Is Dubai to become the hotbed of television and film production for the Middle East in the near future? It is quite possible.

If top-notch clients such as Pepsi, Cadillac, Nissan Patrol, Dubai 2003 and Siemens, regard the local industry as competent enough to produce their television commercials, then more is sure to follow.

On top of this the surge of local satellite television channels requiring tonnes and tonnes of original programming with local production support, has in itself given a sudden boost to the industry.

"Dubai Media City has done a splendid job of attracting international attention and international media brands," says Suresh Dinakaran, President, Network Production FC LLC.

"They can certainly also be credited for providing the right environment with the entire mix of media companies, be they broadcasters, publishers, production houses, event organizers, or advertising agencies."

"This apart, the foresight, talent, ability to innovate and the expertise of the locally established companies have gone a long way into establishing Dubai as a destination of substance for film and television production.

Until recently, most production work on advertising films use to find its way into markets such as India, Europe, South Africa, Egypt or Lebanon depending on film requirements and budgets available.

The obvious availability of talent, crew, equipment and facilities, coupled with expertise in executing high quality filming and post-production work, determines the final choice of country.

Though at this stage there are only a handful of production and post-production houses churning out internationally acceptable work in Dubai, Dinakaran stresses that the trend for improvement is encouraging.

With Dubai Media City's strong influence, local advertising agencies were always using and experimenting with the medium to telling effect.

Originally the lack of homogeneity in audience profile and demographics coupled with low penetration levels and small size of the market have made their case difficult.

But top drawer production houses have seen sense in recruiting the brightest of both technical and managerial talent globally which were blended with local expertise to produce products hitherto completely imported.

"Things are not exactly changing with the speed of light, but it is definitely happening. The indicators are strong enough to suggest that Dubai in a few years time, could happen to be the hotbed of television and film production for the region," says Dinakaran.