Elaph announces the launch of new Multi-Media services in partnership with Charisma Group


As it celebrates its 10th Anniversary, Elaph.com, the leading around the clock Arabic news portal published and founded by Othman al-Omeir, announced today that it will be expanding on its highly successful brand by launching enhanced multi-media services, Elaph Multi-Media [EMM], in 2012.

Elaph Multi-Media will embrace the inspirations and aspirations of the Arab world and has chosen to base its headquarters at twofour54 in Abu Dhabi. The new co-operation partnership with twofour54, which is set to become the regional centre of excellence for the Arabic media industry, is a strategic move by both companies to work together to achieve common objectives.

EMM will be a publisher-broadcaster, commissioning and acquiring short and long-form programming produced by and from leading independent production companies and the creative community across the MENA region. EMM’s broadband channel will be informative, interactive, entertaining, educational and inspiring. EMM will also become a key online video destination for Arabic audiences to complement their existing daily newsgathering served by Elaph.com and as a catch-up offering.

The new Elaph audio-visual services will be targeted at Elaph.com’s core readership and appeal to young, internet-savvy Arabic speaking audiences wanting to interact with fast-paced, short-form, informative and compelling content.

The distinguished Elaph brand will offer its online readership and community at large a new and significant multi-media experience. Both advertisers & sponsors alike will be drawn to the original and exciting offering from the distinctive Elaph.com brand. When launched, EMM’s new Arabic language multi-media services will be transmitted free-to-air across the Middle East & North Africa.

Announcing this today, Elaph’s Publisher & Founder Othman al-Omeir said, “EMM will provide a new chapter in Middle Eastern multi-media. Elaph’s new multi-media venture will create more choice, more coverage, more social networking and more interaction. The rise in both digital as well as social media and the emerging pan-Arab movement for change is a driving force behind EMM’s new venture. Editorially, operationally and technically our multi-genre program output across our multi-media platforms will be distinctive, innovative, empowering and with high production values”.

Elaph is also proud to announce that the Charisma Group, one of the leading and fastest growing independent content creators & providers in the Middle East & North Africa, is taking a stake in EMM’s new multi-media venture as a strategic partner. Both companies will work closely together to enhance each other’s shared vision including their respective programming & content initiatives.

“I’m proud to have the Charisma Group as strategic investors in EMM,” added al-Omeir. “They are a forward looking company and together we share common progressive editorial and commercial objectives. With increasing demands across the new media landscape as a whole there is also a real opportunity here with them as with other leading independent producers across the region to provide a great, collaborative experience for talent to hone and shape their ideas and to reach a valuable, cutting-edge, media-hungry audience that enjoys interacting with the Elaph brand.”

The Charisma Group is a leading producer of commissioned content in the region, with its GCC headquarters at twofour54 from where it produces quality scripted and non-scripted programs, entertainment shows and documentaries as well as offering media management services to TV channels, from market analysis to 360 exploitation of their content.

Talking about the strategic partnership with Elaph, Ayman Al Zyoud, CEO and founder of Charisma, said, " I’m really pleased and proud for Charisma to be going into a strategic alliance with EMM [Elaph Multi-Media]. Our support and endorsement for the new EMM media venture which is being led by its CEO Nicholas Claxton is based on a strong and mutual commitment by both companies to provide the Arab world with compelling content that is fresh, distinctive as well as empowering and that responds to the rapidly changing interests, issues and needs across the pan-Arab market. We have witnessed the rise of expectations, of self-expression and creativity, yet the endless possibilities of interaction haven’t been brought to the increasingly exposed Arab audience.

Interactivity is not about giving the chance to rerun a show; it’s about inviting the audience to shape what they want to watch. All it takes is the understanding of the audience and of how they grow, the knowledge that convergence is the key, and the right people to bring the vision to life. It’s about time.”

twofour54’s commitment to make Abu Dhabi a regional media hub and centre of excellence for the Arabic media industry has been a major factor in Elaph’s choice of deciding on Abu Dhabi & twofour54 as EMM’s new operational headquarters. “There are strong synergies between both our companies and I look forward to our working together to achieve our common objectives, added al-Omeir.”

Wayne Borg – twofour54’s Deputy CEO & Chief Operating Officer, said, “This is a significant addition to the media ecosystem we are building at twofour54. Not only will Elaph Multi-Media be creating engaging, contemporary Arabic content across multiple channels, but in doing so, they will add to the talent development and employment opportunities for young Arabs and, in particular, UAE Nationals. This is another step towards establishing a sustainable Arabic media industry in Abu Dhabi.”

EMM’s CEO, Nicholas Claxton, who is also Managing Director of Elaph.com, said “The launching of EMM is a highly exciting one and we are proud to have formed a strategic, commercial relationship with both twofour54 and Charisma. I look forward to working with the management team at twofour54 as well as with the creative and visionary strengths that are the hallmark of the Charisma team.

Together we’ve got a great opportunity to provide a collaborative experience and produce amazing results. EMM’s mission is to be the voice of independent thinking and diverse opinions and I want to see our new multi-media services bringing a bolder experience of communication to the Arab world and with it a fresh young perspective appealing to an educated demographic and digitally savvy generation that’s hungry for new content that is more mutually inclusive and empowering.”