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GearOne launched as Middle East’s first TV channel dedicated to automotive industry

GearOne has begun its official broadcast as the Middle East’s first satellite TV Channel that focuses on the automobile industry and all the sectors related to it, directly or indirectly.

Broadcasting from Dubai Media City, GearOne the Automotive Television will investigate all aspects of the motor world, covering topics ranging from improving public awareness of road safety issues, to stimulating and providing a forum for the oil, energy and other automobile-related economic sectors.

Asserting GearOne’s importance to the region, H.H. Sheikh Hazzaa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan welcomed the arrival of the new channel, saying it will highlight the region’s importance to the global car industry. ‘The Gulf region is of particular importance to the world’s automotive sector, not only because our markets attract large numbers of the world’s finest cars, but also because the auto industry and the oil industry are interdependent”.

H.H. Sheikh Hazzaa emphasized the important role he perceives GearOne as playing in increasing public awareness. ‘The GearOne management has been instructed to coordinate with authorities in the region, to place GearOne at their disposal as a means of spreading awareness on issues related to safety and the use of roads,’ he said. Sports bodies will also be encourage to take advantage of GearOne’s capabilties, he added.

The announcement of GearOne’s official launch came at a press conference held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. As of December 12th, the channel will begin broadcasting free-to-air through NileSat. The channel will operate a 24/7 service, broadcasting a mix of informative programmes sourced from around the world, as well as local productions addressing issues important to car users, such as insurance, car finance, etc.

The Dubai Media City-based channel is the latest venture undertaken by Global Business Services (GBS), an Abu Dhabi-based conglomerate with interests in communications, telecommunications, information technology, media and broadcasting.

The channel’s concept was the brainchild of Mr. Abdul Razzak Al Abdullah, the Chief Executive Officer of GBS. ‘His Highness Sheikh Hazzaa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has always been a supporter of niche-market ventures that serve the region and address real issues that concern individuals and corporations alike,’ said Al Abdullah, ‘which is why His Highness welcomed this idea and saw its true potential to serve the economies of the Gulf as well as quench the automobile enthusiast’s thirst for knowledge.”

Al Abdullah stressed that GearOne will conform to rigorous standards of professionalism. ‘I have made it a point to choose only high-calibre individuals for the channel’s team, seeking in particular those who have the necessary know-how and share our passion for automobiles,’ he said.

“GearOne will work closely with official and semi-official bodies throughout the Gulf, so we looked for PR-savvy specialists who share our vision that the automobile is more than just a means of transport, but rather the product of an industry which has far-reaching economic impact, both in the short- and long-term,’ he added.

Al Abdullah said GearOne’s birth was meticulously planned and painstakingly executed over a long period of time. ‘We had to make sure our programme mix conformed to our vision, so we dedicated ample time and resources to research,’ he said. GearOne’s programming will include public service, educational and ‘edutainment’-style shows. ‘We’re confident GearOne will become the foremost auto industry authority in the region and act as the link between car owners and other related industries and service providers,’ he said. ‘The channel also aims to provide dedicated services as well as media, technical, and specialized support for this industry, not to mention the economical benefit to related sectors through direct advertising services’.

Noting directives from H.H. Sheikh Hazzaa about cooperation with major oil industry players, motorsport organizations and sports federations throughout the region, GearOne’s founder said: ‘Our honorary president wants GearOne to act as a forum for major entities that promote the Gulf as a centre of excellence on a global scale, even if such entities weren’t directly related to the auto-industry’.

“There are companies in the Gulf that produce some of the world’s finest lubricants, not just for the auto industry,’ he noted, ‘and we hope to give such torch-bearers a mouthpiece that helps them reach more markets, regionally and globally’.

Speaking at the press conference, GearOne’s General Manager Mr. Salah Al Mutawa stressed it was not solely dedicated to automobile enthusiasts and motorsport fans. ‘GearOne will be a forum for discussing issues and concerns in the motor world which affect our daily lives in many different ways,’ he said. ‘Buying a car is a significant step in anyone’s life, with many implications,’ explained Mutawa. ‘From a financial point of view for example, it is by no means a small investment, and might even require a loan; plus there are extra costs for maintenance, upkeep, insurance, finance, and maybe more. Our aim is to educate our viewers about such important matters.’

In addition, said Mutawa, GearOne will address ‘sensitive issues, even those that are usually swept under the carpet’. Citing the recent hike in fuel prices, he said: “There was a public outcry, but the energy sector never got a chance to explain the circumstances which forced it into that increase,’ he said. ‘In our coverage of such issues, we intend to give everyone equal opportunity to express their points of view”.

Mr. Mutawa said the channel will not shy away from discussing pitfalls and shortcomings, whether in the car industry or in related sectors. ‘By bringing those issues into light, we’re siding with our viewers and the consumers, and we’re helping the manufacturers and service providers to meet the standards and the requirements of the consumer, which is what GearOne is all about.”

In terms of sporting coverage, GearOne will extend its reach to cover not just car and motorcycle racing, but also powerboat events and aerial competitions. ‘We’ve been given a mandate to fully support those sports, locally, regionally and internationally,’ said Mutawa.

Also speaking at the conference was Mr. Suhail Hamoudi, General Manager of Strategic Publishing & Media Services, which will handle media sales for the new channel. ‘GearOne will help advertisers reach their target audience directly,’ he said.

‘With the proliferation of TV channels nowadays, the market has become extremely segmented, making it difficult for advertisers to distribute their advertising budgets,’ he noted. ‘But through GearOne, we’re giving them a captive audience of consumers actually interested in seeing what they have to offer’.

Hamoudi said bookings for advertising through the channel have exceeded all expectations. ‘But we’re not surprised by this: GearOne is a niche-channel with a broad customer base, and its presence on NileSat gives advertisers exposure throughout the Gulf and the Arab World including North Africa, as well as parts of Asia and Europe.

GearOne will be available free-to-air on NileSat 101, Transponder 25, Frequency 12226 and its launch will coincide with the inauguration on 12th December of the Dubai International Motor Show, in which GearOne is participating.

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