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29 November 2023

'Creating a pool of media is vital'

By Muna Ahmad


Creating a pool of media is the only way to survive in the coming years as competition between all types of media tools hots up, said Ahmad Al Hammadi, Executive General Manager of Arab Media Group.

Al Hammadi was talking during the First Gulf Investment Forum, which is being held in Dubai, about the experiences of investment in the print media field and challenges faced by print media from radio and television units.

Al Hammadi said that in the coming 10 years, print media establishments will suffer due to the strength of the radio and television media. “History proves that no one media vehicle was responsible for killing the other. There is no way that the radio or television media is going to kill the print media. However, it is going to affect it.”

He said in order to survive at that time, media organisations must create pool of media where they have print, radio, television, among other tools of media.

“At AMG, we have three daily newspapers: Al Bayan, a broadsheet; Al Emarat Al Youm a tabloid; and Emirates Business 24|7 a business newspaper. We also have nine different language radio stations. This is the right formula, which will take us to the next level,” he said.
He said media is a very rich field in terms of attracting investment.
“Earlier, media was not looked upon as an investment, especially the print media. About three years ago, the UAE was like other GCC countries, where newspapers were owned and run by the government. The situation at that time was good and acceptable.
However, in August 2005, we got instructions from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE’s Vice-President and Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai, who said media was good, but let’s turn it profitable. He ordered us to turn Al Bayan newspaper, which is a 25-year-old non-profit organisation run by the government into a profitable company. This was the challenge. At that time, the market was small,” he said.

“After a year, we made Al Bayan profitable with no dependence on the government.”