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Media & Advertising

Media and advertising news from the Middle East. All the important stories, exclusive interviews, plus authoritative opinion and analysis

Nadhim Zahawi, formerly chancellor of the UK, is thought to be leading a consortium of investors for a £600m bid

UAE’s RedBird IMI hopes for speedy sale of The Telegraph

Nadhim Zahawi, the former chancellor of the UK, is fronting one of seven bids to buy the Daily Telegraph newspaper and The Spectator magazine, which is owned by RedBird IMI, a US investment group backed by Abu Dhabi’s International Media Investments. The deadline for the first round of bidding was completed on Friday, although more offers […]

Du's revenue grew 7 percent to AED3.6 billion in the April to June period, compared to AED3.3 billion a year earlier

Du quarterly profit jumps 46% as subscribers rise

Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), which operates the Du and Virgin mobile brands in the UAE, reported a 46 percent jump year on year in net profit to AED581 million ($158 million) as subscriber numbers increased. Revenue grew 7 percent to AED3.6 billion in the April to June period, compared to AED3.3 billion a year […]

A cinema in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Demand for non-English and Arabic content is growing rapidly in the Middle East

Arabic films gain star status in Middle East cinema

An Emirati family’s life spirals out of control when the behaviour of their son Ahmed, a once softly spoken, confident young boy changes – with terrifying consequences. As his actions become increasingly unpredictable, the lives of those around him are placed in serious danger. Some counsel medical intervention, but the boy’s mother Maryam is convinced […]

Oman's Film City iwill provide more than 100 job opportunities for Omanis and aims to produce and export films

Oman to build $31m Film City

Oman is to build an OR12 million ($31.2 million) ‘Film City’ to boost its entertainment sector, a news report said. The project follows the outcomes of workshops held in March by the ministry of sports, culture and youth, Oman Daily Observer reported, citing a government official. The city is expected to provide more than 100 […]

Khalaf Ahmed Al Habtoor, chairman of the Al Habtoor Group, said that the “lack of necessary security stability … has left us no choice but to abandon the launch of our television station from Lebanon"

Al Habtoor scraps Lebanon TV channel after physical threats

Dubai’s Al Habtoor Group has cancelled plans to launch a TV channel from Lebanon after physical threats were made to the founder and staff. Chairman and founder Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor said that the “lack of necessary security stability for investment … has left us no choice but to step back from this initiative and […]

The UAE is determined to cut the number of nuisance telephone calls by bringing in strict rules for telemarketing companies

Social media warning after UAE telemarketing crackdown

The days of persistent cold calls in the UAE may be numbered, thanks to a government crackdown. However, industry experts told AGBI that the telemarketers may migrate to alternative channels such as social media platforms and WhatsApp. The Ministry of Economy and the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority have announced new regulations to curb […]

UAE’s RedBird IMI acquires UK TV producer for $1.5bn

RedBird IMI, a US investment management company partly owned by Abu Dhabi’s International Media Investments, has acquired All3Media, the UK’s largest independent TV production company behind hits such as Fleabag, The Traitors and Gogglebox. The for £1.15 billion ($1.5 billion) deal is the largest for RedBird IMI to date, the company said in a statement. […]

Turkey Facebook

Turkey fines Facebook owner Meta over customer data sharing

The social media giant Meta has been found guilty by Turkey’s competition agency of trying to shut out rivals from the local market and dominate advertising penetration. The $230 billion Californian company operates Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Threads. On May 9 the Turkish Competition Authority announced it had levied fines totalling $37.2 million on Meta […]

The Daily Telegraph will remain in British hands after the government blocked foreign governments from owning UK newspapers

UAE’s RedBird pulls out of Telegraph acquisition

RedBird IMI, partly owned by Abu Dhabi’s International Media Investments, has backed out of plans to acquire the Telegraph Media Group, after the UK government blocked the deal. RedBird IMI’s decision comes after the UK crafted legislation blocking foreign governments from owning British newspapers and news magazines. The company said the deal was “no longer feasible”, Reuters […]

Tawfik Alzaidi

Saudi director’s labour of love takes the kingdom to Cannes

For the first time a Saudi film has been selected to compete in the Cannes film festival, catapulting its little-known self-taught director into the limelight. Tawfik Alzaidi was so surprised that he’d managed to break through to the big time that he kept the news that his film Norah had been accepted for the ‘Un […]

The number of customers playing digital games in Jordan expanded to just under 6 million in 2023

Jordan’s digital game spend at $82m in 2023

The total amount spent on digital games in Jordan reached $82.5 million in 2023, official data has revealed. Nearly $17 million was allocated to paid games while $7.3 million was spent on live in-game purchases, state-run Jordan News Agency said, quoting the Information and Communications Technology Association of Jordan (Intaj). Mobile games commanded the largest […]

MBC Shahid Ashghal Shaqa

Streaming platform Shahid to drive growth, says MBC TV

The Arabic TV network MBC says its new Shahid streaming platform will lead its growth after subscriptions grew 40 percent in 2023 to nearly four million.  The Saudi-owned group recently completed an IPO on the Saudi stock exchange, requiring it to open its books to the public for the first time.  It reported net profit […]

Elie Habib, co-founder of streaming service Anghami

MBC Group buys stake in Anghami

Shares of the Abu-Dhabi-based music streaming company Anghami rose by more than 80 percent this week after the release of a regulatory filing revealed that Saudi media company MBC Group has acquired a 14 percent stake. MBC Group, through its arm MBC Ventures, purchased four million ordinary shares of the Nasdaq-listed company. The purchase was […]

The UK government will pass a law to block takeovers of UK newspapers by entities linked to foreign governments

UK’s new media law threatens UAE’s Telegraph bid

A likely decision by the UK to ban foreign governments from owning British newspapers and news magazines is being seen as a setback for a UAE-backed investment company’s bid to buy the Telegraph newspaper titles. Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay announced the ban on Wednesday, saying a new law will “rule out newspaper and periodical […]

A planned Dar Global development in Oman. The company aims to shake up real estate marketing with AI

Dar Global spin-off to use AI in real estate marketing

Dar Global, the London-listed arm of the Saudi Arabian real estate developer Dar Al Arkan, is establishing a venture dedicated to finding technological solutions to real estate companies’ biggest challenges. Ziad El Chaar, CEO of Dar Global, told AGBI that the company’s new Propgenuis spin-off would introduce tools aimed at automating social media management for […]