Industryites cozy up at Arab confab

World Brief

Execs from a large mosaic of broadcasters, including NBC News, BBC and Al Jazeera, met at Promax & BDA’s first Arabia Conference in the United Arab Emirate of Dubai May 3-4.

Confab was an opportunity for the region’s burgeoning TV market to develop their industry and tell their story more effectively.

It brought together broadcasting execs and marketing and design experts from around the world, including Frank Radice, senior VP of advertising and promotion at the NBC Agency; Ian Wormleighton, creative director at BBC Broadcast; and Bruce Dunlop, chairman of London-based Bruce Dunlop & Associates.

Describing Dubai’s media industry as one of the fastest-growing and most dynamic markets in the world, Promax & BDA topper Jim Chabin says the emirate is quickly becoming a global player in international television.

“There are 500 million TV viewers in the Arab region and broadcasters here are eager to develop the skills and expertise to create programming with a high level of sophistication,” Chabin told Variety. He was particularly pleased that the event allowed Western and Middle-Eastern broadcasting professionals to meet despite the ongoing conflict in Iraq.

Chabin says the TV market in the region has reached critical mass, with increased competition creating a need for branding and, in turn, for marketing.

The Dubai-based Middle Eastern Broadcasting Co. was the confab’s main sponsor with U.K. branding agency Turquoise plus support from BBC Broadcast and German pubcaster Deutsche Welle.

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