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Dubai's media cluster attracts more global players, but faces growing competition

(Xinhua)

10:39, February 16, 2012

DUBAI, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- Dubai's state-owned media free zone lured 284 new companies last year and aims to expand further in 2012, but Abu Dhabi and Bahrain have set up their own regional media centers and aim to rival Dubai.

Dubai's media free zone, which consists of Dubai Media City ( DMC), Dubai Studio City (DSC) and International Media Production Zone (IMPZ), managed to attract 284 companies in 2011, Mohamed Abdullah, managing director of Dubai's state-owned TECOM Investments Media, said Wednesday at TECOM's annual media conference.

The media zone hosts some 1,800 registered firms which employ a total of 18,000 professionals such as journalists, media consultants, producers, cameramen, web designers and actors. Thanks to the TECOM Investments Media cluster, Dubai has the highest media concentration in the Middle East.

Speaking about the developments in the cluster, Abdullah mentioned a new wave of interest from Eastern firms to set up offices in Dubai. "We are proud that CCTV from China established its regional headquarter in Dubai Media City last year, when we celebrated DMC's 10th anniversary."

Abdullah added that for DMC, China will remain a media market to watch. "In 2010, the total spending on media in China reached 860 billion U.S. dollars, the fourth largest amount in a country worldwide, and the growth rate is expected to remain at double- digit levels in the next five years."

Other firms that expanded to Dubai's media cluster last year included Sony Pictures or Freemantle Media.

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