The MENA region has the world’s largest youth population as a proportion of the total, so it’s no surprise that it is a hotbed of creation and consumption for digital content. Online is the region’s fastest growing media segment, according to the Arab Media Outlook 2016-2018 (17 percent annual growth for the region as a whole, but it must be considerably higher in the Gulf). Dubai is at the centre of this community both for makers and consumers, not least because its leadership has laid out a blueprint for the emirate to become a hub for the creative economy. And where the market leads, the industry events will surely follow.
The Dubai Film and TV Commission (DFTC) has done its bit by announcing the MENA region’s first annual gathering to celebrate the world of online video. VIDXB will be a two-day event – 8 to 9 December 2017 at the Dubai World Trade Centre – which will also be followed by a (largely unspecified) year-round programme that will “promote local content, showcase emerging technologies, and facilitate skills development for Dubai’s growing digital media talent pool”.
According to the press release, “VIDXB will bring together everyone who has embraced digital platforms, to create, consume and share content … The event will cover a wide range of verticals, from lifestyle and beauty to gaming, technology and sports, and will promote knowledge-sharing through hands-on, experiential activations, workshops and training sessions.”
Jamal Al Sharif, DFTC chairman, said VIDXB will accelerate growth of the online video industry, which he called “the future of content”. He went on: “every individual that attends VIDXB will have an opportunity to learn, create, demonstrate, and engage with content makers, both regional and global”.