Abu Dhabi vs Qatar

Over the last decade Qatar has became famous as the host of Al-Jazeera and perhaps the most influential media hub in the Middle East.  Now,  Abu Dhabi is trying to open up a competing media hub as the New York Times reports:

Twenty years ago, Abu Dhabi’s cultural cachet in the West was as a punch line in the cartoon “Garfield.” Today, backed with petrodollars, Abu Dhabi is fast becoming an international cultural hub and attracting American media companies.

On Sunday, a spate of companies announced that they were setting up shop in Abu Dhabi, an island city that is the capital of the United Arab Emirates. The companies are CNN, the book publishers HarperCollins and Random House, the British Broadcasting Corporation, The Financial Times and the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charity arm of the financial news giant Thomson Reuters.

Officials from these companies joined local officials in Abu Dhabi on Sunday to announce they would take space on a new 200,000-square-meter campus, called the Abu Dhabi Media Zone, that the government is building for foreign media companies.

Surprisingly, the article does not mention recently launched  THE_NATIONAL  newspaper which, on a daily basis  puts out quality English language articles of interest to MediaShack readers.  I’d say it’s on its way to becoming the best English language paper in the region.

One Response

  1. I think the media rivalry with Qatar is important — but equally important is the rivalry with Dubai which has a 10 year head start in luring big media companies to set up in their media free zone

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