x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Cinematic sound wizard Dolby to open new mixing studio in Dubai

Dolby will open sound mixing studio in Dubai, the first of its kind in the Gulf region.

It is a vital part of an enjoyable entertainment experience, but it is usually taken for granted until something goes wrong.

Sound quality is just as important as image, but many content creators in the region have yet to adopt the latest audio technologies when producing films and television shows.

Dolby Laboratories, the United States-based audio technology company, is looking to open a sound mixing studio in Dubai, the first of its kind in the GCC, to promote the production of better quality content and provide easier access to its tools.

"The studio will be able to mix the latest in Dolby technologies format and will be ready within the next four months," said Tarif Sayed, Dolby's regional director of Middle East and Africa.

Traditionally, producers would send content outside the region to mix the audio, but the Dubai studio will become a base to keep content within the region. The company already has two of these mixing studios in Egypt and one in Lebanon, traditional hubs for film and television production.

"Things have changed a lot here.When we first came, there were very few operators working with our technology - no content was being created with Dolby systems," said Mr Sayed.

"But now we are working with broadcasters and major shows are being produced with surround sound."

One key obstacle has been the lack of locally produced content, he said, but that was beginning to change as more investment was pumped into the media industry.

"People in this region consume media that is generated and created outside," said Mr Sayed. "The main consumption is Hollywood movies and TV series and sports. The local content is still the weakest link from a viewer's perspective.

There are still a lot of opportunities. We do not have the legacy and heritage issues like in Europe and the US. Everything here is new, so we can use the latest technologies."

Dolby technologies were used in some of the biggest blockbusters of last year, including the latest James Bond adventure, Skyfall, Argo and Les Misérables.