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Global Power Players Descend for Summit

Ari Emanuel

The third edition of the high-powered event draws forward-thinkers for three days of dialogue about the future of "the digital frontier."

Three years ago, Abu Dhabi put on the first-ever Abu Dhabi Media Summit in March with such execs as News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch and Google's Eric Schmidt.

Now held in October just ahead of the emirate's annual film festival, it is back for its third edition with the likes of WME's Ari Emanuel, YouTube content guru Robert Kyncl, Bill Gates, former MTV and Viacom boss Tom Freston and Viacom International Media Networks CEO Bob Bakish.

The industry gathering, expected to bring together several hundred participants, will take place Oct. 9 to 11 at the Yas Viceroy Hotel on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. More than 400 global media leaders are confirmed for the Media Summit, whose theme this year is "Redefining the Digital Frontier."

"The continued evolution and strengthening of the summit mirrors the continued development of Abu Dhabi and the UAE as an important hub for the media industry," says Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Media Summit and also known to English soccer fans as chairman of reigning Premier League champs Manchester City. "The 2012 event will also see an even greater emphasis on homegrown talent through a series of master classes and workshops."

Expect a wide range of attendees -- from traditional Hollywood players to representatives from the mobile, broadband, music, advertising, marketing and financial sectors. In terms of content, the summit typically emphasizes cutting-edge thinking in key areas of the broader entertainment and technology worlds, with a focus on the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, East Asia and China.

The lineup Oct. 10 will include a roundtable discussion on "Digital Frontiers," specifically the growth of tablet computers, with Weather Channel chairman and CEO David Kenny and Jim Wuthrich, president of international home entertainment and digital at Warner Bros. There also will be a discussion under the theme "Generation Tweet?" and a talk with YouTube global head of content Kyncl and Uday Shankar, CEO of News Corp. pay television platform Star India, about "The War for the Living Room: The Internet Takes on Television."

Bill Gates

Elsewhere on the agenda that day are a session about global media going local with Bakish and Sai Kumar, group CEO of Indian joint venture Network 18, a fireside chat with China Media Capital chairman Li Ruigang and a conversation with Freston under the title "Rock the Casbah." For more information, go to admediasummit.com.