YouTube launches Arab world’s first creative content creation space

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YouTube's Dubai Space launches in Dubai Studio City. (YouTube)
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Once entering, you are greeted by a floor to ceiling abstract mural of Arabian stallions, camels and shisha-smokers. (YouTube)
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YouTube's Dubai Space comes with state-of-the-art studios and equipment. (YouTube)
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YouTube's Space also has an area where creators can get together, eat and socialize. (YouTube)
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Top Arab world YouTube creators speak at the press conference. From Left to Right: Iraqi Dubai-based YouTube creator Lowi Sahi, Sudanese Dubai-based YouTube creator Maha Jaafar, Iraqi US-based YouTube Creator Noor Stars, Bahraini YouTube Creator Omar Farooq. (YouTube)
Updated 26 June 2018
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YouTube launches Arab world’s first creative content creation space

DUBAI: Deep in Dubai’s desert dunes on the outskirts of the vast sprawling city, inside an unassuming, warehouse-like building, the world’s largest video-sharing website has created a high-tech, state-of-the-art space that it says will cater to the Arab world’s biggest and brightest vloggers.
After walking along a red carpet lined by bright, green plastic grass — and a surprisingly small reception area – you finally enter YouTube’s first-ever Middle East and North African “Space.”
Completely free of charge, this whole space – with everything in it — is allocated to YouTube creators with a following of 10,000 or more, while those with more than 1,000 subscribers are offered access to workshops and events.
You are greeted by a floor to ceiling abstract mural of Arabian stallions, camels and shisha-smoking patrons in a community area scattered with black and red barrel tables and an assortment of seating paraphernalia facing a permanently-installed video wall – the furnishings, we are told, are there just for the launch.
A window offers a glimpse from the community room into a 60 square meter studio, that caters for small productions — but offers a high-end, multi-camera set-up. Separated by a common wall, is a bigger 120 square meter studio for the bigger and more complicated productions, fully equipped with green-screen curtains and direct connection to a control room that sits above the whole space.
While creators can bring their own equipment, they need not worry as the most state-of-the-art and high-tech cameras, microphones and lights are available in the “Tech Cage” which nestles in the corner of the community area.
“In order to take it to the next level, as a YouTuber, you need a space to be able to work from, you’d need studios, cameras, equipment which is what this space is offering,” Bahraini YouTube sensation Omar Farooq told Arab News.
“The space allows you to go from an amateur YouTuber to one that’s professional and fully dependent on it for earnings,” Farooq, who has over 1.3 million subscribers, added.
YouTube creators have increased in the Arab world by 160 percent over the past three years, according to the company’s own statistics. Today, more than 200 channels with more than 1 million subscribers are spread across the MENA region, and in excess of 30,000 channels have more than 10,000 subscribers.
Speaking at the press launch of the facility, Head of YouTube Spaces in EMEA David Ripert said the Dubai Space is: “to be a hub where creators don’t just continue to make the videos millions of people have grown to love, but to also experiment with new formats and ideas made possible by the Space’s production facilities.”
The Dubai space is the company’s tenth worldwide, with other locations including Berlin, Toronto, Los Angeles, Mumbai, New York, Tokyo, Sau Paolo, Paris, and London.


SRMG announces soft launch of IndependentUrdu.com

Updated 23 April 2019
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SRMG announces soft launch of IndependentUrdu.com

  • Baker Atyani appointed editor in chief
  • Website is part of third phase of project to launch The Independent in Arabic, Turkish, Urdu and Persian

RIYADH: The Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG) has announced the soft launch of www.independenturdu.com.
The website is part of the third phase of the SRMG’s project to launch The Independent in Arabic, Turkish, Urdu and Persian, under a licensing agreement that was signed and announced last year with the British publisher of The Independent.
The SRMG also announced the appointment of veteran journalist Baker Atyani as editor in chief of Independent Urdu. This is in addition to his current position as Asia bureau chief for Arab News.
A group of well-known and experienced journalists has already joined the project and is working in its offices in Islamabad.
Atyani has extensive experience as a journalist, political analyst and TV producer, and is very well versed in Asian current affairs.
SRMG Chairman Abdulrahman Alrowaita said: “The launch of independenturdu.com stands as the third phase of our multilingual project with The Independent.”
He added: “We are so eager to have the new website … attract a wider readership in the Urdu language to read diversified, highly professional content.”
He expressed hope that with this project, “the media industry and content creation will be enriched in our region and the world.”