Al-Ittihad partners with The Wall Street Journal

Abu Dhabi-based Arabic newspaper Al-Ittihad, part of Abu Dhabi Media, has partnered with The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) to expand its readership across the MENA region. The new partnership will grant Al-Ittihad access to additional news stories, features, opinion pieces, videos and infographics to share in English and Arabic across its digital platforms. The collaboration will also see Al-Ittihad subscribers after January 19, 2018 enjoy a one-year subscription to access the digital edition of WSJ.

“This strategic partnership between Abu Dhabi Media and The Wall Street Journal is in line with our efforts to reach a wider audience and to position us as the leading and most diversified media organisation in the UAE and the wider region,” says Ali Bin Tamim, Director General, Abu Dhabi Media.

Jonathan Wright, Global Managing Director, The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones, adds “Al-Ittihad continues to set the standard for Arabic-language news as the first and oldest newspaper in the region. This partnership enables us to deliver The Wall Street Journal’s world-class business, economic and political news and commentary to Al-Ittihad readers, reaching an even wider audience in the UAE. I look forward to seeing our collaboration with Abu Dhabi Media grow and mature as we move forward together.”

VICE Arabia launches operations

Global media brand, VICE Arabia has launched operations across the region. Headquartered in the UAE, provides a mix of locally and internationally produced video programming, as well as editorial and social content targeted at the region’s youth population.

Islam Alrayyes takes on the role of Editor-in-Chief and brings a wealth of experience in the Middle East media industry, having previously worked as Editor-in-chief at Sport360 and Head of Digital Content at, part of Abu Dhabi Media. In his new role, he will lead the team of writers, editors, directors and producers to launch its digital operations across the region.

VICE Arabia’s Managing Director, Jason Leavy will handle broader operations and comes with over 20 years of media, communications, publishing and marketing experience. Jason most recently worked with Edelman DABO as Managing Director and will now work alongside the editorial, content and commercial teams. He will be responsible for VICE Arabia’s creative and strategic development across all mediums as a part of the brand’s expansion plan across the region.

Reporting to Jason Leavy is Firas Breais – Head of Sales, Ciaran Bonass – Creative Director and Anas Al Hakim – Senior Creative.

Also joining the new team from its UK office is Aws Al-Jezairy who holds the role of Managing Editor, having helped launch VICE News in the UK. Emma Hill is Head of Production, Badar Salem and Wael Mamdouh are Online Editors, Ameer Daou is Social Editor and Majd Abi Ali is Audience Development Manager.

“VICE Arabia will bring together pan-Arab youth and stand out as the platform for them to tell their own stories and talk about what matters to them,” says Islam Alrayyes, Editor-in-Chief, VICE Arabia. “In a region woven in a rich cultural fabric and with increasingly prominent new voices and talent – from innovators to artists – VICE will showcase the work of those making an impact.”


Grayling makes key leadership appointments

Grayling’s Middle East creative arm, GCreative has appointed Arian Hashemi to the role of Creative Director and Khalid AlAtrash to the role of Client Service Director. With 15 years of experience, Arian previously worked with All About Brands as Design Director before establishing his agency, Arian Hashemi and working across clients such as Yas Marina Circuit and Abu Dhabi Media. In his new role, he will work on building innovative strategies to develop the agency’s projects, branding and production activities across the region.

Khalid also joins the team with ten years of experience, having previously worked with M&C Saatchi as Senior Account Manager and most recently with You:Experience as Account Director, where he managed clients such as Etihad Airways and the National Bank of Abu Dhabi. In his new role, he will work on building strong client relationships to drive GCreative’s vision and growth across the region.

“Arian’s innovative and strategic experience in executing award winning projects, branding and production, coupled with Khalid’s expertise in building strong client relationships will drive GCreative’s vision forward,” says Loretta Ahmed, CEO, Grayling MEA.

Major restructuring at The National

Following the announcement of International Media Investments (IMI) acquiring ownership of The National in November 2016, the title will commence operations from its new headquarters, in TwoFour54, on July 1, 2017. While the transition aims to increase emphasis on the publication’s digital presence, it has resulted in major job losses across the board, according to unconfirmed sources. Exiting staff members will be working until the end of June 2017.

Radio 1 and Radio 2 make a comeback

Abu Dhabi Media has officially launched Radio 1 and Radio 2 stations, part of the Abu Dhabi Radio Network. Previously managed by Gulf News Broadcasting, the two radio stations ceased operations late last year and have now re-launched with an all new team of presenters. Radio 1 airs on 100.5 FM in Abu Dhabi and on 104.1 FM in Dubai, while Radio 2 airs on 106 FM in Abu Dhabi and 99.3 FM in Dubai. The stations offer six main programs:

Radio 1:

  • Daily, 6am – 10am: ‘Breakfast Show’, hosted by Nimi and Mark
  • Sunday to Thursday, 10am – 3pm: ‘Fresh and First’, hosted by Chiara
  • Daily, 3pm – 7pm: ‘Drive’, hosted by Dane and Gem

Radio 2:

  • Daily, 6am – 10am: ‘Morning Show’, hosted by Richard Allen and Laura Naylor
  • Daily, 10am – 3pm: ‘The Breeze’, hosted by Sonya Mac
  • Daily, 3pm – 7pm: ‘Drive Time’, hosted by Jason King

“The official launch of Radio 1 and Radio 2 under Abu Dhabi Media underscored our strategic efforts to create tangible change in media content at Abu Dhabi Media, and diversify the media brands under it’s umbrella,” says H.E. Mohamed Ebraheem Al Mahmood, Chairman and Managing Director, Abu Dhabi Media. “The addition of Radio 1 and Radio 2 reaffirms our continuous commitment to enhancing Abu Dhabi Media as a comprehensive and diverse media platform. It also highlights our on-going efforts to further advance the media sector in the UAE and the region by supporting all traditional and modern media.”

The National shifts ownership

A subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Media Investment Corporation, International Media Investments (IMI) has secured ownership of The National. Previously falling under Abu Dhabi Media (ADM), the daily newspaper title will continue to operate under ADM until arrangements for their transfer to the new premises has concluded.

Radio 1 and Radio 2 to return

UAE-based radio stations Radio 1 and Radio 2 are set to return to the airwaves, after being closed by Gulf News Broadcasting on June 30, 2016. The stations will now be operated by Abu Dhabi Media Company – the licence holder for the stations – and will feature the same formats but with an updated look and feel.
“Abu Dhabi Media confirms that it will assume management of Radio 1 and Radio 2 at the end of July 2016,” says Abdul Rahman Awadh, Executive Director, Radio, Abu Dhabi Media. “The Radio stations were originally owned by Abu Dhabi Media and will continue to reflect Abu Dhabi Media’s ongoing commitment to providing diverse content that appeals to all aspects of society. Both radio stations will resume broadcast on the same frequencies, for which Abu Dhabi Media holds exclusive rights. We are currently investing in bringing new concepts and ideas to the content of Radio 1 and Radio 2.”

Majid goes mobile

Majid TV, part of Majid Entertainment, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Media, is set to launch a website as well as a new app in order to take its characters to a global audience. The website and app will bring characters to life through TV clips, music, games and issues of the magazine, all available at the touch of a button. Majid TV was initially launched in September 2015 due to the increasing popularity of Majid Magazine and Majid comics across the Arab-speaking world.

“This represents a significant step forward for Majid Entertainment, but more importantly we know it’s something that children can enjoy while their parents can be safe in the knowledge that they can trust the fun edutainment content being viewed,” says HE Mohamed Ebraheem Al Mahmood, Chairman and Managing Director, Abu Dhabi Media. “The launch of Majid TV has been a fantastic success and allows us to reach millions of households in the region. However, the launch of the website and app, which will also link into our videos on YouTube, means Majid Entertainment will have a global reach 24 hours a day.”


Abu Dhabi Media signs MoU with RAI COM

Abu Dhabi Media has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with RAI COM, a leading Italian television operator working across public service, broadcasting, radio, satellite and digital platforms. The MoU agreement between Abu Dhabi Media and RAI COM will ultimately unite both geographic markets and will allow each organisation to continue promoting tourism and cultural interests, in addition to creating awareness of EXPO 2015 and EXPO 2020, which are set to take place in Milan and the UAE respectively.

“This MoU is yet another significant milestone in Abu Dhabi Media’s mission to build awareness of the UAE’s achievements locally, regionally and internationally, and reaffirms the nation’s leadership position as an international cultural, economic and financial hub,” says His Excellency Mohamed Ebraheem Al Mahmood, Chairman and Managing Director, Abu Dhabi Media. “Our partnership with RAI COM will facilitate knowledge transfer and best practice exchanged across several facets of the media industry including production, publishing and digital.”

Luigi de Siervo, Managing Director of RAI COM adds, “The signature of this agreement between RAI COM and Abu Dhabi Media represents for RAI the act for a future and long lasting mutual cooperation. It also confirms the willingness of the two countries to develop a continuous partnership. The first objective is to grant a complete coverage and detailed information about EXPO 2015 in the UAE. This will pave the road for a successful EXPO 2020 taking place in the UAE.”

The strategic partnership will see Abu Dhabi Media work in close cooperation on brand logistics and production, with each organisation benefitting from the resources and support through a series of communications and initiatives aimed at promoting activities to diverse audiences across local and international markets.