Google fashions YouTube for UAE

Rebecca Hawkes ©RapidTVNews | 03-04-2012

A localised version of YouTube has been launched in the UAE, to encourage home grown video as the region experiences a digital content surge.
The Google-owned video site has been gaining popularity in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), with the number of playbacks doubling in the past year and an upload tally now of one hour of video per minute.
There are a 167 million video views a day in MENA, placing the region second behind the US, and ahead of Brazil in third spot, according to the digital giant.
"We have seen enormous growth for YouTube in the MENA region and expect this expansion to continue even more significantly with the launch of the UAE domain," said Ari Kesisoglu, managing director, Middle East North Africa at Google.
"A primary objective for us is to encourage local content from regional users, which we believe will be fuelled by this latest development."
Following the introduction of an Arabic language site in 2010, last year YouTube launched local versions in seven countries in the Middle East: namely Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Yemen.