Power Letters 2022: Dr Khalid Omar Al Midfa, Chairman, Sharjah Media City
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Power Letters 2022: Dr Khalid Omar Al Midfa, Chairman, Sharjah Media City

Power Letters 2022: Dr Khalid Omar Al Midfa, Chairman, Sharjah Media City

Our goal is to establish a dynamic filmmaking industry that reflects the realities of Emirati and Arab societies

If I had to describe 2021 with just a few words, I would have to call it the comeback year. After a tumultuous 2020, the global economy began its gradual return to normal – albeit a new normal. We are far from out of the woods, but we have seen airports, hospitality establishments, offices and everything in between slowly go back to welcoming visitors and workers on their premises.

While 2020 undoubtedly brought an unprecedented set of challenges, we, at Sharjah Media City (Shams) still managed to buck the trend and register a notable growth in the number of registered companies compared to 2019. Things looked up even more in 2021, where we recorded substantial growth in the number of registered companies in the first half of the year, compared to the same period in 2020.

We have been busy on the initiatives front as well. In 2021, Shams premiered the 218 film project – the first crowdsourced film in the Arab world, and the first of many productions under our ambitious ‘UAE Entertainment Experience’ initiative, which was designed to develop the film industry infrastructure in the emirate. Ultimately, our goal is to establish a dynamic filmmaking industry that reflects the realities of Emirati and Arab societies, empowering a new generation of bold and innovative filmmakers.

Another major milestone that stood out for us in 2021 was the launch of Shams Talks, an interactive digital initiative that seeks to support entrepreneurs and embed the media sector deep into the integrated economic system both in Sharjah and the UAE. The series tackles important topics with knowledgeable experts and stakeholders; each episode ends with useful takeaways that can be implemented to enhance the business environment, develop media practices and bring them into the 21st century, upskill human resources and entrepreneurs, and explore international success stories and best practices.

Sharjah Media City has also brought the renowned Connected Circles initiative to the Middle East. The Amsterdam-based scale-up is a leader in data analytics on LinkedIn for employee advocacy and thought leadership with much to offer the region.

While 2021 was ‘the comeback year’ in every sense of the word, it was far from being the end of the line. The world is now setting its sights on ‘building back better’, as the United Nations has put it. As the world edges closer and closer towards normalcy, the year 2022 looks likely to be a year of returning to growth. Nations on every side of the planet will be working to recuperate the losses incurred during the past two years, but also looking forward to progression on all fronts that include development of talent and enriching the media scene.

This gives us an advantage here at Shams, given that we enjoyed growth in the number of registered companies even in the midst of the pandemic. Things can only improve from here, and we can confidently say that in the year ahead, the only way to go is up.

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