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Industry Profile

While Dubai has long been a regional hub for the advertising industry, beginning in 2001, it has put media in the spotlight as part of its policy to attract regional and international media players to the emirate. Since then, Dubai has overseen the creation of over ten media and technology zones, giving the city the region’s highest concentration of media and technology business parks.

These zones have created a lively media industry that includes:

  • More than 2,000 major media companies
  • 120 TV channels and broadcasters
  • 180 production houses
  • More than 20,000 media knowledge workers from over 120 countries.

Because of this, as well as the annual influx of leisure and business travelers, the large expatriate population from all over the world, and the biggest retail sector in the region, Dubai and the UAE punch above their weight in terms of advertising expenditure, coming second only to Saudi Arabia. Today, Dubai is the regional hub for the Middle East and North Africa’s advertising and broader marketing industry.

The number of productions for film, TV, still shoots and commercials shot in Dubai has grown exponentially over the past few years, with nearly 6,000 productions completed since 2005. These include a range of productions, from Hollywood blockbusters such as Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Syriana and The Kingdom; to Bollywood hits such as Do Not Disturb and Casanovva; the Chinese thriller Switch, and of course, the groundbreaking Emirati film City of Life.

As a result, Dubai enjoys the deepest and broadest pool of crew talent and service offerings in the region. This includes all phases of the production value chain, from talent and crews, to equipment rentals, production companies and post-production studios.