Entertainment District Phase I at Dh660m

India is the fastest-growing film industry in the world, producing more than 1,000 films a year. (SUPPLIED) 

The newly-launched Entertainment District by the Dubai Infinity Holding is to be spread over an area of 150 hectares and will cost around Dh660 million, in the first phase of its development.

Explaining the latest project, Samira Abdulrazzak, CEO of the Infinity Group shared details of this joint venture with Yash Raj Films of India, one of the most successful film banners of Bollywood, producing successful feature films in India.

"Dubai Infinity Holding is an innovative and empowering investment establishment driven by the Dubai Strategy Plan 2015, vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. With that intention, we will always be seeking innovative ideas for investment and the Entertainment District just fits the bill catering to millions of people from the Sub continent," says Samira.

In a truly corporate tone, Samira throws some figures to back her latest project. "The country's population comprises 52 per cent residents from the Sub-continent, and they are very enthusiastic about their movies as they spend 68 per cent of their disposable income on entertainment. But despite this, very little caters to their demands and taste."

"The appeal of Indian cinema goes beyond the Subcontinent and is in fact very fondly followed by Emiratis and other Arabs," elaborates Samira while voicing her support on these facts and realities to provide an entertainment base for this consumer base. Adding more numbers in support of the project, Samira says: "Indian cinema is the fastest-growing film industry in the world [at a staggering 90 per cent], producing more than 1,000 films a year; in comparison Hollywood produces less than 500 and China less than 100 films anually."

The Entertainment District will contribute to Dubai's vision of becoming an entertainment hub with facilities that will cater to the industry people and provide entertainment and amusement to consumers and viewers of Indian cinema.

It will house cinema complexes, hotels and theme parks that will be inspired by the creations of Yash Raj Production on the big screen. "With close proximity to Mumbai, the district will be an ideal platform for industry professionals to give global base and exposure to their projects," says Samira.

On the question of selecting Yash Raj as a significant partner in the project, Samira emphasises "DIH would only be associated with the best in whichever industry that we venture into. So Yash Raj, the Godfather of Indian cinema was the obvious choice as a vital partner that added value to the project."

Yash Raj films has been known to be looking at feasibility of setting up a studio in the region and Dubai in particular, and now tying up with the Entertainment District will provide them more than a production facility.

Yash Raj Films started out as a film-making company in 1970. In the last three decades it has grown from strength to strength and to its credit today has some of the highest grossers in the entertainment business.

Yash Raj Films has expanded its horizons into distribution of in-house films as well as films made by leading names in the industry and has made an impact in home entertainment by marketing and distributing DVDs and VCDs of Indian movies.

Recently, Yashraj has ventured into creating its own music label – Yash Raj Music and has also built a studio.

The Infinity Holding is embarking on this project that has the potential of multiplying itself and take it beyond a real estate development with the district eventually turning into a film production base and a theme park for Indian movie buffs who will eagerly refresh their big screen memories with amusement and nostalgia, all packed in one and presented in truly Yash Raj style with efficiency and competence of Dubai.

"We are certain that this project will add to the tourism potential of the emirate and the project will start paying for itself soon after its first phase completion in 2012," says Samira.