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Dubai ’s Ibda’a Media Student Awards Go Global

Dubai Media City announced today that the Ibda’a Media Student Awards has expanded its scope to include entries from all over the world. Rolling out the new global edition of the Awards, Dubai Media City officials said that Ibda’a’s expansion into a worldwide competition realizes its eventual goal of having global reach and appeal.

“The global Ibda’a Awards will highlight the fact that talent, creativity, and excellence have no borders,” said Abdulhamid Juma, CEO of Dubai Media City and Co-ordinator General for the Ibda’a Awards. “The new Ibda’a will celebrate the international spirit of the media industry,” he added. Mr. Juma also said that the growth of the Awards is part of the strategy to further build Dubai and Dubai Media City as a global hub for the media industry.

So far, Ibda’a has focused only on a vast region extending from the Middle East to India and Central Asia to South Africa. However, in 2003, Ibda’a received unprecedented, significant interest from the US, UK, Canada and Australia. The new global Ibda’a Awards is Dubai Media City’s response to this growing interest.

The Ibda’a Media Student Awards was launched by Dubai Media City in June 2001 under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and UAE Defence Minister. Since then, each year, the Awards have attracted a multitude of entries from around the region and unearthed some exceptional student media talent.

“After three enormously successful Ibda’a Awards, we are working to further develop the programme in scope, size and stature to showcase exceptional student media talent from around the world,” continued Abdulhamid Juma, Chief Executive officer of Dubai Media City. “With our new campaign this year we aim to capture global mindshare for Ibda’a,” he added.

Ibda’a is launching a massive international entries campaign, which will see it conduct intensive road-shows in 23 countries – United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, UAE and the GCC countries, Iran, Egypt, Pakistan, India, Morocco, Tunisia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan.

The Award categories have also expanded to include two new categories for photography. The list of the 10 Award categories for 2004 includes Journalism, Radio, Digital Photography, Analogue Photography, Film/TV Feature, TV Documentary, Graphic Design, TV Advertising, Print Advertising and Animation.

"Ibda'a has developed into a very significant and internationally recognised creative competition which the International Advertising Association is delighted to support" said Marwan Rizk, President of the international Advertising Agency (IAA).

The official sponsors for Ibda’a 2004 include ARN, BBC World, Motivate Publishing, Seven Star, Showtime, and Virgin. Dubai Media City will also continue its strong association with the International Advertising Association (IAA) in organizing the Awards.

Mr. Abdelatif Al Sayegh, CEO of Arabian Radio Network, said: "Arabian Radio Network is happy to provide its full support to Ibda'a, through radio exposure on its four leading channels. Moreover, ARN will also be providing its expertise in radio broadcasting to the winner of the Radio Category, of which it is the official sponsor."

Mr. Hani Soubra, Regional Manager for BBC World, stated: ““BBC World is renowned around the globe as a trusted news source, and many people aspire to work for the channel, which is part of the world’s biggest broadcast newsgathering organisation. The channel has a global commitment to student development and education, and the Ibda’a Media Student Awards are a valuable way to identify the best young talent. I hope very much that we will see some of these up-and-coming journalists working at the BBC in the future.”

Mr. Ian Fairservice, Managing Partner and Group Editor of Motivate Publishing, said: "As a company committed to nurturing creative talent across the spectrum, Motivate Publishing is delighted to support the Ibda'a Awards once again, and to offer a photography internship to the award winner in this category."

Mr. Vishnu Manghani, Chairman of Seven Star Events & Productions, said: “The Ibda’a Awards is a noble initiative undertaken by Dubai Media City and we are proud to be associated with it. Seven Star Events & Productions has been actively involved in some of the biggest events ever to be staged in Dubai, and we thank you for giving us the opportunity to be involved in this year’s Awards program.”

Simon Dore, Senior vice president, Technology and Operations of Showtime commented: “We are delighted to be associated, once again this year, with the awards. The leading companies in the media industry today are the ones that value, attract and nurture the best talent ". “By sponsoring the Ibda’a Awards and offering a programming internship to the winner in the film category, we are expressing our commitment for the development of talent in the region", he added.

Mr. Jean Claude Torbey, Regional Marketing Director of Virgin Megastore, said: “Virgin Megastore has always supported major cultural and entertainment activities. The Ibdaa Awards has proven to be a major break through for multicultural students. Year after year, students are producing quality projects and the competition has proven to encourage them to improve their work. Virgin Megastore will do it's best to support Dubai Media City in this challenging project."

The 2004 window for worldwide entries will open from April, 2004. The deadline for all entries is October 15, 2004. As in previous years, this year’s Awards will also have three judging rounds. A preliminary screening will eliminate entries that do not meet entry requirements. The second round at the end of October, conducted by the International Advertising Association (IAA), will shortlist a minimum of three and maximum of five finalists from each category. Finalists will be flown to Dubai for an exhibition of their work in late November.

A final round of judging, also to be held in November, will select one winner from each category. The winners will be announced and honoured at a high profile and glamorous Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony held annually at Dubai Media City’s amphitheatre. Apart from elegant trophies, winners will receive prizes that include equipment and internships with leading global media brands.


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