Alarab News launch slips to February 2015

DetailsRebecca Hawkes | 17 December 2014

The launch of Alarab 24-hour news channel for the Middle East has been delayed until 1 February 2015, its owner Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed has announced.

Fahad Al Sukait has also been appointed chairman of the board and CEO of Alarab TV News Company. He joins editor-in-chief Jamal Khashoggi, and anchors Laila Al Shaikhli (formerly of Al Jazeera) and Tarak Alaas (previously at BBC Arabic) among an anticipated 300-strong staff.

The Bahrain-based Arabic satellite channel was previously expected to go on air before the end of 2014, after project manager Qvest Media announced it had completed design, planning and technical integration back in October.

"Alarab will break the mould of news presentation, becoming a platform for transparent presentation and discussion of the region's most intractable issues," the company's recent statement read.

It will include extensive news programming as well as regular news round-ups and travel content. Bloomberg will also create five hours of financial and economic news programming for the channel throughout the day.

Alarab News Channel is solely owned by Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and is independent from both the Rotana Group and Kingdom Holdings, which the prince chairs.

When launched, it will face competition from existing Arabic news channels Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya and Sky News Arabia.