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Creative Media Authority

Yas Creative Hub set to triple jobs in Abu Dhabi’s media & entertainment sector

14 May 2023

  • 2.9 million sq.ft. (270,000 sq.m) campus will house 16,000+ professionals by 2031, working across traditional and cutting-edge creative sectors
  • CNN, Ubisoft and Unity Technologies already confirmed to join
  • Purpose-built, walkable design reflects demand for flexible, tech-enabled, community workspaces
  • 70,000 sq.ft. of studio and post-production space will double the number of local and international productions that Abu Dhabi can host in a year
  • On-site amphitheatre, retail and F&B and other amenities along with a pedestrian connection to Yas Bay Waterfront ensure vibrant lifestyle for workers and residents

Yas Creative Hub, the home for Abu Dhabi’s media, gaming & entertainment sector, will open its doors with a diverse group of global companies, SMEs and freelance professionals in Q4 next year, twofour54 Abu Dhabi announced as it revealed fresh details and images of this game-changing destination.

The 2.9 million sq.ft. (270,000 sq.m) sustainable development has been purpose-built to meet the future needs of Abu Dhabi’s flourishing creative sector. Yas Creative Hub’s impact is designed to accelerate the industry’s anticipated growth, with the number of professionals working in the field in Abu Dhabi expected to triple to 16,000 over the next 10 years. The development creates a gathering place where such established industries as content creation, broadcast media and advertising will sit side by side with innovation sectors such as visual effects and video game development.

The size of 40 football pitches, Yas Creative Hub will provide industry-leading production facilities, next-generation connected technology and flexible workspaces allowing partners of any size – from household-name multinationals to individual entrepreneurs – to create impactful videos, graphics, animations, digital content and more on site. One of the most advanced content creation hubs in the world will be integrated within a fully walkable, landscaped campus that includes parks, cafes and restaurants, wellness facilities, an outdoor amphitheatre, rooftop terraces, and direct pedestrian access to Miral’s iconic Yas Bay Waterfront and Etihad Arena.

The first industry-specific build for the creative sector in the GCC, Yas Creative Hub is designed by MZ Architects, the creators of Aldar’s HQ. Construction work is 75% complete and on track for the official opening of phase one of the campus in Q4 2021, when twofour54’s existing community of over 600 companies and 5,000+ professionals will relocate to the new campus. CNN, Ubisoft and Unity Technologies are among the companies are already confirmed to join Yas Creative Hub next year.

H.E. Mohammed Al Mubarak, Chairman of twofour54 Abu Dhabi, said: “We are experiencing an exponential expansion in the creative industry. New technologies have enabled an explosion of content and platforms, transforming what it means to be creative and giving each of us the power to create and consume content how, where and when we like. Yas Creative Hub will be a driving force in the evolution of Abu Dhabi’s own creative economy, bringing together a large and diverse community of skilled professionals in a stunning campus development purpose-designed to spark innovation and collaboration.”

Michael Garin, CEO of twofour54 Abu Dhabi, said: “Yas Creative Hub brings to life the essence of Abu Dhabi’s creative ecosystem: connectivity, flexibility, and community. It will be a flagship destination where creative businesses and entrepreneurs will create an agile workplace that suits their business and their team, join a vibrant community with shared aspirations, and turn good ideas into game-changing reality. Yas Creative Hub will be the home to a powerful cluster of creative sector giants, harnessing non-stop access to technology, content, creativity, talent development opportunities, and a gateway to a huge regional audience with an insatiable appetite for quality content. Given the changing circumstances driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are pleased to say that Yas Creative Hub is the newest office of the future, rather than the last office of yesterday.”

Mohamed Abdalla Al Zaabi, CEO of Miral, said: “We are happy to see Yas Creative Hub’s progress, as it is an integral part of Yas Bay, Abu Dhabi’s upcoming vibrant waterfront destination located on the southern end of Yas Island. Set to attract thousands of business and media professionals once complete, we are excited to be welcoming them to Yas Bay’s thriving community, which will further support our vision in positioning Yas Island as a top global destination for entertainment, leisure and business.”

Yas Creative Hub is being built in phases over the next decade. Phase 1 will deliver more than 1 million gross floor area (GFA), including a 838,400 sq.ft (77,890 sq.m) of net leasable area.

Once all three phases are complete, Yas Creative Hub will be home to 16,000 creative professionals – three times as many as twofour54’s existing campus at Khalifa Park.

Abu Dhabi’s thriving creative industry is rapidly becoming a key economic driver for the Emirate, which is investing in developing interconnected ecosystems and infrastructure to empower the sector. The emirate is developing several destinations over the next five years that are designed to meet the evolving needs of the creative industries – of which Yas Creative Hub will be the first.

Yas Creative Hub will accelerate Abu Dhabi’s strategy to advocate for the creation of original local content and incentivise international productions who increasingly choose to shoot films and TV shows in the emirate, recognising the regional appetite for high-quality entertainment.

twofour54 is part of ADQ, one of the region’s largest holding companies with a broad portfolio of major enterprises spanning key sectors of Abu Dhabi’s diversified economy.

Sustainable design for an inclusive community

Yas Creative Hub consists of environmentally considered buildings with sustainable operational practices. The targeted Estidama Pearl Rating for the office buildings is a minimum 2 Pearl Rating under the Pearl Building Rating System (PBRS).

Five towers will house more than 600 firms and hundreds of freelancers from around the world, all built around the stunning Media Boulevard, a 250,000 sq.ft (23,200 sq.m) public park and 64,500 sq.ft (6,000 sq.m) plaza. The campus is seamlessly connected with public transport links and almost 4,000 underground and above ground parking spaces.

In addition to the flexible co-working spaces, the campus’s Community Hub will feature dedicated open-plan collaborative community spaces for twofour54’s 14,000-member Creative Lab and for the Arab Film Studio.

Yas Creative Hub is home to a large external amphitheatre, which will provide an ideal platform for events and community activations, and more than 280,000 sq.ft (26,000 sq.m) of accessible rooftop space.

The hub will open with six retail and seven F&B outlets, as well as other facilities including gyms, supermarkets and more.

State-of-the-art facilities

Yas Creative Hub will almost double the amount of studio space available in Abu Dhabi thanks to the 34,400 sq.ft. (3,2000 sq.m) of production facilities and 35,300 sq.ft (3,300 sq.m) of post-production suites.

The studios are designed to be flexible to meet the needs of large or small productions. The ceilings are up to 15m high to accommodate all kinds of equipment and set design.

Broadcasters can also make use of the glass-walled viewing corridor which offers an incredible backdrop taking in the Yas Bay Waterfront.

A hub for gaming

Gaming is the fastest-growing segment of the media industry in the Middle East and the value of the region’s gaming industry is predicted to rise to USD4.4 billion by 2022.

Yas Creative Hub will be home to a gaming Centre of Excellence that provides the game development industry in the region with unparalleled on-the-ground support to students, professionals and small businesses throughout the Middle East and Africa.

The centre is part of a 10-year landmark partnership with Unity Technologies, the world’s leading platform for creating and operating interactive, real-time 3D (RT3D) content.

Together, twofour54 and Unity will develop a physical state-of-the-art gaming hub where local start-ups and students can learn the skills needed to succeed in the gaming industry. The training initiative will sit alongside a competitive subsidy package for developers.