The Abu Dhabi Media Company has launched a $1bn investment in feature film and digital content.

It has formed a subsidiary - imagenation Abu Dhabi - to develop, finance and produce content for both regional and international markets. Its intial aim is to make eight films a year.

The company will look for deals with US and other international producers and aims to become a worldwide powerhouse.

'We are bringing Hollywood and the international production community to Arabia,' said Edward Borgerding, CEO of imagenation and its parent company.

'Our aim is to make award-winning films which are commercially successful and appeal to audiences across the world.

'Our target output of eight films every year will make imagenation abu dhabi one of the world's top producers of feature films and establish Abu Dhabi as a leading centre for content creation.'

Borgerding's appointment in March was itself a signal of intent. He was a former executive vice president of Walt Disney International in Hong Kong and senior vice president of Walt Disney International Television in Hong Kong and London.

Both Abu Dhabi and its United Arab Emirates sister Dubai have already woven themselves into the fabric of the industry, each hosting major festivals. Finance from both is already locked into global deals.

Abu Dhabi finance is increasingly making an impact in many areas of global business. This week, for example, an Abu Dhabi group bought Manchester City football club in the UK and quickly signed an international superstar Robinho for a British record fee.

Mohamed Khalaf Al-Mazrouei, Chairman of both imagenation abu dhabi and the Abu Dhabi Media Company said:'Abu Dhabi has established itself as a major player in the global economy, as evidenced through recent activity in the energy, real estate and transportation sectors.

'Media is no different and Abu Dhabi Media Company is fulfilling its ambition to become a global player in the media industry.'

Richard Philipps,partner at international law firm Reed Smith said it was important thatthe studios behaved as genuine partners with Abu Dhabi,which would benefit all.

'The bottom line is, it's good news as long as the film industry nurtures this new relationship and resists the temptation to abuse it for a fast buck.'