x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Egyptian media company for UAE

The Egyptian broadcaster Melody has signed a deal to launch operations in Fujairah's media zone.

Melody, an Egyptian media company, has signed a deal to launch operations in Fujairah, the emirate's media zone authorities say.

The company, which includes TV stations such as Melody Arabia, Melody Movies and Melody Drama, signed an agreement to establish a presence at Creative City, a free zone based in the northern emirate.

Creative City is part of the Fujairah Media Group (FMG), a joint venture between the Fujairah Cultural Authority and Arab International Media Services.

Mekki Abdulla, the chief executive of FMG, said the licence agreement was signed two weeks ago.

"They used to broadcast from Egypt and now they're licensed from Fujairah Creative City," said Mr Abdulla.

The deal also gives Melody the right to broadcast satellite-TV signals from the UAE, he added.

"They're licensed in our free zone now and are going to broadcast from the UAE," Mr Abdulla said. "They have been licensed by the Fujairah Government."

But it was not immediately clear what Melody's operations would be in the UAE, or whether the Fujairah business would replace its activities in Egypt. A senior executive at the company did not respond to a request for comment.

FMG, which is part-owned by the Fujairah Government, said recently it was planning to instal a communications facility in the South Sudan state of Central Equatoria under a partnership with the authorities there.

As part of that project, the Government of Fujairah is investing €25 million (Dh129.2m) to launch internet and data services in part of South Sudan, which in July is set to become an independent republic.

FMG operates several TV and radio stations. Its radio arm last year acquired a 50 per cent stake in the European station JazzRadio Berlin, in a deal worth a reported €2.5m for a two-year commitment.

FMG manages Creative City, from which it derives most of its revenues.

bflanagan@thenational.ae