Alphabet-owned YouTube announced that Dubai will host the Middle East and North Africa's first YouTube Space. Dubai is the 10th major city in the world to host a YouTube Space after London, Sao Paulo, Tokyo, Mumbai, Paris, Berlin, New York, Los Angeles, and Toronto.
Located in Dubai Studio City, the new YouTube Space is 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 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.
"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," said David Ripert, Head of YouTube Spaces in Europe, Middle East, and Africa. "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."
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 percent 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.
"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," said Robert Kyncl, Chief Business Officer of YouTube. "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!"
The Space's 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 there. 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 new YouTube Space in Dubai is the latest in a series of initiatives that has raised the city's position as the New-Media hub of the region. In December last year, Dubai held VIDXB, the region's first dedicated event for online content creators. The two-day event organized by the Dubai Film and TV Commission (DFTC) brought together skilled creators from across the world representing a range of entertainment verticals, showcasing content-makers from the beauty, comedy, cooking, E-sports, automotive, travel, family, and arts sectors.