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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 21 June 2018

Welcome to The National – relaunched

A note from our new Editor-in-Chief Mina Al-Oraibi.

Mina al-Oraibi, Editor in Chief of The National. Ravindranath K / The National
Mina al-Oraibi, Editor in Chief of The National. Ravindranath K / The National

Welcome to The National – relaunched. Today’s issue comes to you after months of hard work and long hours of discussions on what makes a newspaper – in both print and digital forms - stand out in today’s busy media landscape.

Taking over the editorship of The National is both daunting and exciting. Building on 9 years of success and planning for the years to come is no easy feat. Journalism, like most aspects of our lives, has been disrupted by technology in every way possible, from how news is sourced to how it is delivered. And yet, as we strive to ‘write the first rough draft of history’, there is one constant required for success: a good story that must be told.

The National’s place in Abu Dhabi makes it unique. Coming to you from one of the most significant political capitals in the Arab world, The National will cover and analyze the most compelling stories of the UAE and the Middle East, while keeping our readers abreast of world developments and trends. As the UAE leads in issues as diverse as governance, innovation and cultural conservation, The National will be there to cover these issues. Like the Emirates, we are open to change and progress, while being true to our roots and heritage.

It is an understatement to say we are witnessing monumental changes in the Arab world, and The National will be covering them. The Middle East is all too often associated with turmoil and conflict - and yet it is also a place of opportunity and untapped potential. The National will seek to capture all of these elements – while keeping human interest stories at the heart of our coverage.

Each of our sections, from news to business to comment, sport, arts and lifestyle, has undergone its own reflection and transformation. A mix of old and new contributors and correspondents will be reporting from the UAE, and beyond. A new London bureau will be covering the UK and Europe, while we have correspondents in several capitals. From a daily business leader (or editorial), to a brilliant cast of writers in our Opinion section, we will be the home of intellectually challenging ideas.

As you get acquainted – or re-acquainted – with The National, you will find some significant new features. If you are picking up a print copy, you will see we have redesigned the paper in Berliner size, and collapsed the various sections into one. The National is now a smaller, fuller newspaper in size, but a weightier one in content, with an expanded news section. At the centre of the newspaper will be ‘The Big Picture’, our daily visual showcase.

The National will now be printing six days a week – Weekday editions from Sunday to Thursday and one bumper weekend edition for Friday and Saturday, complete with a 'Weekend' supplement bringing you features, book reviews, recipes and much more.

On ‘The Last Page’ (page 39 today) you will find something to occupy you, whether through our top ten list of things to do in the UAE, or some challenging puzzles.

However, we will be live and online seven days a week, 24 hours a day. In a revamped digital newsroom, our website and social media feeds will be updated as the news progresses. Multimedia content, including video packages and podcasts, will allow us to tell our stories in more ways than one. Immersive storytelling and long form journalism will allow us to dive deep into the stories that count, through a responsive and engaging website. A choice between a UAE and International homepage will allow you to decide a local or international focus on the news that comes immediately to you. A morning newsletter and evening wrap-up online will ensure you are kept abreast of the most important and compelling stories.

Ever since I can remember, I have felt no greater joy than telling a good story. Today, I feel incredibly fortunate to be leading a brilliant team at The National, from our headquarters in Abu Dhabi, and our London bureau and in various cities around the world. And I feel even more fortunate to have readers like you, who have given me the gift of time, in reading to the end of this article. Thank you.