Dubai Media City, part of the Dubai technology, e-commerce and media free zone, plans to facilitate Indian media and entertainment companies in tapping the Middle East market. Under the free zone status, the companies would be offered 100 per cent ownership and attractive tax incentives for a fifty-year period.
Also in the offing are incentives to attract media professionals to set up base in the region.
The city currently targets six media segments, namely, broadcasters, production/post production, publishing, marketing services, new media and music companies.
Launched in January this year, the first phase has already attracted over 175 media companies, 21 per cent of which are of Indian-origin. The zone has set a target of housing over 750 companies by 2003.
Some of the prominent names include Reuters, CNBC, Sony Broadcast, Asianet, Pentamedia Graphics and Pegasus Publishing.
As part of a special package, media professionals and free-lancers would be offered visa, work permit and office space through a single-window clearance scheme.
Plans are afoot to offer teleport and uplinking facilities to broadcasters by early next year.
The Dubai government has committed investments worth $2.1 billion in the free zone project that includes an internet city and incubator services.