AMG unveils plans to take on the world

The group behind this week’s major newspaper launches is set to unleash a multi-million dollar war chest to become a global media company.

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By  Tim Burrowes Published  September 18, 2005

The group behind this week’s major newspaper launches is set to unleash a multi-million dollar war chest to become a global media company. Arab Media Group, headed by Abdullatif Al Saygeh, will tomorrow unveil its new English and Arabic language tabloid-sized papers. But Al Saygeh has told Campaign Middle East that the move is just the first step in plans to become a major international media player. He said: “Within the next six months we’re going to reach the capacity of this market, and the only way to expand things is to move outside. The dream is to build a media empire and be a big player in the international market. New York, London, Paris, Tokyo. “I want to see myself sitting in New York in two years from now. I want us to have an office in New York I want to have a newspaper in London. We want to be in Tokyo; we want to be in China.” The AMG boss, who has the support of Dubai leader Sheikh Mohammed, added: “The investment is available. We don’t mind spending, even if it gets up to hundreds of millions of dollars. We’re still going to invest. We could be talking billions, if the opportunities are there. We want to move outside the UAE and we want to build projects all around the world.” He said that having built the foundations for a group with strong regional radio, print, event, outdoor and online interests, AMG is now nearly ready to take on the world. He said: “The base is almost done and now we are nearly ready to go overseas.” He predicted: “In two years we are going to be leading this region. In five years we are going to be well known in the world.” AMG’s moves are just the latest in a growing race to create media conglomerates in the region. In July, Emirates Media Inc, owner of the Emirates Radio Network, and Al Nisr, publishers of Gulf News, agreed an alliance. They said existing stations Radio 1 and Radio 2 would be revamped and new channels would be launched. EMI also owns Al Ittihad newspaper. EMI has also agreed to set up a new publishing company with the Arab Media Company and the Saudi Research and Publishing Company. While some agency bosses have expressed concerns that the creation of media giants could create media monopolies that drive up advertising prices, most welcome the benefits that consolidation could bring, with greater investment in quality and more opportunity for cross-media deals.

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