A 10,000-square-feet studio known as YouTube Space Dubai will open at Dubai Studio City in the second quarter of next year.
It is an incubator space that will give content creators the tools and guidance and enable them to innovate and experiment.
Lance Podell, Director and Global Head of YouTube Spaces, said that the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region has one of the world’s most vibrant YouTube communities. Talented creators are producing content for passionate audiences in a region that comes in second in the world after the US in terms of the time they spend watching.
Dubai will also become the 10th destination for the YouTube Space and first in the Mena. The other destinations are in Los Angeles, London, Tokyo, New York City, Berlin, Sao Paolo, Mumbai, Toronto and Paris.
The biggest is in Los Angeles with 40,000 square feet.
Podell said that the collaboration with Dubai Studio City would help the company support the community of YouTube creators as well as continue to boost the growth of Arabic content on the internet.
“We are happy to have our first space in Dubai, a place of vibrant creativity from fashion, to media and advertising. The space is a mix of three — studio, community centre and a university,” he said.
He said that the idea behind the space is to promote three of YouTube’s principles — learn, connect and create. The space functions as a learning centre and also as a studio.
Not everyone can use the facility; only creators participating in YouTube’s Partner Programme can use the space.
When asked how YouTube makes money when it is offering the facility for free, he said that it reaps long-term benefits when it helps better, more professional-looking content be uploaded to its site and seeing more page views.
“It is a win-win situation for both the parties. YouTube makes money from advertisements,” he said.
YouTube will be opening two Spaces next year – one in Dubai and another in Rio.
“We expect this platform will give us an opportunity for growth, create business opportunities and boost talent growth,” said Malek Al Malek, CEO of Tecom Business Parks.
According to the Arab Media Outlook report, 50 per cent of the region’s population is under the age of 24, and the youth spend almost two hours a day on videos and social networks. One of the top three media industry drivers is digital video with expected growth of 30.4 per cent annual growth rate for the period 2016-2018 reaching $370 million (Dh1.36 billion) by 2018 in the Mena region.
Al Malek said the partnership reflects Dubai’s ability to attract the strongest and most dynamic content platforms to the UAE.
“Our aim is to leverage our shared experience in creating an enabling environment for the nurturing of a unique talent pool, and to empower them to generate inspiring and engaging content from Dubai Studio City,” he said.