YouTube announced on Sunday the opening of the Middle East and North Africa’s first YouTube Space at Dubai Studio City, a facility dedicated to supporting the growing creator community in the Middle East and North Africa region by giving them access to a state of the art production space.
The Space, 10th in the world, is dedicated to YouTube content creators who will have free access to high end audio, visual and editing equipment in addition to training programs, workshops and courses. More than 440,000 creators have visited nine YouTube Spaces around the world since the Spaces program first launched in 2012.
“Creators are the heartbeat of YouTube and supporting them has long been one of our most important priorities. We’re proud of the meteoric rise of Arabic content on YouTube, which has been spearheaded by a diverse and growing community of creators from different parts of the Arab world. We want the YouTube Space in Dubai to be a hub where creators don’t just continue to make the videos millions of people have grown to love but to also experiment with new formats and ideas made possible by the Space’s production facilities. As a platform, YouTube provides a blank canvas for creative expression and the Space will be one of the tools creators use to tell their own stories,” said David Ripert, Head of YouTube Spaces in Europe, Middle East, and Africa.
“We are very pleased to be selected as a hub for the region’s first YouTube space. In today’s world, content creation is very valuable and depicts meaningful content to the public. With the launch of the YouTube space, Dubai Studio City aims to cultivate a collaborative environment where like-minded people can create innovative content, which can cross borders and impact a wide and diverse audience. It is significant to empower individuals to create and develop content, and in return work towards the growth of the industry. We are delighted with this new venture and look forward to the new opportunities that YouTube will bring to our community and the entire region.” said Majed Al Suwaidi, Managing Director of Dubai Studio City.
“Over the years, we’ve witnessed a number of brave and creative people in the region build massive followings by turning the camera on themselves and sharing their voice with the world. In fact, five years ago when I visited, you could count the number of creators with a million subscribers on one hand. Today, the region has over 200 channels with over a million subscribers!” said Robert Kyncl, Chief Business Officer of YouTube.
The Spaces program is designed to support creators of all levels. Channels with 1,000 subscribers or more will have access to the workshops and events held at the Space. While creators with more than 10,000 subscribers will be able to access the production facilities which include two sound-proof studios, editing equipment, state of the art cameras and microphones, as well as a control room. Workshops will be geared to the different needs of creators with themes and topics ranging from creative development and production, to business development and how to engage with advertisers. All creators will be required to sit through day-long workshop before accessing any of the Space’s services.
The Space comes at an important time for YouTube in MENA as the Arab world experiences an increase in the number of channels uploading from MENA countries by 160% in the past three years. Today, there are more than 200 channels with over 1m subscribers in MENA, and over 30k channels with more than 10K subscribers.
Production slots will be limited in the first two months after the launch until after Ramadan when eligible creators will be able to book their production sessions through the online booking form.