As most of you would be aware, Dubai’s International Media Production Zone (IMPZ) seeks to create a unique cluster environment for media production companies from across the industry value chain, and world, to interact and collaborate effectively. The beginning of 2008 would see the commencement of operations of this world-class printing (including digital) and publishing business zone. Sindbad Al Mahaire, director – business development, IMPZ enumerates the definite positive factors it offers, in a talkathon with Varsha Verma of S&G.
IMPZ : the ultimate destination
Catering exclusively to companies in the following industries – graphic art, publishing and packaging – IMPZ is an initiative of the visionary Dubai government, under the patronage of parent company, Dubai Holding. The IMPZ initiative is part of Dubai’s vision to develop itself into a global media hub. As such, it will provide a pro-business environment, sophisticated technology and community infrastructure to support and foster the growth of media production. “As a master developer, IMPZ aims to provide an environment of growth by building key facilities, investing in infrastructure, and forming a unique free zone that incorporates industrial, commercial, residential and community service projects under its mantle,” told Sindbad Al Mahaire, director – business development, IMPZ.
IMPZ : developing fast
“The vast complex will be housed on a territory of over 43 million square feet of land, in the heart of commercial Dubai. The graphic arts zone, which encompasses the printing, digital printing, packaging and related industries, would be spread over an area of 9 million sq ft, of which 6 million sq ft would be available for 100% lease and bigwigs like Heidelberg, Xerox and a few leading printing presses have already signed up. Almost 2.2 million sq ft area is reserved for developing. The rest 8,000 sq ft area encompasses 30 buildings to accommodate 12,000 workers serving the companies in the IMPZ area,” told Sindbad.
Elaborating more on the developments at IMPZ, Sindbad told that 106 units of warehouse and showroom complexes would be ready by the end of year 2008. “Besides, in phase I and II, it has been already leased to local companies as well as companies from Europe and Asia.”
“For the graphic arts alone, IMPZ, an initiative of TECOM investments has made an initial investment of Dhs 1.5 billion in this project, and another Dhs one billion is scheduled to be invested by our tenants in machinery alone, and this does not include land, office space, labour or other costs,” augmented Sindbad.
Value propositions at IMPZ
“One of the key success value proposition for IMPZ is its location. Situated on the Emirates Road, in close proximity to the Jebel Ali port and the recently announced Jebel Ali Airport City, IMPZ’s strategic location will considerably ease imports, exports and logistics operations. The new airport, when completed, will have a handling capacity of about 120 million passengers annually along with 12 million tonnes of cargo. As for the location of Dubai at the crossroads of Asia, Europe and Africa, and with its enviable proximity to multiple markets, it has already proven its mettle as a center for various international operations,” told Sindbad.
As with other free zones in Dubai, companies joining IMPZ can avail of 100% ownership and will be exempted from almost all corporate and personal taxes, including those for machinery, equipment, raw materials and spares utilised by the industry. Furthermore, rules governing media production have been simplified to provide maximum ease of operations.
“Moreover, co-existing at a single location will enable print companies to coordinate production activities efficiently with feeders like machinery and equipment providers and suppliers of raw materials and spares. For small and medium-sized businesses, the time and costs involved in sourcing requirements will be considerably reduced, as they can avail of several shared services,” added Sindbad.
IMPZ will deploy and promote eco-friendly industrial environ-ments, where tested concepts and practices will be adopted to recycle waste and enable companies to utilise each others’ by-products instead of disposing them as waste. Besides, renewable energy sources are included in the site’s infrastructure to guarantee reliable and clean power.
Live, work and enjoy at IMPZ
“IMPZ will provide the perfect life to its residents – both at work and leisure. Many entertainment projects have been planned for the surrounding area. Even the residential complexes are well planned, giving workers a comfortable life. Supermarkets, recreational and healthcare facilities and services like banking will also be available in the Zone, besides amphitheatre and arena for large events and exhibitions on site,” told Sindbad. Business partners for success
“In graphic arts alone, as many as 100 companies have already been registered with IMPZ, including companies from Germany Switzerland, Austria, UK, UAE, India, Africa, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, etc,” told Sindbad. Their current roster of tenants is impressive, to say the least, and includes international representations by Heidelberg, MAN Roland, KBA, Agfa Pre-Press, Fuji, Kodak-Creo, Libras, Bobst, Technotrans and Vimpex. The region is well represented by Al Ghurair Printing Press, Emirates printing Press, Oriental Press, SRPC, Mohoya Investment, Thomson Press and others.
Target 2008 for IMPZ
“The headquarters of IMPZ would be ready by February 2008, which is spread over an area of 18,000 sq ft to accommodate all government services for onsite servicing of customers for smooth functioning. By July 2008, majority of companies in pre-built unit will be operational and by the end of 2009, majority of companies in IMPZ will be fully operational,” informed Sindbad proudly.
IMPZ : targeting Indian companies as well
Coming to the Indian market, Sindbad shared that Indian market is very important for them and this is the reason why they have participated in the major printing shows in India like IPAMA Expo, PAMEX and more recently Ipex South Asia 2007. At the recently concluded IPEX South Asia 2007, IMPZ held a series of discussions with decision makers from the printing, packaging and allied industries. The talks, which revealed strong investor interest in IMPZ’s pre-built units, resulted in significant collaborations with leading 3P entities in India, including Accurate Printers and Pathfinder Graphics. “The event provided an excellent opportunity to gather information on technology updates, market perspectives and industry specific developments. Our consistent integrated marketing efforts generated optimistic responses from South Asia, specifically from India,” added Sindbad.
“We will continue to participate in major graphic arts shows in India to support our business partners and transfer knowledge between our readers and local market,” concluded Sindbad on a positive note.