Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

France starts Arabic radio service in UAE

Monte Carlo Doualiya (MCD), the Arabic-language radio station backed by the French government, has begun broadcasting in the UAE on 95.3FM.

Monte Carlo Doualiya (MCD), the Arabic-language radio station backed by the French government, began broadcasting in the UAE on Thursday on 95.3FM. The move is part of a four-year, 80 million (Dh389.2m) expansion of the 38-year-old radio station, which is trying to reach out to more young people and women through an FM service and mobile phones.

The launch also underscores the growing importance the French company's parent group is placing on reaching out to the Arab world, said Alain de Pouzilhac, the chief executive of the state-owned Audiovisuel Exterieur de la France (AEF), the station's parent company. "Monte Carlo Doualiya will make the vision and values of France better known in this part of the world, and show the difference in the political position that France takes in this part of the world", compared with the US and UK positions that now dominate the foreign-owned Arabic media landscape, Mr de Pouzilhac said.

The expansion comes a year after MCD's sister company, the television channel France 24, expanded its daily Arabic broadcast from four to 10 hours a day, just two years after the service was launched. "It is a priority for us to be closer to this part of the world," Mr de Pouzilhac said. The growth of Arabic activities comes with a reorganisation within AEF, which includes France 24, TV5Monde, and Radio France International (RFI), the parent of MCD.

The journalists contributing to MCD's programming will come from France 24 and MCD, making the Arabic broadcast a kind of laboratory for a new, collaborative journalism. "This department is a new model that makes Arabic-language TV and radio journalists work together," Mr de Pouzilhac said. The collaboration was designed to yield efficiencies that will ultimately save the group money, Mr de Pouzilhac said.

At the same time, AEF has been given authorisation to increase the share of its budget that comes from advertising, in the hopes of expanding its total budget over the next few years while reducing the amount of money it is given by the state. To do that, AEF planned to increase its share of advertising from 12m today to 45m by 2013, Mr de Pouzilhac said. "Step by step, the growing of the advertising will replace the investment that the state has to put into the Audiovisuel Exterieur de la France," he said.

The UAE is the 10th country in the MENA region to receive MCD on FM signal. MCD also broadcasts on FM frequencies in Jordan, Iraq, Djibouti, Qatar, Sudan, Kuwait, Bahrain and Mauritania, with its latest relay set up in Ramallah. MCD can also be heard throughout the US on mobile phone. The main program, La Matinale runs between 6am and 10am with news about the economy, politics, sports, the environment and new technology. To mark its opening in a new market, MCD will dedicate its broadcast today to programmes about the UAE.

Nahida Nakad, the deputy director of news for MCD and France 24's Arabic Service, said the station aimed to differentiate itself by being informative and entertaining for the broadest possible Arabic-speaking audience. "News isn't only politics," Ms Nakad said. "It is also supposed to be a mirror of life, in all its facets. That means we talk about politics, but we also talk about the art of living, health and everything else that makes a life."


Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Would you like it in blue? An Afghan shopkeeper shows a burqa to a customer at a bazaar in Herat. (Aref Karimi / AFP /  April 13, 2014)

In pictures: Best business images for the week to April 24, 2014

Here are some of the best business images for the week to April 24, 2014.

 That's asking a lot: this four-bedroom duplex penthouse apartment  at Marina Residence in Dubai is for sale with an asking price of Dh15.7 million. (Courtesy Better Homes / April 2014)

In pictures: Palm Jumeirah penthouse listed for Dh15.7 million

A four-bedroom duplex penthouse in Marina Residence 3 on Dubai's Palm Jumeirah is on the market for Dh15.7 million.

 Room with a view from one of the 21 duplex penthouses located in the Gate Towers sky-bridge. The sports courts and swimming pools can be seen below. Courtesy Alda

In pictures: Aldar’s Gate Towers Penthouse Collection on Reem Island

Aldar launched its Gate Towers Penthouse Collection at Cityscape Abu Dhabi. The launch features 21 penthouses spanning the skybridge, with each having a private indoor pool and incredible views.

 Marina Square apartments Reem Island: Q1 2% rise. Studio - Dh65-68,000. 1BR - Dh75-95,000. 2BR - Dh110-145,000. 3BR - Dh170-190,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 no change. Sammy Dallal / The National

In pictures: Where Abu Dhabi rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Abu Dhabi have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 The Wind, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition takes place from April 14 to April 16. Above, the Dewa showroom during last year’s Wetex. Jaime Puebla / The National

April corporate and economic calendar for the UAE and overseas

From Cityscape to Wetex to stock-market holidays to nations reporting first-quarter GDP figures, here is our helpful calendar of April's business events in the UAE and internationally.

 Get the latest information on credit cards, bank accounts and loan products in the UAE. Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Rates report: Latest on UAE loans, accounts and credit cards

Souqamal.com brings you the latest interest rates on banking products in the UAE.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National