Abu Dhabi’s Leading Role In The World of Animation

In Abu Dhabi, the video animation industry is booming. Though countries like India are currently industry leaders in animation, the UAE is making a quick comeback. This change has been coming for quite some time, but we are finally starting to really capitalize on an industry that seems to be tailor-made for us.

Several things have lead to this change; the process of globalization has been of great benefit to many of Abu Dhabi’s industries and animation is no exception. Ever-present on the global market, the information age has changed exports for Abu Dhabi. In the past, exporting has been about material goods, but as we advance further, exports are more and more often digital products. The biggest issues with product migration in the past has been space: space for production, space for storage, and space from which you can export. The animation industry requires none of these things; just an office space.


Just a few years ago, Cartoon Network Studios Arabia opened up a media productions lab in Abu Dhabi, a sign of the unmediated growth happening now. They opened up in partnership with twofour54 Abu Dhabi after having a Cartoon Network Animation Academy here for quite some time.They say their decision to open the production studio was based on an influx of new talent in the UAE in this industry. Though this is, in part, due to their animation academy, it is also due to the high interest from our young people.

Wayne Borg, CEO of twofour54, said himself “Animation is one of the most dynamic and fastest growing media disciplines in the region and one we are focusing heavily on. Since we signed the agreement with Cartoon Network, we have seen the first class of students enter the world’s first Cartoon Network Animation Academy. The next phase of our agreement is the opening of the development studios and this will contribute significantly to our efforts to build the talent pool by providing career development opportunities for Arab animators, especially graduates from our Academy.”

Across the globe, most young people are online. This is just as true in Abu Dhabi. Not only are the young people familiar with the technology, they are immersed in it. As the UAE progresses and becomes a world leader in technology, so do our citizens. This leadership has granted many of us the opportunity to share our work with the world.