YouTube has opened the region's first ‘YouTube Space' in Dubai Studio City, a move the company says will help support the Middle East and North Africa's growing community of content creators by giving them access to a state-of-the-art production space.
The Space - the tenth opened by YouTube around the globe - will give YouTube content creators free access to audio, visual and editing equipment, as well as training programmes, workshops and courses.
According to YouTube, more than 440,000 creators have used the nine other spaces around the world since the programme was first launched in 2012.
"Creators are the heartbeat of YouTube and supporting them has long been one of our most important priorities," said David Ripert, head of YouTube Spaces in Europe, Middle East, and Africa. 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."
Ripert added that YouTube wants the Dubai Space "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."
Majed Al Suwaidi, the managing director of Dubai Studio City, said that the opening of the YouTube Space in Dubai is a significant move that will "empower individuals to create and develop content, and in return work towards the growth of the industry."
YouTube channels with 1,000 or more subscribers will have access to the workshops and events held at the Space, while creators with followings of over 10,000 will be able to access its production facilities, which include two sound-proof studios, editing equipment, state of the art cameras and microphones, as well as a control room.
The workshops that will be held at the Space will be geared towards the needs of creators, and will include topics ranging from creative development and production to business development and engagement with advertisers. All creators will be required to attend a day-long workshop before being allowed to access the Space's services.
Production slots will be limited until after Ramadan, when eligible creators will be able to book production sessions through an online booking form.
YouTube statistics show that the number of channels in the MENA region has risen 160 percent in the last three years. Currently, there are over 200 channels with over one million subscribers in the region, as well as more than 30,000 channels with more than 10,000 subscribers.