Dubai Media City

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Dubai Media City is strategically located in Dubai at the crossroads of the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, Dubai Media City (DMC) has rapidly emerged as a global media hub. DMC provides an advanced infrastructure and supportive environment for media-related businesses to operate globally out of Dubai.

DMC is a place where every kind of media business can operate with collective synergy, including media and marketing services, printing and publishing, music, film, new media, leisure and entertainment, broadcasting and information agencies.

Since its inception, Dubai Media City has grown impressively. The list of DMC-based companies today reads like a who’s who of the global media industry. The community includes global media giants such as Reuters, CNN, CNBC, MBC, Sony, Showtime and Bertelsmann.

Dubai Media City has also set up Media Business Centres to promote talent and entrepreneurship in the region. These unique facilities are targeted at freelancers and independent media professionals. Freelancers find the Centres an ideal base for gaining visibility and building relationships with the media industry.

In June 2001 Dubai Media City launched the Ibda’a Media Student Awards, an annual event to recognize and foster young media talent in the region. The Ibda’a Awards cover a range of media-related categories.

Since its official opening in January 2001, Dubai Media City (DMC) has grown to become a thriving business community hosting both global and regional media companies. DMC offers media companies and independent media professionals a pro-business environment which enables them to operate with collective synergy and freedom while enjoying free zone benefits including 100 per cent business ownership and tax-free income as well as value added services such as networking opportunities, venue management services, industry building programmes and government services.

Dubai Media City offers media and advertising companies in Dubai an ecosystem where they can showcase their products and services and get a chance to interact with some of the leading marketing companies in the UAE, and global media giants like Bertelsmann, CNBC, CNN, Forbes, MBC, Reuters, Showtime and Sony. Dubai Media city has a list of key industry players based in Dubai Media City.

Businesses from the following sectors may apply to become part of the DMC business community: Advertising and Communication, Media and Marketing Services, Media Support Services, Event Management, Event Support Services, Media Consultancy, New Media, Freelancers and Associations (Non Profit).

Community of Key Industry Players & Media Companies in Dubai Media City – Leading international and regional companies have chosen Dubai as the regional hub for growing their businesses in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. A fundamental component of the media ecosystem is to have the ability to secure key players in the industry to connect with various businesses across the value chain. Dubai Media City has more than 1,400 companies registered and operating since its launch in 2001.

Business Opportunities at Dubai Media City

According to Price Waterhouse Coopers, the MENA region enjoys the highest growth index of the Entertainment and Media (E&M) market across the globe. The MENA region’s E&M market is forecasted to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 16.5 per cent for the next five years. Neighbouring markets of Turkey and India also have high E&M market growth rates. In fact, Price Waterhouse Coopers predicts these three leading global markets will grow at a higher rate than the markets of North America and Europe.

AD Spend Market

The MENA region is expected to lead the Entertainment & Media sector growth for the next five years. This fact is evident in the growth and health of the MENA region’s Ad Spend Market.

By 2013, MENA’s advertising market is expected to grow at a breathtaking 12.6 per cent CAGR. The UAE continues to lead with the largest Ad Spend market in the MENA region. Despite the UAE Ad Spend decrease from H2 2009 to 2010, the Arab Media Outlook projects, coupled with a myriad of business opportunities, especially in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, are expected to enhance the Ad Spend growth from 2010- 2013 onwards. Spurred on by business opportunities, especially by small businesses in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, UAE’s overall Ad Spend was the highest in the MENA region in 2009-2010. This makes UAE an attractive market and a strategic location for media companies.

Although Saudi Arabia is the second biggest advertiser, the UAE, with its ample business opportunities, remains an easier location for doing business. Despite the fact that Egypt is one of the fastest growing Arab countries, growth, especially in terms of new business opportunities and expansion is expected to decelerate to a CAGR of 7 per cent between 2009- 2013. On the other hand, UAE and Qatar are forecasted to be the fastest growing advertising markets with 11per cent CAGR.

In terms of fractions Newspaper and Television account for almost 80 per cent of the Ad Spend in the MENA region. However, in 2009-2013 the internet has made significant inroads to become a popular, and flexible platform for marketing and advertising, especially for younger demographics.

Young Population

Age distribution in the Middle East, is more heavily tilted towards the youth. On an average 60 per cent of the population in the GCC countries is below the age of 35. With a young population and an increase in high-speed broadband penetration, digital migration in the MENA region is expected to be in full force in the coming years.

Broadband Penetration

High-speed Broadband penetration levels in the MENA region are set to rise from 18.5 per cent in 2010 to 38.5 per cent in 2014. Similarly, Internet penetration levels are predicted to increase from 39.7 per cent in 2010 to 64.3 per cent in 2014. This mammoth increase in internet usage, particularly in urban households, is set to give a fresh impetus to digital media sectors such as online marketing, social media platforms, mobile applications, and Arabic language web content amongst others.

Pro Business Environment

Dubai Media City is located and operates within the jurisdiction of Dubai Creative Clusters Authority (DCCA) (the “Free Zone”). The Free Zone was established in 2000 by a decree and has a distinct legal status in the UAE.

The Free Zone is regulated by an independent government body, Dubai Creative Clusters Authority (DCCA). DCCA develops and implements transparent regulations, in accordance with international standards, which ensure that the companies operating in the Free Zone are able to compete effectively, globally.

The laws and regulations that apply to companies operating in the Free Zone are described clearly on the DCCA Website.

Industry Specific Regulatory Environment

The UAE will continue to lead in the MENA region in terms of the highest Ad Spend growth, with a forecasted growth of 11% CAGR between 2010- 2013. Key to the UAE media sector achieving tremendous Ad Spend growth is a strong and continuously improving regulatory environment.

TECOM Group, the parent company of Dubai Media City, has a strong track record of successfully championing industry needs with regulators, ranging from TV Audience Measurement, Anti-Piracy and roll out of DVB-H.

TECOM Group’ Impact on Media Regulations:

Champions of New Technologies: Led the formation of a consortium including both major telecoms to win the DVB-H license.

Promoting Increased Transparency: The National Media Council (NMC) has acknowledged TECOM Group as a key partner in supporting the recent People Meter initiative which has been endorsed by the Federal Government, signed by UAE based stakeholders and includes coordination with regional authorities.

Lobbying for Legislative Improvements: TECOM Group regularly provides feedback for media content codes and compliance policies.

Improving Predictability: TECOM Group established the nation’s first film permit office, liaising with government bodies to ensure that film and TV productions are supported on outdoor shoots.

UAE Government Relations: TECOM Group collaborates with government authorities such as UAE Customs, National Media Council (NMC), Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA) etc. on industry development initiatives.

What We Offer

Dubai Media City is set in the heart of “New Dubai” with the Marina district to the West, Palm Jumeirah to the North and Sheikh Zayed Road to the South. The site is accessible via Al Sufouh road or Exit 32 from Sheikh Zayed Road.

The zone includes over 20 buildings offering premium commercial real estate products in low rise, mid-rise and high rise categories.

Commercial Offices
Boutique Villas
Business Centres

Setting Up Your Business in Dubai Media City

Dubai Media City based companies are registered and licensed by Dubai Creative Clusters Authority (DCCA).

You need to choose the right legal structure when setting up your business. There are several structures to choose from, depending on your needs.

Companies Legal Structure:

Free Zone Limited Liability Company (FZ-LLC)

– A FZ-LLC is formed as a separate legal entity, with shareholders as individuals and/or Corporates
– The minimum capital requirement for incorporation depends on the business activity

Branch of a Foreign / UAE Company

– A branch is not a legal entity separate from its parent
– It is considered a place of business that forms a legally dependent part of the parent company
– It conducts all or some of the operations inherent in the parent’s business
– Share capital is not required


– The Freelance permit offers the ability to operate as a freelance professional
– The permit identifies you as a sole practitioner
– It enables you to conduct your business in your birth name as opposed to a brand name

Free Zones

Free zones are designated areas set up to encourage economic and business activities. Free zones generally offer a wide range of business solutions, including tax exemptions and favourable customs regulations, to help investors establish a powerful presence in a particular region.

Dubai Free Zones

Dubai is renowned for its mega free zones. The fully equipped and ready for business Dubai free zones offer investors a plethora of facilities and amenities. The advantages of setting up business include:

– 100% ownership of business
– 100% repatriation of capital/profits
– No income tax
– No capital tax
– No currency restrictions
– Low cost of operations
– Excellent infrastructure
– Excellent support services

Free zones in the UAE offer a wide range of facilities for running day-to-day operations, including:

– Fast-track company set-up & licensing
– Opportunity to lease land for development
– Warehouse, factory, office units for lease
– On-site accommodations of personnel
– Transportation links by road, sea and air
– Low cost energy
– Favourable cost of living
– Attractive working environment

Dubai offers a variety of free zone options, each with its unique rules and regulations designed to facilitate a particular industry or business enterprise. Contact us to find out more.

Serving Broadcasters & Advertisers – With more than 1,400 company registrations, Dubai Media City (DMC) is the leading free zone dedicated to facilitating and promoting the media and advertising industries of the Middle East.

DMC offers the media companies a veritable myriad of professional efficient business set-up and licensing solutions at minimal cost. Click here to view various licensing segments and business opportunities available at DMC.

For more on UAE free zones and how you can set up operation in DMC, contact us or call: +971 (4) 391 4555.

Dubai Free Zone Company Formation

From individual investors to media start-ups, and from entrepreneurs to multinational organisations interested in expanding outreach in the region, Dubai Media City Free Zone offers everyone, including you, top-notch company formation and business registration services and solutions in Dubai, UAE.

As one of the leading free zone developments in the UAE, Dubai Media City provides you with an ecosystem where you can highlight your products and services and interact with some of the leading marketing and media agencies operating from within the UAE.

As a licensing authority for Dubai Media City Free Zone, DMC offers you a variety of business solutions for setting up, licensing and running a freezone company in the UAE. DMC’s range of activities includes civil, corporate and legal services, offering a multitude of options for setting up a foothold in the region.

Dubai Media City Location

Dubai Media City Location Map
GPS Co-ordinates:
Lat: N 25 05.628
Long: E 55 09.123

Airports: Dubai Media city is 30 minutes from Dubai International Airport and 45 minutes from Abu Dhabi airport.

Taxis: There is a taxi stand at Dubai Media City Building #2, or taxis can be ordered by calling the RTA at 04.208.0808.

Car Rental: There is a Diamond Lease location in Dubai Media City’s sister site, Dubai Knowledge Village. The phone number is 04.390.3794

Metro & Buses: DMC is a seven minute walk from Dubai Metro and accessible by metro feeder buses. Bus lines 08, 83, 84, 85, 88, X25, F31 also service the district. Please refer to the RTA’s journey planner to confirm schedules and plan your trip or call the RTA at 800-9090.

Parking: Most of the buildings have general parking areas in their vicinity. Additionally there is a multi-storey car park located between DMC Buildings 4 and 6.

About Dubai

In just 50 years, the visionary leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, following in the footsteps of his father before him, has transformed a sleepy fishing village on the coast of the Arabian Gulf into one of the most dynamic, modern and cosmopolitan cities in the world.

Dubai has become a business hub for an ever growing region, boosted by growth in key industries, business friendly policies and its strategic geographical location, offering reach to 4 billion people within an 8-hour flight, including Europe, Africa, India, China and Russia.

Dubai is also the place of choice for expatriate to live in, offering a safe and modern cosmopolitan environment, excellent infrastructures and services, with access to high quality healthcare, education and a wide array of leisure and retail choices.

As a matter of fact, Dubai was voted in 2010 as Middle East’s Best of Quality of Living City (Quality of Living global city rankings 2010 – Mercer survey) and ranked 1st place for Middle East FDI destination city ranking, by FDI Confidence Index (2010).

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