Abu Dhabi-based twofour54 will offer an outdoor film set, a permanent backlot and studios for productions of different sizes, said the CEO of Media Zone Authority – Abu Dhabi and twofour54.
The media company’s Studio City at Mina Zayed will cover 300,000 sq m and studios ranging from 1,000 to 4,000 sq m, as well as smaller studios, will cater to Abu Dhabi’s local production companies, Maryam Eid AlMheiri added.
“This is an important milestone for Abu Dhabi and the development of the film and TV industry in the region. Since twofour54 was established almost a decade ago, we have strived to become the capital of quality content creation and to contribute to Abu Dhabi’s economic diversification strategy.
“Today, Abu Dhabi is a filming destination that has attracted some of the largest studios in the world, such as Disney with Star Wars and Universal Pictures with the Fast & Furious franchise, as well as blockbusters from Bollywood such as ‘Dishoom’, ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’, ‘Baby’ and ‘Bang Bang’,” she added.
The development, which has been approved by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, is part of a regeneration project that will transform Mina Zayed warehouses into creative production spaces.
News of twofour54’s Studio City at Mina Zayed comes as the media zone is preparing to move to a new home on Yas Island. This will increase the capacity of twofour54 by 30 per cent from 2020 with the option to expand even further by 2030. The built-for-purpose home will feature state-of-the-art offices, TV studios, retail spaces, and recreation facilities, all designed to give partners, current and future, more reasons to grow and thrive in Abu Dhabi.
The latest announcement underlines the continued growth of the Abu Dhabi media industry. twofour54 has overseen more than 390 production projects and 177 post-production projects since its establishment.
twofour54 facilitates a unique and vibrant creative ecosystem, which, today, more than 460 media companies and almost 650 freelancers call home, with a mixture of international brands including CNN, Fox, and Ubisoft, working alongside local and regional companies such as Lamsa, Image Nation and Flash Entertainment. twofour54 also engages with an active youth base of 13,000 while over 4,000 media professionals work across the zone.
As Media Zone Authority – Abu Dhabi and twofour54 enter their 10th year, the move to Yas Island and development of Studio City at Mina Zayed form key parts of Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 to build a thriving and sustainable media industry that acts as an economic driver of a diversified economy.
Abu Dhabi is recognised by producers from around the world for the geographical advantages it presents at the crossroads of Asia, Africa and the Middle East and more than 700 diverse locations to choose from. In 2013, Abu Dhabi Film Commission, a subsidiary of Media Zone Authority – Abu Dhabi, launched the region’s first production cash rebate and more than 55 Hollywood, Bollywood, and Arabic productions have already accessed the generous 30% rebate.
These productions have contributed to Abu Dhabi’s economy. The direct impact is seen through the return on investment, as it has been estimated that for every Dh1 incentive paid out, more than Dh3 is returned to the Abu Dhabi economy through expenditure such as hotels, airlines, catering and logistics.
The indirect impact includes a significant tourism boost as more than one billion people globally have seen Abu Dhabi as a consequence of the productions made in the Emirate.
Film and TV production in Abu Dhabi is also driving talent development and private sector job creation, attracting more and more of the country’s talented youth to the industry and paving the way for a thriving, sustainable media sector in the future. – TradeArabia News Service