A new megaproject on Abu Dhabi's Yas Island is set to transform the capital into a global media and entertainment powerhouse.
Yas Creative Hub, which is expected to open towards the end of next year, will host some of the biggest names in the media, entertainment and gaming sectors, according to freezone twofour54 Abu Dhabi, which is behind the development.
The 270,000 square-metre project is expected to create roles for up to 16,000 professionals by the end of 2031, tripling the number of people employed in the sector in the UAE capital.
Michael Garin, chief executive of twofour54 Abu Dhabi, said some of the biggest productions in both Hollywood and Bollywood, as well as the gaming industry, would soon call the hub home.
“Yas Creative Hub brings to life the essence of Abu Dhabi’s creative ecosystem: connectivity, flexibility and community,” he said.
“It will be a flagship destination where creative businesses and entrepreneurs will create an agile workplace that suits their business and their team, join a vibrant community with shared aspirations, and turn good ideas into game-changing reality.”
The project will feature five towers housing more than 600 businesses in the project which will be built around an area to be known as Media Boulevard, a 23,000 square metre park and a 6,000 square metre plaza.
CNN, Ubisoft and Unity Technologies are among the major international companies that have already signed up to be part of the hub.
It will be connected by public transport links and will have more than 4,000 parking spaces.
There will be a 6,500 square-metre of studio and production space that will help to double the number of international and local productions that Abu Dhabi will be able to host each year.
It will be the size of 10 football pitches, once completed, and home to an amphitheatre, parks, cafes and restaurants all in a fully walkable, landscaped terrace that connects with Yas Bay Waterfront and the Etihad Arena.
“Yas Creative Hub will be home to a powerful cluster of creative sector giants, harnessing non-stop access to technology, content, creativity, talent development opportunities, and a gateway to a huge regional audience with an insatiable appetite for quality content,” Mr Garin said.
“Given the changing circumstances driven by the Covid-19 pandemic, we are pleased to say that Yas Creative Hub is the newest office of the future, rather than the office of yesterday.”
Construction work is 75 per cent complete and the first of three phases will open in the final quarter of 2021.
The first phase will involve twofour54’s existing community of more than 600 companies, which employ more than 5,000 people. They will relocate from Khalifa Park to the new site.
‘We are experiencing an exponential expansion in the creative industry. New technologies have enabled an explosion of content and platforms, transforming what it means to be creative and giving each of us the power to create and consume content how, where and when we like,” said Mohammed Al Mubarak, chairman of twofour54 Abu Dhabi.
“Yas Creative Hub will be a driving force in the evolution of Abu Dhabi’s own creative economy, bringing together a large and diverse community of skilled professionals in a stunning campus development purpose-designed to spark innovation and collaboration.”