RAK Media Free Zone gets green signal

Sadiq A. Salam
Filed on January 4, 2006

RAS AL KHAIMAH In what is being considered as a milestone in economic and social development, RAK authorities have given the green signal for the establishment of the RAK Media Free Zone (RMFZ).

The Century Media Networks Incorporated (CMNI), an overseas venture, has been given the go-ahead to establish the RMFZ under the aegis of RAK Investment Authority (RIA).

"Since we believe that the service sector has a significant role to play in supporting industrial and agricultural sectors, we are taking steps to ensure that the RAK economy is diverse and balanced, and the setting up of RMFZ is a significant step in this direction," Dr Khater Massaad, CEO of RIA, told Khaeej Times.

"In order to provide the right atmosphere for a genuine and responsible fourth estate, and to attract genuine and top notch professionals from the media industry, RMFZ would follow the Media Code of Conduct followed by other emirates in the country," he said.

The new facility will play host to media establishments, television channels, studios for audio-visual productions and computer graphics houses besides animation studios. "It will issue licences to them under the RIA mandate," he said, adding that RMFZ will lease ready-to-use office space and up-linking facilities where required, to such licence holders.

"The new facility will provide its clients with various media services including teleport facilities for uplinking images from Ras Al Khaimah to various satellites," Dr Massaad said.

The RMFZ will also establish Free Zone which will lease land to investors who wish to set up their own media facilities, be it a printing press, a film studio, an advertising agency, a magazine office or a television studio. "To make use of RAK's colourful and rich landscape besides its rich history and heritage that makes it the ideal venue for film shoots, film studios and establishments linked to the film industry are also being issued licence by the RMFZ," he said, pointing out that a leading film-maker from India has already expressed interest in setting up a Film City in RAK.

The Indian film shot in RAK Deewane Hue Pagal was released recently and received rave reviews. Ever since, there has been a lot of location scouting being done in Ras Al Khaimah and hotel booking enquiries from the Indian film industry.

He said: "The social milieu of Ras Al Khaimah, which has a distinct and international feel, will be all the more richer with the influx of highly qualified professionals who prefer a sophisticated lifestyle of peace and tranquility."

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