Dubai now hosts more than 70 broadcasters
March 5th, 2008

More than 70 broadcasters delivering more than 150 channels now operate in Dubai, an international broadcasting conference in the emirate was told yesterday. The broadcasters are based in the Dubai Media City and Dubai Studio City complexes in a tax-free zone established in 2001.

The Director of Dubai Studio City, Jamal Al Sharif, gave the figure in a keynote address at the opening of the Cabsat 2008 Broadcasting Conference. The two-day event is being held as part of the Cabsat 2008 exhibition, described as the Middle East’s largest electronic media and satellite communications show. The Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) is the conference’s co-organiser.

The ABU Technical Director, Sharad Sadhu, told the conference that audiences in West Asia were seeking more choices in content and the way it was delivered. It was essential that existing broadcasters reinvented themselves and were ready to face the future, he said.

Cabsat’s organisers say the demand for exhibitor space is up 30 percent from last year, reflecting a massive growth in the region’s broadcasting industry. According to a recent report by the Arab Advisors Group, the number of free-to-air satellite channels in the Arab world grew by 270 percent between January 2004 and August 2007, to an estimated figure of 370. There are also about 140 pay-TV channels.

(Source: Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union)