CNBC draws up plans for expansion in Middle East

Financial channel CNBC Europe is boosting its editorial and commercial activities in the Middle East after the network’s owners declared that the region was a “critical growth area” for the channel.

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By  Tim Addington Published  July 10, 2005

Financial channel CNBC Europe is boosting its editorial and commercial activities in the Middle East after the network’s owners declared that the region was a “critical growth area” for the channel. As part of its increased presence, the London-based TV station will broadcast live reports from the Dubai Air Show in November and will be sponsored by the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority. Dan McClean, Europe, Middle East and Africa commercial director at CNBC Europe, also revealed CNBC Europe and its local affiliate CNBC Arabiya are “in discussions” with Dubai International Financial Centre to establish offices in the complex. “We are pouring more and more editorial resources into the Middle East,” McClean said. “There is a growing demand from our viewers in Europe for more business and finance news from the region.” The network, which is the fastest growing Pan-European TV channel according to research from the European Marketing Survey, has recently appointed a full-time reporter based in Dubai. There are also plans to increase the number of events the station will cover. McClean also said the station wanted to bring its flagship morning show Squawk Box to the region for a series of week-long live broadcasts. “We want to further our editorial commitment in the region by covering key events that have world-class speakers. I will be delighted to talk with organisers about becoming the partner broadcaster of these events.” The network also wants to capitalise on the property boom in the Middle East, particularly in Dubai, and is in active discussions with Emaar and Nakheel for advertising with a view to developing a programme string about property for the channel. The news comes as its Dubai-based sister network CNBC Arabiya expands its operations, with new studios set to open in Oman, Abu Dhabi and Libya. Regional launches are planned for Pakistan and Africa. Mohammed Moumenine, vice president for programming and news at CNBC Arabiya, told Campaign Middle East: “We’ll be opening in Oman in September at the Omani stock exchange and we’re about to open at the Abu Dhabi chamber of commerce. We have reporters in the whole Arab world apart from Libya — and we are looking for the right reporters and staff for there. We’re planning a big operation in New York too.” Talking of plans to take the CNBC network to other areas, Moumenine added: “We will be launching CNBC Pakistan from here and launching CNBC Africa in 2006.” The satellite broadcaster has bases in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, UAE, Qatar, London, Frankfurt, Paris, Milan, Zurich and the US. Feature, page 18

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