extremism, he added.
Mona Ghanem Al Marri, Director General of Dubai Government Media Office, said the Arab recognition, which is clearly exemplified in the decision issued by the Council of Arab Information Ministers in naming Dubai the Capital of Arab Media, truly reflects the clear positive imprint Dubai has left on the Arab media arena.
“It highlights the story of success attainted by the emirate during the past two decades, in line with the directives of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who emphasised in more than one occasion and at his several meetings with media persons that the media is a key partner in the drive of development and progress in our Arab world,” she said.
Abdul Hamid Ahmad, Editor-in-Chief of Gulf News and Executive Director Publications, said: “This is well deserved by Dubai because Dubai has got many achievements in media, being the first in the Arab world to understand the role and power of the media and how media can play a role in changing lives of people in the Arab world.
That is why Shaikh Mohammad pushed for, 20 years ago, to set up many things — Dubai Media City, Dubai Internet City, Studio City and so on, which attracted media from the Arab world and across the world. He also empowered and encouraged the local media to do their role without fear. For example, he ordered that journalists should not be sentenced for doing their job. Even the government has been raising the bar in media. Dubai government, which is represented by Dubai Media Office, is always transparent and they come out and issue clear statements whenever there is something big happening in Dubai.”
Since 1999, Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid has promoted Dubai Media Strategy through pioneering Arab and international projects such as Dubai Media City, the establishment of the Dubai Press Club, the Arab Media Forum, the Arab Journalism Award and the Arab Social Leaders Summit. Dubai Studio City, home to about 300 of the world’s largest television and film production sites, and Dubai Production City, (formerly known as International Media Production Zone), and home to the world’s largest production companies, are among the pioneering projects that have established Dubai as a media hub.
Expensive ‘tech district’
Dubai Media City has been a regional hub for international, regional and local media organisations including news agencies, publishing, online media, advertising, production, and broadcast facilities for the past two decades. According to a Gulf News report, Dubai Media City has emerged as among the most expensive “tech districts” in the world.
According to the ‘Global Cities’ report from Knight Frank in 2017, Dubai Media City ranked 13th with a prime average rent of $43.55 per square foot and behind the likes of New York’s Brooklyn and Seattle’s South Lake Union precinct.
Arab Media Forum
Dubai hosted the 18th edition of the Arab Media Forum in March this year under the theme ‘Arab Media: From Now to the Future’. The two-day forum featured morea than 75 speakers and 200 prominent media figures representing more than 20 countries from across the Arab region and the world.
The high-profile event was organised by the Dubai Press Club to explore new trends that have contributed to the advancement of the industry, in addition to showcasing new technologies that will play a key role in the global development of the industry.
Media Zones in Dubai
Dubai Media City: Since its launch in 2001, Dubai Media City (DMC) has rapidly emerged as a global media hub, providing an advanced infrastructure and supportive environment for media-related businesses to operate in and out of Dubai. It provides an advanced infrastructure and supportive environment for media-related businesses to operate globally out of Dubai. DMC is a place where various media businesses can operate jointly, including media and marketing services, printing and publishing, music, film, new media, leisure and entertainment, broadcasting and information agencies. The DMC community includes global media giants such as Reuters, CNN, CNBC, MBC, Sony and Showtime. Dubai Media City has also set up Media Business Centers to promote talent and entrepreneurship in the region. These unique facilities are targeted at freelancers and independent media professionals. Key sectors from which businesses can apply for the DMC free zone include advertising and communication, media consultancy, new media, event management and media and marketing services.
Dubai Studio City: Launched in 2005, Dubai Studio City (DSC) is a global business community that provides cutting-edge facilities and services to companies across the broadcasting, film production, TV, music, and entertainment sectors. It provides an all-in-one solution to facilitate an easy, efficient and innovative production process. It meets worldwide creative needs by offering outstanding production services, the largest sound stages in the region, backlots, sets, water tanks, production offices, recording studios and offices. Designed to accelerate the expansion of the film and broadcasting industry and spread across 22 million square feet, its ultimate ambition is to become a Hollywood type of service provider.
Dubai Production City: Formerly known as International Media Production Zone (IMPZ), Dubai Production City is a free zone and freehold area that caters to media production companies in the emirate. It is spread over an area of 43 million square feet on Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road. It is a leading business hub enabling the global and local publishing, printing and packaging industries to excel. Home to qualified business professionals from around the globe, Dubai Production City is a holistic community offering business, retail and residential lifestyle. It was launched in 2003 as the first dedicated community aiming to advance the development of the production industry in the region. DPC benefits from free zone privileges and regulations that facilitate the ease of business and operations, a unique and vibrant community supporting and fostering the growth of media production.