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MIDDLE EAST
NEWS 03
30 November 2008
Film grants
Healthcare titles laid to rest
for studios
The UAE’s biggest publisher axes two magazines due to “prevailing market conditions”
Talks underway for a national By CHARLIE NEYRA/News writer
UAE body that will regulate
DUBAI ITP Publishing Group is to axe two of
incentives for directors
its healthcare titles, Middle East Dentist and
Medical Times in January.
The publisher’s spokesman tells Media Week
By BEN FLANAGAN/Contributing editor
the company is “refining its portfolio of B2B
DUBAI High-level talks are underway to
titles to focus resources on market opportunities
create a national film commission that will
it feels are appropriate in the prevailing market
regulate financial incentives for international
conditions”. A source close to ITP says the
studios looking to make feature films in
healthcare division has not made money since
the UAE.
the beginning of the year.
Industry insiders claim the government-
The move comes at a time of uncertainty in
endorsed initiative will regulate all aspects
the local media industry. DCCI Printing and
of film production, including logistics,
Publishing Group chairman Ahmad Bin Al
permissions, and incentives.
Shaikh recently told Gulf News that the regional
“There are a number of talks going on at
media sector can expect job losses and the
the moment surrounding the formation of
closing of smaller print and publishing outfits
a national film commission. As it stands,
in the next few months.
incentives are granted on a film-by-film basis.
ITP’s cull may be a small part of its 80+ range
But there needs to be a national body to attract
of titles, making it far from a “smaller print and until two weeks
more people out here,” says a well-placed
publishing outfit”, but it appears timely following Al Shaikh’s ago, will remainain
executive, requesting anonymity.
comments. The industry has been hit by a drop in property at the company as deputy editor of as deputy editorof
“However, they’ve been having similar
advertising; The National has reported a 35 per cent drop in ad Arabian Business starting in mid-December. Andrew White
discussions for the last five years. And
spend over recent weeks. Other UAE magazine culls are likely has been promoted to editor of Arabian Business following
it’s always ‘let’s do it next year’,” the
to prove Al Shaikh’s forecast of a “clean-up” as insightful. the resignation of Sean Cronin, as reported in last week’s
source adds.
Joanne Bladd, who led ITP’s shrinking healthcare division Media Week.
Other industry executives contacted by
Media Week claim the talks are now gaining
momentum, and that a film commission
could be approved as early as next spring and
THE BIG PICTURE
in place by the second half of 2009.
Film commissions are a common means by
which incentives are granted to studios, and THE FIRST STOP TO HANDBAGS
are generally formed as an acknowledgement
AT DAWN?
of the fact that film production can act to
Is there any limit to the UAE
benefit the economy as a whole.
Challenge—aka Dubai versus Abu
Under the current system in the UAE,
Dhabi? It seems not, if the subject
incentives are granted on an individual
of the next instalment of intense
basis, with no set guidelines for studios
competitiveness—bus stops, yes, bus
to consult.
stops—is anything to go by.
Dr Amina Al Rostamani, executive director
There’s nothing wrong with a bit of
of Media at Tecom Investments, tells Media
fraternal one-upmanship, but fast on
Week that “something internal under Tecom”
the heels of Dubai’s air-conditioned
is underway, but will not confirm that a
uber shelters, comes the Abu Dhabi
commission covering the entire UAE was on
version. In a development that smacks
the table.
of “whatever you can do I can do
better—even if that means beating you
at the science fair”, then Abu Dhabi has
entered the gymnasium and submitted
its response.
This prototype bus stop features
an air-conditioned environment and
round-the-clock information monitors
to update passengers on relevant and
important information. It will be joined
by 549 others throughout the city, due to
enter service over the summer of 2009.
Media Week wonders if they will include
detailed information on how we totally,
like, beat Dubai, didn’t we, yeah?
www.mediaweekme.com
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