Move out of the way E! Online, YouTube is coming to the red carpet. On December 4th, the video sharing site will be live-streaming the Dubai International Film Festival’s (DIFF) Red Carpet Opening, and on December 7th, you can tune in to YouTube to catch the Closing Award Ceremonies.
While DIFF is the first entertainment event to be live-streamed out of the Middle East, YouTube has done it with other significant events elsewhere in the world including Prince William and Catherine Middleton’s Royal Wedding, earlier this year.
Abdulhamid Juma, Chairman of Dubai International Film Festival, said, “We are thrilled to partner with Google to bring the Dubai International Film Festival to YouTube’s global audience thanks to the power of video and the internet.”
YouTube’s exclusive online coverage of the festival will give visitors all over the world a chance to catch the star-studded event. The festival will include 200 films from 45 countries, and some of the globally know films include The Muppets, J. Edgar, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and God Bless Ozzy Ozbourne.
Arabic web content’s rate of growth has been impressive. The use of Arabic on the web has increased by 2,500% in the past 10 years, while the use of Arabic on Twitter alone has exploded by 2,000% in just one year. YouTube viewership in the Middle East has been no exception, and has doubled in the region in the past year.
In 2011, YouTube launched local versions of the site for Middle Eastern countries Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Tunis and Yemen, most of which are participating in DIFF this year.
Alfonso De Gaetano, Industry Head for Google in the Gulf region said, ”There’s so much more we want to do, such as partner with key content owners and have them create their own channels to maximize their reach while promoting and monetizing their content. There are definitely some exciting things in the works.”