Qvest Media secures contract to build Asharq’s media centre in Dubai

Omran Abda

Qvest Media has secured the contract to build the required systems for a multi-platform news and media centre owned by Asharq News Services Limited in the heart of Dubai’s financial district. This will lead “Bloomberg Asharq” to deliver news across online, social, TV and radio services around the clock to the Arabic speaking population around the world. This project is reportedly the first in MENA to use IP technology throughout its entire media infrastructure. The use of virtualised on-premise systems and cloud applications as a hybrid architecture for content aggregation, production and distribution also plays a key role.

Asharq has ambitious plans for the construction of its media centre. Even during the design concept and the spatial planning for the building, Asharq relied on a team of specialists made up of an international architects’ office, local construction firms and the general contractor Qvest Media for all technology-related matters.

Following the technology analysis and agreement on the system design, Qvest Media is now starting the process of integrating the media and IT systems. The technological design is based on a sophisticated architecture. A full-IP network, compliant with SMPTE ST 2110, ensures a high level of standardisation and connectivity between the systems, making infrastructural technology changes, such as the switch from full HD to 4K production and distribution, possible at any time.

Alongside the full-IP-enabled architecture, Asharq has also chosen to set up a hybrid network comprising virtualised systems in the local data centre, as well as applications in the cloud. In this case, the emphasis is on scaling and associated speed advantages, as well as the flexibility of innovative cloud services, thanks to which the facilities will be able to produce breaking news directly as events unfold. Among other things, cloud services continually browse social media and agency feeds in seconds on behalf of journalists.

“We are delighted that we have been able to impress Asharq News Services Ltd. with our expertise in the digital transformation of the media sector,” Philipp Glänzel, Principal at Qvest Media, said.

“With this project, we are once again setting the benchmark for the creation of digitally networked media architectures in the fields of online, social media and broadcasting,” added Glänzel.

In terms of audience appeal, the project of Asharq News Services Ltd. will also be setting new standards with its studio design, such as video walls and floor displays covering a total area of around 300 sqm. Several LED walls can be divided up into five segments and will feature a mobile, motorised ceiling suspension that allows them to be moved silently during live broadcasts. As well as building and installing these systems, Qvest Media will also be in charge of implementing the technology required to visualise graphic and video material used to interactively display programme-accompanying content on the LED walls.

Qvest Media will be presenting the project at its stand at CABSAT in close cooperation with representatives of Bloomberg Asharq.

Hall 3, Stand E3-10