Turkey and the United Arab Emirates are the fastest growingcinema markets in the Middle East region, according to a new report by DodonaResearch.

Expansion in screen numbers in Turkey (by 179% to 945) andthe UAE (almost fourfold to 142) over the 1995 to 2003 period was the catalystfor rapid growth in admissions and box office. Both countries saw cinemaadmissions rise more than 160%.

Dodona argues that recent consolidation in the UAE marketwill aid further growth. Grand Cinemas bought out its main competitor AlmassaCinemas in 2003, making it the largest circuit in the region and allowing somerationalisation of the combined circuit and elimination of duplicated costs.

Turkey has seen admissions broadly keep pace with screengrowth over the last decade, with attendance reaching 24.5 million in 2003. Thereport notes that a favourable decision on the country's aspirations to jointhe European Union, due in December 2004, is likely to have a positive effecton confidence in all areas of the economy.

Meanwhile, Dodona says that in Israel, an improving economyis encouraging exhibitors to invest in next generation multiplexes, like NewLineo Cinemas' 22 screen Cinema City, in Tel Aviv.