The financial news network will start broadcasting from Abu Dhabi Global Market by April
CNBC network makes Abu Dhabi headquarters for its Middle East operations
The financial news television network CNBC said on Tuesday it was making Abu Dhabi its regional headquarters, from where it plans to expand its coverage to the broader Middle East.
The network said it would likely start operations by April and was hiring 10 people to staff its new office in the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the Emirate’s financial centre.
“Abu Dhabi offers an excellent base for CNBC in the Middle East,” said KC Sullivan, president and managing director of CNBC International.
“It is home to many of the region’s key businesses and decision-makers as well as being a major financial services hub. We’re excited about the prospect of using our ADGM base to grow our regional coverage and audience."
CNBC is one of the most watched financial news network, with a viewership exceeding 400 million homes globally. The financial news television station already has a Middle East program called Access Middle East which profiles government and business leaders.
Abu Dhabi is already home to CNN's fourth broadcast hub, which opened in 2009 in media free zone twofour54.
Mr Sullivan said that adding Abu Dhabi to its global broadcasting location fills a time zone between Singapore and London for the television station. After London, the news anchors hand off to New York.
"We also plan to bring our full suite of commercial services to the region and will work with our local clients on tailored events, research and commercial content,” he said.
The executive said that the Emirate’s stable business environment was among reasons that the network chose Abu Dhabi and that it would focus on presenting news tailored to local interests. The broadcasting time from Abu Dhabi is expected to be between one or two hours a day, Mr Sullivan said.
“Now is the time for us to expand,” he told reporters at a press conference. “We will be putting a studio, covering the global business news through local lens.”
The announcement comes at a time when ADGM is gaining traction as a global financial center.
In September, the financial centre rose three places to number 25 in the closely-watched Global Financial Centre Index (GFCI), compiled every six months by market intelligence firm Z\Yen in London.
“We welcome CNBC to ADGM and are glad to provide the platform for CNBC to expand its news reach in this region,” said Ahmed Al Sayegh, chairman of ADGM.
“The presence of CNBC here augments Abu Dhabi’s position as one of the leading global and financial business hubs. ADGM will continue to play its part to connect local and global businesses to opportunities in this region, as well as enable investors to access actionable financial news and information.”