UAE conglomerate BinHendi Enterprises is planning further investment in community TV station City7, including moving to new studio facilities by December, the president of the firm told Arabian Business.“We are shifting to a studio in Studio City so we have another phase of [development],” Mohi-Din BinHendi, president of BinHendi Enterprises said in an interview on Monday.“Yes we will have our own studio and we will be producing our own programmes and our own commercial programmes based on the country, the business, the people, the education, the market… It is a local community channel,” he added.
While he did not reveal the full extent of the investment, Bin Hendi admitted it was “not a huge amount of money” as costs at Dubai Studio City were very competitive. He believed the move and latest investment would allow the station to further develop its programming output.
“Studio City is very well planned and think people who invest in this industry they should look to work with Studio City as they give you great opportunities with the range of sets and studios. They are very attractive and well costed,” he said.
BinHendi confirmed the move to the new facilities would take place by December.
Launched in 2006 with the aim of creating a channel that would appeal to both Emiratis and expatriates, the station lost nearly half its staff during the financial crisis of 2009, but BinHendi said earlier this year he was reluctant to sell the station [view video].
“I get calls all the time asking if I want to sell it, but my answer is no. I’m going to service all the emirates and provide the news for everybody to hear and understand and to know what’s happening in our part of the world,” he told Arabian Business in May.
He also said there were no more plans for any further job cuts planned for the station. “I’ve done that it’s over, no more [staff cuts] this year. The cutting down of expenses has been done for the channel,” he added.
BinHendi, who was recently appointed chairman of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Retail Business Group, forecast that the retail sector in Dubai was likely to grow by around six percent by the end of 2011.This week, Dubai-based analysts told Arabian Business soaring rents in the emirate’s most popular malls are in danger of stifling the emirate’s retailers.
Smaller firms and entrepreneurs in particular risk being marginalised by high prices, which could prevent them from debuting in the market or increasing their number of branches, experts have said. “Dubai remains one of the highest costs to retail within the GCC and indeed the regional market,” said Stuart Gissing, a UAE retail property analyst at Colliers.
“Many malls and developers are still reluctant to take on a new product that is not perceived as main stream and widely recognised. This situation will suppress smaller brands and more entrepreneurial outlets from flourishing.