Dubai is to fund a multimillion-dollar news centre for Syrian TV headquarters in Damascus in time for the Arab summit to be held there in March 2008, the Beirut-based website Manassat (www.menassat.com) has reported.
Dubai Media Incorporated (DMI) is contributing 8m dollars towards the building and equipping of the news centre, including a high-tech TV studio worth 4m dollars, and will be responsible for the full technical equipment of the studio.
DMI is also helping Syrian TV in the production of programmes and series, and helping to set up a new sports channel for Syrian TV, whose employees will receive training at Dubai Sports Channel.
Menassat is a Beirut-based bilingual Arabic-English website (www.menassat.com) funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands through the Dutch media advocacy group Free Voice (www.freevoice.nl).
Its website states: "Menassat intends to be a platform where Arab media professionals can offer ! and exchange views and information free of censorship and political or sectarian agendas. Our only philosophy is the promotion of freedom of expression."
Source: BBC Monitoring research in English 3 Jan 08