x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Arab business daily to be launched

The 40-page broadsheet will be called Alroya Altiqtissadiya, which is Arabic for Economy Vision.

Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Minister of Presidential Affairs, is behind a new company planning to launch the country's first Arabic-language daily business newspaper in January. The new 40-page broadsheet will be called Alroya Altiqtissadiya, which is Arabic for Economy Vision, and will begin with a print run of 20,000 copies aimed at a subscription market of business-savvy readers, said Qusai Aljamous, the executive editor in chief. Each day's newspaper will be accompanied by a 16-page tabloid supplement on real estate, banking, the stock market, commodities, tourism or lifestyle. "The newspaper will be more about analysis, rather than just conveying the news," Mr Aljamous said. "That is what will differentiate us from other economy sections. We know the markets." "Most of the other economy sections are mostly newswire, but there is no effort from the reporters on the team for analysis. Every report comes and is published like it is. There are no details, there is no follow-up. Alroya comes here to tell what is beyond the news." The newspaper is part of a broader integrated media project called I-Media, which will include a financial news online portal in Arabic and English, a mobile news services and the first Arabic economic news radio channel, he said. The portal will be launched with the paper, with the mobile service and radio launched about nine months later. I-Media was founded three months ago as a subsidiary of Das Holding, an Abu Dhabi-based international investment holding company backed by Sheikh Mansour. Another investment group of Sheikh Mansour's, the Abu Dhabi Group for Development and Investment (ADUG), recently purchased the English Premier League football team Manchester City. Mr Aljamous declined to disclose the investment in the media project, but said it was in the "hundreds of millions". The company is assembling a 200-member staff for the newspaper, with another 100 for the other media projects. Work is already underway at the newspaper's offices on Muroor Street in Abu Dhabi. The paper will also have a 5,000 square foot office in Dubai Media City, which will include a television studio, to enrich the video component of the financial news portal, and mobile services. Staff have been plucked from an array of prominent regional media organisations. Mr Aljamous and Mohammed Moumeneen, the chief executive of I-Media, come from management positions at the Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG), a vertically integrated publishing, printing, distribution and advertising business based in Saudi Arabia. Mr Aljamous formerly served as the managing editor at the Saudi Research and Publishing Company, a subsidiary of SRMG that produces 15 daily, weekly or monthly publications, while Mr Moumeneen was the executive development manager at SRMG. Refaat Jaafar joins the newspaper today as its managing editor after having left his post as the managing editor of Forbes Arabia yesterday. The goal of the new endeavour, he said, was "to give a new kind of business journalism to this region". Other journalists have come from Al Ittihad, Emarat Al Youm, Al Bayan and an array of local magazines, as well as from Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, Mr Aljamous said. The paper plans to double its circulation by the end of its first year by focusing on subscriptions. "You will not find the newspaper in the grocery," he said. After that, distribution plans extend throughout the GCC, and within two years throughout the Middle East and North Africa region. "We aim to be the main source of financial news in the region," Mr Aljamous said. "You know, Reuters [and] the other news wires, we are trying to be in the same class. But even the newswires don't have that much news about the Middle East. "Everything is collapsing or changing in Europe or America, but nobody knows what will happen in the Middle East, or the GCC. We have the opportunity, because we are people in this region. We know what is happening here and will convey it." khagey@thenational.ae