Animation In Arabic: Why We’re Seeing Growth

Animation is often thought to be a strictly visual industry, but most visual media has some audio component or, at the very least, written words in the videos themselves. Because of this, the industry ends up being divided by language. There is plenty of animation being produced in english because it is so commonly used in business, but there is a serious need for more animations in arabic as the population grows.

There has been a significant growth in the cartoon industry in arabic in recent years, but not enough to keep up with demand. Many viewers are watching cartoons produced in another language that have been dubbed for arabic-speaking viewers. This may be producing cartoons aimed at arabic-speakers, but they are often very Western and don’t necessarily appeal to their target audience. By producing cartoons that are originally written in arabic, animators are beginning to realize they can contact their target audience better.

                                           An example of anime in Arabic.

The important part of creating animation in arabic is it’s ability to target a specific audience that is hard to reach through dubbed cartoons. The history of popular cartoons is significantly different than the american cartoons that are being dubbed. Roberto Maurizzi, the president of the Abu Dhabi Cartoon Club said, “During the 80s and 90s, UAE televisions aired a lot of Japanese animation and a lot of people watched it.” Due to this history, the style of cartoon that is popular is often not the ones that are being dubbed in arabic.

The advertising industry is, slowly but surely, following suit. Advertisers who are looking to create video content in arabic are more and more often coming to video producers in the UAE to make their content rather than simply dubbing their content in english. This is especially true for animated videos because they don’t require the space or equipment that live action does. Animations become easier to produce everyday.

The youth in the UAE are seeing the opportunity in this industry. With a huge demand that has yet to have a matching supply, animation is a key industry for young people, especially here in Abu Dhabi. There are new training facilities for animators opening all the time and people are starting to take notice. Even people who don’t plan on being animators strictly speaking are picking up classes because they recognize it is a valuable skill to have. As more people are being trained in arabic-speaking countries, the gap is being closed, but there is still a long way to go.