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Satellite TV channel to relocate from London to Dubai
Dubai,21th March 2001

    The prominent Middle East Broadcasting Center, MBC satellite channel, will relocate its headquarters from London to the Dubai Media City early next year. The announcement was made yesterday by Ali Hedithy, MBC CEO and Mohammed Al Gergawi, director-general of Dubai Technology, E-commerce and Media Free Zone and chairman of the Dubai Media City. Yesterday, MBC and Dubai Media City signed an agreement under which the channel will finalize the relocation.

  "The process will soon begin to relocate the headquarters of MBC from London and the move should be completed by the end of 2001. We are targeting to be on the air from Dubai on January 1, 2002," Hedithy said. MBC's new headquarters will house the administrative and operational activities in a six-story building with over 120,000 square feet of office space. MBC will retain a representative office in London, and its new production studios in Beirut will also remain.

  "The Dubai headquarters will have programs and news studios. The Dubai Media City expansion plans entail setting up drama production studios for rental. We can utilize those, if needed, in the future," Hedithy said. He denied that the channel will downsize its newsroom and stressed that the channels' open editorial policy will remain unchanged. "We have the guarantee to freely express. We will enjoy the same editorial advantages as in London."

  "MBC is a realistic and credible channel. It has no problems and has the freedom of expression," Gergawi said. He refused to reveal MBC's costs involved in the relocation. Hedithy stressed that the move will enable the channel to focus more on business coverage. Gergawi said the Dubai Media City was now able to offer the competitive advantages that prompted the broadcaster's move to London ten years ago.

  "MBC's move is a milestone in the evolution of the Arab media industry. This step contributes to the repatriation of migrant Arab media by providing the means for creativity and freedom of expression to present a comprehensive Arab media message on regional and global changes," Gergawi said.

  "We are proud the decision was taken at a time MBC is implementing ambitious expansion plans. "Gergawi said MBC will move closer to its target audience and enjoy Dubai's supportive advantages of being a major business, finance and services hub. MBC will also benefit from operating in the midst of a vast concentration of regional and international advertising agencies, production companies and other related media organisations.

Related Link's -

Dubai Media City

Source: Gulf News

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22 March 2001 06:30:15 PM

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