Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed will launch an international news television channel next year, which will focus on “freedom of speech and freedom of press.”Known as Alarab, the 24-hour news channel will target Arabic-speaking viewers across the Arab world and beyond.The Alarab news channel is an independent venture from Kingdom Holding Company and the Rotana group and is privately owned by Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal.In a statement, the company said: “Alarab will focus editorially on the important shifts taking place across the Arab world with an emphasis on freedom of speech and freedom of press. Furthermore, it will uphold the principle of free transfer of information as well as, objective, balanced and credible reporting. The News channel will cover the latest developments around the world and will also highlight political, social and economic issues in Saudi Arabia and the Arab world.”
The prince – voted the world’s most powerful Arab in Arabian Business earlier this year - also announced an agreement with Bloomberg LP in which Bloomberg will support the creation of five-hours of financial and economic news programing throughout the day on the channel.
Bloomberg-branded business reports will air within Alarab’s daily coverage with reports from the MENA markets as well as a weekly roundup of global financial news. Moving beyond the news headlines, it will also feature regular segments on Arab business leaders from the Kingdom, the Gulf region and the international Arabic speaking world.
A team of Bloomberg media specialists and producers will be provided to the Alarab channel and will assist in the production of the channel’s economic and business coverage drawing on Bloomberg’s extensive financial and economic data from the Bloomberg Professional service and reporting from Bloomberg's 2,300 journalists in 146 news bureaus across 72 countries.
The location of Alarab’s headquarters and main broadcast center has not yet been announced, although Manama, Doha, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Beirut are among the cities being considered. Alarab says it will hire experienced Arabic-speaking media professionals in addition to attracting new talent.
Prince Alwaleed said: “The Arab world is interested in the fields of business, employment, economic development, and is focused on prosperity and growth. Our alliance with Bloomberg and its credible source of financial and economic data, together with its extensive media experience, will provide the Alarab news channel with a strong and comprehensive economic platform to accurately cover Saudi Arabia, and the rest of the Arab world.”The well-known Saudi journalist, Mr. Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi, will be managing this new 24-hour channel.