The Saudi State Media Company Will Start Moving From Dubai To Riyadh
Saudi-state-owned media companies based in the United Arab Emirates-Dubai will begin relocating staff to the capital, Riyadh, this month, sources said, adding that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is moving ahead with plans to reassert the state.
Regional business center.
The move comes after the Saudi government decided earlier this year to suspend state contracts for companies and businesses that have their Middle East headquarters in another country in the region.
The state-owned Al-Arabiya and Al-Hadath TV channels announced this week that their employees plan to start broadcasting 12 hours a day from Riyadh by next January, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
They added that the transfer could take up to two years to complete.
Sources said MBC Group, the largest media company in the Middle East, and the newly formed television news channel Ashark News also discussed plans to move to Riyadh internally.
The Saudi government took ownership of a majority stake in MBC Group when authorities worked to seize assets from individuals caught in an anti-corruption investigation in 2018.
MBC, Arabiya and Hadath are Dubai Media City-based, UAE media hubs where hundreds of media companies and most of them are headquartered in the Middle East. Ashark News is based in Riyadh but has a large hub in Dubai International Monetary Fund (DIFC).
Arabia and Hadath did not respond to requests for comment. MBC said in a statement sent to Reuters that in February 2020 the chairman of the MBC Group had publicly announced its intention to establish a new headquarters in Riyadh where a business and manufacturing center would be set up.
“Our plans are on track,” the statement said.
Asharq News, owned by Saudi Research and Marketing Group, reports that since its inception, Riyadh has been the main hub for network operations, including regional offices in Dubai.
“In February 2020, Ashark-owned company … Riyadh signed an agreement to become part of Media City / Creative Zone,” it added.
Bloomberg reported plans to relocate media companies earlier this week.
Despite being close allies, Saudi Arabia and neighboring UAE are competing to attract investors and businesses as they both pursue plans to diversify.
Economy in the post-oil era.
Their national interests have been increasingly isolated over the past few years, as well as their views on regional issues such as their relations with Israel and Turkey.