ky News has announced that it is to open a new foreign bureau in Dubai.
Plans to open a bureau in the region have been under consideration since early 2008, and Sky News has now confirmed that it will open its doors in March 2009.
Sky News reporter Ashish Joshi has been named as the new correspondent and will be taking up his new role in March this year.
Ashish joined Sky News in 2004 after spending 10 years at the Asian broadcaster, Zee TV, where he was Head of News and Current Affairs.
Based in Dubai's Media City district, the new bureau will consist of two additional permanent members of staff working alongside Ashish – a producer and a cameraman.
"Sky News has a long-held tradition of being first with in-depth analysis of the big issues in world news and opening a new bureau in one of the fastest developing regions will bring the rosta of Sky News foreign bureaux to a total of eight," said their official communique announcing the opening of their Dubai bureau.
Sky's Head of Foreign News, Adrian Wells, said: "Opening a bureau in Dubai will strengthen Sky News' ability to report on this fascinating, and ever more influential area. With the current financial crisis deepening every day among most of the world's leading economies, the economy of the UAE is one of very few examples of resilience. This, coupled with current cultural shifts in the Middle East which have far reaching effects across the world, make it a compelling region to cover in more depth – this is a prefect time to cement our presence in the region.
"Sky News recognises the importance of the Gulf states and we are extremely pleased that we will now be able to report more elaborately on one of the world's most exciting regions."
"I am delighted to be taking on this new challenge in a region I know very well from my previous role as head of news with Zee TV. It is a fascinating, fast-paced and influential region of the world, where different cultures live and work side by side, world business sits cheek by jowl with traditional fishing communities, and the rich and famous come to play without ever perhaps seeing the 'real' UAE. I relish the challenge of reporting on the region and helping viewers understand why it is so influential and what drives it," said Joshi.
Along with the opening of the new Dubai bureau, the World News slot on Sky News will be extended by an extra hour, now showing from 3am-6am GMT. This will allow for an extra focus on the Middle East in line with breakfast viewing in the region, and there will be an enhanced focus on business news from the Middle East during this slot.
Sky News' newest bureau intends to follow, in-depth, these issues as well as report on breaking news, business, politics and entertainment news in the region.
Since its launch in 1989, Sky News has established itself as a formidable and innovative force in the world of news broadcasting. It now provides news to around 145 million people in 36 countries in Europe alone, with distribution across Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
The award-winning channel has also earned a reputation for the speed of its 24-hour coverage and flexibility in reporting live news – first.
In addition to its status as one of the Europe's leading 24 hour news channels, sky.com/news is one of the fastest growing websites on the continent. It is also available on mobile phones,on desktops, on UK rail platforms and Virgin Atlantic flights.
Sky News now makes a number of programmes for web-only broadcast on skynews.com.
These include Unplugged – a new live show broadcast from Sky's Milbank studio.