Dubai Calling - For India Media And Entertainment Sector: Atul Hegde

The destination brings with it great opportunities for Indian companies to forge new business partnerships in the UAE writes Atul Hegde, Co-founder, Rainmaker Ventures.


The IPL has found a new home for the 2020 edition, the UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. It’s not new for the IPL to be hosted in foreign shores, but as we know this year is very different and the challenges are new for everybody. With so much at stake the fact that the BCCI & the Government of India have reposed full faith in UAE, speaks volumes of the various measures the UAE rulers have taken to combat the current situation. 

UAE has been at the forefront of this fight and has set a stellar example across all parameters, be it testing (more than half of the population has been tested so far), extremely low death rates, and a genuine push to keep business up and running. Add to this the efforts by Emirates Airlines to make them among the safest planes in the sky; last heard they even have a program to cover your cost of medical treatment if needed. In addition to all this, the airports in Dubai have various rapid testing measures in place and are more than capable to analyse every traveller passing thru their gates. UAE was among the first few counties in the world to restart welcoming tourists. All of these efforts have quietly set in motion a series of events that augurs very well for the media & entertainment industry in India. Think about it, where IPL goes calling can the media, entertainment and advertising industry be far behind!

Let's take a closer look at all the factors that are raking up this dessert storm for these industries:

The Indian Advertising Industry: Dubai has a large pool of Indian advertising professionals; a fairly good ad film production sector and lots of opportunities for Indian agencies to collaborate with companies in Dubai. Indian Brands & Ad agencies have been very smart during the Lockdown in producing great content with all the limitations. This is now reaching its natural saturation point and it’s a matter of time when brands will want normal ad film production to begin with. Dubai is the perfect solution for these brands. Also with the wide availability of cutting edge drones & state of the art film production equipment it makes it easier for Indian agencies to not only shift their productions to Dubai but also push the envelope of creativity for much larger and bigger concepts.

With this imminent shift just round the corner, it brings with it great opportunities for Indian companies to forge new business partnerships in the UAE, accelerate spends by brands and get ready for the upcoming festival season. Beyond the obvious benefits to the Media & Entertainment industry in India, this will be a big boost for the much-battered travel & hospitality sector. Which in turn will help boost jobs in the gulf country and again have a direct impact on thousands of Indian job seekers over there. India & UAE have always had a very special relationship and nothing can strengthen this more than both countries working together for a win win situation. So all eyes on IPL and whether your favourite team wins or not, both our countries will emerge as clear winners!

Bollywood has been struggling under the lockdown restrictions and even though production has restarted, they are far and few in between. Add to it all the mental fatigue the crew has to go about in their daily routine. The situating in Mumbai where most of the shoots are scheduled is sill in flux and we have seen various notifications that come unto play depending on the situation on ground. This uncertainty does not sit well when you have mounted large production schedules. UAE offers them a great opportunity, just 2 hours from Mumbai, ample flight options (very soon), visa availability, a ready hotel infrastructure, and good presence of a film production ecosystem on ground, no language barrier, excellent healthcare facilities that are accessible to all and most importantly a real and safe bubble to resume production.

Indian Television & OTTs: All the factors that go in making UAE a safe heaven for Bollywood also works in this case too. To add to this most television& web series need longer schedules and fix locations to shoot, UAE visa rules gives you the peace of mind to plan large schedules without any hassles or red tape. Also UAE is blessed with diverse locale options from the sea to mountains to parks to ice rinks to indoors snow machines they have it all. This is further accentuated with great infrastructure and on ground facilities. The fact that most of large Indian television channels and the OTT players have offices in the UAE makes it that much easier for them to seamlessly plan the shift to UAE.

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dubai uae ipl bollywood

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