Three countries in the Arab World, Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have adopted the concept of free zones for the media industry.
Such free zones provide the investors and the media industry with a tax-free zone, which enables them to import hardware and software without any constraints and have attractive exemptions on corporate income taxes, especially for exported services and products. Media zones are hoped to create clusters of media industry that would help in creating job opportunities and encouraging more foreign investments inflows.
"While the media cities create potential job opportunities, Egypt has the advantage of having local human resources at a lower wage, unlike Dubai's Media City which has a majority of foreign workforce," noted analyst Abed Al-Rahman Pharaon in a recent Arab Advisors Group report. "As a whole, the cost of establishing a media company in Egypt might be lower than in the other two media cities."
The three media free zones in Egypt, Jordan and the UAE have already succeeded in pulling Arab-focused media companies and stations to migrate from Europe to the Arab World. "Already Orbit, ART, Showtime, and MBC, to name some, have moved. The main winner in attracting these stations was the Media Free Zone in Dubai, UAE. ART has also moved to Jordan. While in Dubai, MBC moved there from the United Kingdom," said Arab Advisors Media Analyst, Judeh Siwady. — (menareport.com)
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