Enjoying a modern mix of your favourite Arabic music from Sunday along with relevant local and international news will soon be possible with the launch of the newest FM station in the UAE, on 95.6 Hayat FM.Hayat FM (which means life) will broadcast nationwide live on Sunday beginning 6am. It is the newest addition to the portfolio of Gulf News Broadcasting (GNB) in cooperation with the UAQ Broadcasting Network.
The station’s modern and upbeat programming has been designed to cater to listeners aged between 18–39. Unlike most radio stations in the country, the channel has promised to deliver less talk and more music to its audience.
“We’re breaking the mould of Arabic radio. Our radio station is very much music-led, and it focuses on the music rather than on too much talk. And it’s playing the latest hits and a very energetic, very youthful sounding radio station,” Digby Taylor, GNB project manager, told the UAE's Gulf News.
“So what we’ll be able to do is identify the wants and needs of Arabic listeners instead of giving them something that has just been put in front of them to enjoy. This time, this is something for them to choose, to make a choice to listen to Hayat FM. Wherever the Arabic listeners are, Hayat FM will be there with them,” Taylor added. Playlists will include all the latest Khaleeji hits from artists from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Yemen, Bahrain, Morocco, Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon.
“Everybody knows these big names coming from the rest of the Arabic world and they’re all still going strong, still producing albums and we hope to be in touch with various record labels to make sure that we get the best and the latest as it comes in,” Fadi Mansour, GNB senior presenter, said.
But beyond music, Taylor said Hayat FM will also feed listeners with the latest local and international bulletins at the top of the hour. Hayat FM has entered into an exclusive arrangement with the BBC Arabic Service to supply international news in Arabic throughout the day — a partnership that is happening in the country for the first time.
Currently, GNB manages two of the leading English FM music stations, Radio 1 (104.1 FM in Dubai and 100.5 FM in Abu Dhabi) and Radio 2 (99.3 FM in Dubai and 106 FM in Abu Dhabi), on behalf of Abu Dhabi Media. These two stations are the only ones that broadcast nationwide. GNB also has two Hindi stations in its portfolio. But the list will not end there.
“Because of the multinational communities in UAE, the future of radio stations does not lie in single radio stations, they lie in networks. And by network this means we provide an advertiser or a business partner the opportunity to deliver his message to all the nationalities,” Vikram Dhar, head of GNB, said.
“Hopefully in the next 24 months, we will look at starting Malayalam, we will look at starting Farsi, we will look at starting Tagalog. We will look to start services that will cater to this vast expatriate and resident population of the UAE,” he added.
Hayat FM will broadcast 24 hours, seven days a week. Listeners may also catch its live broadcast online and follow it on Twitter and Facebook.