The Gulf

Middle East

I want my diamond-studded TV

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Tom Gara catches this press release published by Gulf News:

Word’s most expensive and ultra luxurious LCD TV launched

Dubai: German company Schaub Lorenz has unveiled the world’s most expensive and ultra luxurious LCD TV in the Middle East market for $130,000 (Dh477,100).

The 40-inch LCD TV is studded with diamonds and white gold. Each diamond is of V VS1 brilliant white colour.

“The eco-friendly TV is made with degradable and reusable components consisting of 47 per cent glass, three per cent aluminium and 10 per cent iron allowing the TV to be 45 per cent more recyclable than a normal TV with many plastic parts.

The TV is completely hand-made – piece by piece construction – without screws and welding. The television screen functions are all activated by feather touch,” said Dr Jean Shahdadpuri, Director, Nikai Group of Companies.

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Middle East

UAE: Media hub strategy

I’m reproducing a brief I wrote a few months back for Oxford Analytica about the media hub model in the UAE.  At the time Abu Dhabi hadn’t formally launched its big media hub to compete with Dubai Media City, but I think that underscores even more the Dubai-Abu Dhabi rivalry/emulation I touched on in the briefing.  Enjoy:

United Arab Emirates: Media hub strategy bears fruit

EVENT: A new federal media law scrapping jail terms for press violations is nearing approval.

SIGNIFICANCE: The law formalises a decree issued last year by Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum. The United Arab Emirates is realising gains from a decade of investments aimed at developing into a global media hub.

ANALYSIS: The new law is part of a decade-long effort to boost the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) domestic media production and attract foreign media firms. Dubai is now the venue of choice for global media companies seeking a foothold in the region. Sponsoring and advertising in these media advance its strategic goals of becoming a world business and tourism destination (see UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Disaffected threaten Dubai model – May 8, 2008).

Its status as the physical base for media outlets also gives the state coercive political power over content, which it uses on occasion. This is a major success for the UAE’s state-driven development model, and has prompted the wealthier emirate of Abu Dhabi to take similar steps to centralise and promote media. A secondary goal of the media drive is to foster a unified Emirati identity and to strengthen civil society. However, this is hampered by conservative elites and a near total dependence on foreign workers.