CNN adds Arabic from Dubai

By | August 29, 2001 | Feature

CNN has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Dubai’s ‘tax free’ Media City zone to open a news-gathering bureaux in the city, its fifth in the Mid-East. The international news broadcaster will also establish an Arabic website at the centre, with the intention being to grow this service into a comprehensive Arabic language broadcast service. Offices have been taken at the Dubai Media City and fitting out will commence shortly.

Ron Ciccone, Turner Broadcasting’s senior vice president and managing director for the Middle East who brokered the agreement with DMC said: “This venture demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the Middle Eastern market. Our choice of Dubai and the DMC underlines our support for its vision of a ‘free media zone’ where the standards of objective, responsible journalism will be guaranteed.”

CNN already transmits segments in Hebrew within Israel, and has investments in full vernacular channels in Turkey (CNN Turk), Spain (CNN+) and Germany (n-tv).

However, competition for Middle East-based viewers has never been tougher. Market-leader in news is undoubtedly Al Jazeera, a 24-hour all-Arabic news channel broadcasting from Doha, Qatar. In addition Middle East Broadcasting Centre announced earlier this year it would re-locate from London to Dubai, while Dubai Business Channel already transmits from the city.


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