Vice Media Group to open new Riyadh headquarters

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Vice, known for its edgy journalism targeting a young demographic, has announced it will open a new regional headquarters in Riyadh.

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It will be located in the JAX cultural district and will be officially opened next month, the company said in a statement.

The company already has a presence in Riyadh, after announcing the opening of a small office in the JAX district in 2021.

Vice, which lists MBC (Al Arabiya’s parent company) as one of its partners, is looking to develop relationships with its other partners in the Kingdom including the Ministry of Culture, Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG), NEOM, and the Royal Commission for Riyadh City.

The company started off as a magazine, founded in Montreal, Canada in 1994.

It rode the wave of digital media transformation in the 2000s, gaining notoriety for its counterculture content and youth appeal.

Documentaries produced by Vice in this period tended to focus on offbeat subjects, exploring areas that were not typically reported on by mainstream news organizations, including drug culture, sex work, and organized crime.

The company expanded aggressively and began producing content on a wider range of subjects – launching technology and music channels, and producing original content on international news and politics.

Vice has had a presence in the Middle East since 2017. A company spokesperson previously praised the “dynamic” youth culture in the region.

Saudi Arabia is an important market for the company, as the Kingdom has a significant population of young people, with the Saudi General Authority for Statistics estimating in 2020 that more than two-thirds (67 percent) of citizens were under the age of 35.

“Our enhanced operations in the Kingdom is truly a testament to our continued drive and focus to contribute, and be a part of the country’s dynamic youth culture,” said Vice managing director MEA Tarek Khalil in a statement.

“As part of our commitment to the market, we will also be hiring Saudi nationals to join our dynamic and thriving team.”

Vice global chief marketing officer Nadja Bellan-White added: “We’re excited to be expanding our commitment to youth culture around the world with our new regional headquarters in the thriving JAX District.”

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