TwoFour54 is introducing a rebate for TV and film producers shooting in the Emirate.
The scheme is the first of its kind in the region and Abu Dhabi media development group TwoFour54 COO Wayne Borg told TBI that discussion with producers are underway and he expects the first projects to be ready to go when it comes into effect this September.
“We want to connect international and regional producers with what’s happening in Abu Dhabi,” Borg said. “The incentive scheme is clear, simple and transparent and a compelling proposition for producers.”
Qualifying productions can claim a 30% rebate. The scheme applies to TV series and documentaries as well as movies, advertising and music video production.
The qualifying spend relates to goods and services sourced from Abu Dhabi and for relevant expenditure on location or studio filming and post-production. It also covers costs of contracting local crews or those registered as local freelancers using the TwoFour54’s freelance visa scheme. It also covers accommodation, freight and flight costs.
Borg, who spoke to TBI from the Cannes Film Festival, said that he anticipates an even split of TV and movie productions taking advantage of the scheme. “Incentives like this are in operation in other parts of the world, but this the first of its kind in the region,” he said. “We decided that if we were serious about being an attractive proposition for producers we were going to need to step up and now is the time to do that.”
Borg also told TBI that following recent management changes, he is committed to remaining in his position at TwoFour54. Tony Orsten was recently replaced as CEO by Noura Al Kaabi.
Separately, TwoFour54 announced that US digital production company Digital Domain Media Group (DDMG) is setting up a studio at TwoFour54. The animation, visual effects and motion capture studio will use a 150,000 square foot facility and employ 500 people. There will also be an accompanying training scheme for local professionals when the studio opens in 2015.