Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 February 2020

MBC Group to set up new headquarters in Riyadh

Company will start operations in Riyadh within five years, according to Al Arabiya

Saudi Arabia's Dar Al Arkan says it has appointed a group of local and international banks to help it raise more funds through Islamic bonds. AP 
Saudi Arabia's Dar Al Arkan says it has appointed a group of local and international banks to help it raise more funds through Islamic bonds. AP 

MBC Group, the largest broadcaster in the Middle East and North Africa, signed an agreement to set up new headquarters in Riyadh and will begin operations from Saudi Arabia’s capital within five years.

The new headquarters will be based at Riyadh’s Media City project.

"While we always try to reinvent ourselves, anticipate key trends, identify the 'Next Big Thing' and never sleep on our laurels… it’s only logical for MBC Group to be an integral part of the amazing 'New Saudi'," Marc Antoine d’Halluin, chief executive of MBC Group, said in a note to employees seen by The National.

"MBC Group will become — in gradual stages, over the coming five years — a cornerstone in Riyadh’s new creative zone for art, media and entertainment," Mr d’Halluin added.

MBC Group, currently headquartered in Dubai, offers a variety of TV and broadcast channels to an audience of 180 million viewers across the Middle East and North Africa, as well as online platforms offering content ranging from news to entertainment. It owns news channels like Al Hadath, Al Arabiya and Al Arabiya English.

“I signed with my brother, Sheikh Waleed bin Ibrahim Al Ibrahim, chairman of the board of MBC Group, the largest group in the Arab world, an agreement to establish a new headquarters for the group in Media City,” Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al Saud, the chairman of Riyadh’s Media City project, wrote on Twitter.

“Through the establishment of a new headquarters in Riyadh, the group seeks to keep abreast of developments in the kingdom, and to benefit from the open, developed and supportive environment for the media and entertainment sectors, and with those, content production,” Mr Al Ibrahim said.

Saudi Arabia has been going through a transformation of its economy under Vision 2030, an overarching social and economic agenda driven by Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman. Weaning its economy off oil, part-privatising state entities and opening its non-oil sector for investment are among the key pillars of Saudi Arabia’s reform programme.

The kingdom saw record levels of foreign investment in 2019, with more than 1,100 new international companies establishing operations in the Kingdom in 2019 — up 54 per cent on 2018 and three times more than in 2017, according to a recent report by the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority.

Al Arabiya network and Al Hadath TV also signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a new centre for the Al Arabiya network and Al Hadath in Riyadh’s Media City to expand their regional activities.

Updated: February 4, 2020 04:56 PM

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