CNBC Arabiya to open Riyadh bureau

CNBC Arabiya has announced plans to open a news bureau in Riyadh. The channel is the first international news channel to be granted a business license from Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Culture and Information for reporting from the Kingdom.

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By  Vijaya Cherian Published  January 7, 2004

CNBC Arabiya has announced plans to open a news bureau in Riyadh. The channel is the first international news channel to be granted a business license from Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Culture and Information for reporting from the Kingdom. As a gesture to the country’s business community, CNBC-Arabiya will also sponsor part of the 2004 Jeddah Economic Forum at the Jeddah Hilton from January 17-19. “The Saudi economy is growing and diversifying and there is a wealth of news and information about business and economic developments that CNBC Arabiya will report,” commented Zafar Siddiqui, chairman and CEO of CNBC Arabiya. He added that the Arabic service of CNBC would broadcast to Saudi Arabia from Dubai Media City. Coverage will be mainly economic news involving the stock market and the banking and investment sector. There will a daily one-hour programme devoted to Saudi Arabia and its economic news. According to Siddiqui, CNBC Arabiya’s Riyadh bureau will seek to attract Saudi talent to the editorial section. “We want to train young talented Saudis, including women, for a career in broadcast journalism. We have held discussions relating to this with the Department of Mass Communications at King Saud University,” he commented. Asked about the capital that CNBC Arabiya would bring into Saudi Arabiya, he said that over US $500,000 had already been invested as the initial capital required under the country's investment regulations. The operational cost could go as high as US$15 million over a three-year period. Spelling out the corporate goals of the channel, Dr Waleed Kurdi, CNBC Arabiya’s chief editor, commented: “Our presence in the country will significantly enhance our coverage of the largest economy in the Middle East. The establishment of a Riyadh office will allow us to deliver in-depth business news about Saudi Arabia with on-the-ground understanding and insight.”

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