twofour54 is an Abu Dhabi government initiative and an integral part of its 2030 plan, which seeks to diversify the Emirate’s economy and establish the Emirate as the cultural capital of the Middle East. twofour54’s vision is to establish a sustainable Arabic media and entertainment content creation industry in Abu Dhabi; a regional centre of excellence which is internationally renowned. The aim is to stimulate creative and professional partnerships in the television, radio, film, publishing, online, mobile, music, gaming and animation industries.
At the Abu Dhabi Media Summit 2010 I talked with Tony Orsten, CEO, about how to build a media industry from scratch.
The company provides a collaborative and supportive ecosystem that will allow the establishment of a world-class media industry for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The focus is on developing Arabic media and entertainment content by Arabs and for the Arab audience. twofour54 delivers its advanced cohesive infrastructure through three key pillars: twofour54 tadreeb (the training academy), twofour54 ibtikar (innovation and support) and twofour54 intaj (state-of-the-art production facilities) supported by business enabler twofour54 tawasol (one-stop-shop).
twofour54 has already attracted several of the region and world’s largest and most influential content creation companies. By the start of 2010, twofour54 had more than 60 partners, all of whom have recognised the vast opportunity that the Arab world represents for growth and has committed significant investment and resources to business initiatives that will be led out of twofour54.
And by the way the name twofour54 is taken from Abu Dhabi’s geographical coordinates, which are latitude 24 north, longitude 54 east. This name was chosen to symbolise Abu Dhabi’s strategic position within the Middle East, which makes it the ideal location for the centre of excellence for content creation in the Arab region.
About Tony Orsten
Chief Executive Officer, twofour54
In this role, Tony provides strategic leadership for the business in order to deliver on its mission of creating an ecosystem that will allow the content creation industry to flourish in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
Tony has more than 30 years experience in the UK and international creative content industry. He is an academy award winning television director, channel executive and innovative programming expert. At London Weekend Television, he won his first academy award with Network 7, a breakthrough TV format which put “serious” television back on the agenda for the youth audience. Tony joined the Abu Dhabi Media Authority in December 2007, taking a major role in the Abu Dhabi Government’s initiative to create a media and content creation industry in the Arab region.
Prior to joining twofour54, Tony created, developed and launched successful television products and entertainment channels for Paramount Pictures Inc across Europe in Spain, Italy, Poland and in the free TV market of Germany, which serves 34 million homes.
In September 2006, Tony joined the founders of Skype to launch Joost, the world’s first broadcast-quality television platform on the Internet. He led the UK content team from the Joost UK London offices. Previously, Tony was the CEO of MTV Networks International’s portfolio of entertainment channels including Paramount Comedy UK and Paramount Comedy Espana.
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