Discovery Networks Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEEMEA), a division of Discovery Communications, the world’s number one pay-TV programmer, has announced the relocation of its Middle East and North Africa headquarters to Dubai Studio City (DSC), in order to support the growth of its operations in the region.
TV giant Discovery expanded its operations in the Middle East in 2012 with its acquisition of Dubai-based media company Takhayal Entertainment and its affiliated companies in Dubai and Egypt, including Fatafeat, the number one food network in the Middle East. This was a targeted step by the network to further extend its reach in the growing Middle East and North African television and production market. Previously based in Dubai Media City, its new office will be the company’s base in the Middle East, covering channel and brand management, production, digital and print publishing; distribution and airtime sales.
Jamal Al Sharif, Managing Director, Dubai Studio City, commented, “Discovery’s move to DSC reaffirms Dubai’s status as a leading production destination, where cutting-edge content is being produced. DSC is home to leading local, regional and international media and production companies, and Discovery’s relocation to DSC is testament to the world-class infrastructure and facilities on offer. I am confident that Discovery will continue to expand and champion the region’s production industry, and delighted that they have selected DSC to become their new home.”
James Gibbons, SVP & Country Manager, Emerging Business, Discovery Networks CEEMEA, said, “We are thrilled to be setting up our new office in Dubai Studio City. Since we welcomed Takhayal Entertainment and its affiliated companies into the Discovery family, our focus on the region has increased and we needed a suitable office space to accommodate the growth we have experienced. Our new premises will be Discovery’s base in the Middle East and provide a new home for the Fatafeat team as well as Discovery colleagues visiting from the CEEMEA region, of which the Middle East is a part, and also around the world.”
Dubai Studio City aims to establish Dubai as the region’s epicentre for the production, broadcast and content creation industries, and is home to top-quality infrastructure built on international standards. DSC is also home to world-class Sound Stages, the first of their kind in the region, which have been specifically designed to meet the increasingly sophisticated needs of the high growth entertainment industry, and offer a one-stop shop for production companies.
There are currently three completed Sound Stages, the first is 15,000 sq. ft. and currently plays host to MBC, and Sound Stages two and three are 25,000 sq. ft. each, joined by a 30m wide elephant door. The Sound Stages are equipped with the latest technology and features including workshops, indoor underwater tanks, green screens, visual backlot and home to the latest production and post-production facilities. Dubai has played an active role in trying to attract productions from around the world, and in 2012, created the Dubai TV and Film Commission (DFTC), which strives to establish Dubai and the UAE as the premier filming destination for local and international productions.
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Alexa Hooft Graafland