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Videos in Dubai, UAE – to translate or not to translate?


Video production and film making is a growing trend in many organizations in UAE today.

The UAE is a federation of seven emirates; Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain. It is also a country where the majority of the workforce comprises of people from different parts of the world. A good percentage of the videos produced are in English which leads many to ask whether they should translate their videos into Arabic and other languages.

The answer depends on the target audiences and what is expected to be achieved from these videos.  For eg, health and safety videos, training videos and instructional videos can have multiple language versions or just in the language of the target audience. In a shipyard, it could be in the language spoken by the majority of the blue collar workforce – Tagalog, Hindi/Urdu and so on. But if the videos are meant to reach markets in China, Russia or other non-English speaking nations, in order to get better results it is best they have versions in those languages.

While companies create videos for various reasons such as business presentations, product launches, promos, instructional, exhibitions, trade shows, conferences, seminars, pitches, pre-qualification sessions, tender submissions, training, induction, project documentaries etc it is important that the productions are tailored in style and content to suite the audiences.  A ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach is not particularly effective when it comes to videos.

Video sub-titling is another option that can be considered. The one deficiency of sub-titling is it tends to distract, to a degree, the full attention to the action going on screen.  Of course this also means the viewers must be good and fast at reading.

We at MovieMedia specialize in video productions with special emphasis on business and training. With over 18 years in the UAE, we have learned to recognize what peer groups respond to and most importantly to what they don’t. We provide additional language versions and sub-titling services to help generate the desired impact and thereby get a better return on investments.


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October 2020