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Dubai’s media free zones grow steadily

Dubai’s media free zones reported almost 300 new company registrations last year, signaling what one executive described as “positive” growth for the industry.

Media companies from emerging markets, along with digital specialists and consultancy firms, led the growth in companies registering at Tecom Investments’ three media zones.

Muhammad Abdallah, the managing director of Tecom Investments’ Media Cluster, said a total of 284 companies registered last year. These include the audio specialists Dolby Laboratories, the entertainment companies Sony Pictures and Fremantle Media, and the daily-deals service Groupon. “The year 2011 has proved positive for us. On the back of an industry uptrend, a good line-up of businesses set up base,” Mr. Abdullah said.

The zones managed by Mr. Abdallah include Dubai Media City, Dubai Studio City and the International Media Production Zone (IMPZ). Dubai Media City – the oldest of the three free zones – was launched in 2001 with 99 companies. Mr. Abdallah said there were now 1,800 companies spread across the three zones. Mr. Abdallah noted that companies from the emerging markets such as China and India had helped this growth.