The Arab world’s leading news media brand Al Arabiya unveiled new technology, studios and design across its television and digital platforms on Friday, in a move designed to retain its top spot in a highly competitive market.
The Al Arabiya News Channel, a 24/7 free-to-air news and current affairs satellite outlet, is ranked the top news channel across many countries in the region, reaching 36 million viewers a week. The network has seen strong growth in its social and digital platforms, including Al Arabiya English and other foreign language editions, with more than 20 million users viewing 88 million web pages every month.
“We are relaunching with new studios, a new design and more importantly, taking advantage of new technologies that will take the viewer into the next generation of journalism across not only our television screens but also our social media and digital offerings,” said Mamdouh Almuhaini, General Manager of the Al Arabiya Media Network.
“The network has always stayed ahead of the curve compared to its competitors by renewing itself either through branding or improving its content,” he added.
Partnering with global companies
The revamp involved rebuilding the broadcast studios in Dubai’s Media City to integrate new technology and set design.
Al Arabiya partnered with New York-based Clickspring Design for the set design. The new studios are equipped with robotic Blackcam cameras that will enable the viewer to have a more immersive experience, showing not only the anchor but also the dozens of writers, reporters and editors that bring the content alive. Al Arabiya collaborated with Ross Video, whose Cambot cameras allow viewers to move anywhere around the studio floor. The network partnered with Belgian company Barco to deliver networked visualization solutions.
New ‘organic and younger’ branding
Al Arabiya is also launching a new visual identity including an evolved logo, new on-air graphics and an updated font. The redesign of Al Arabiya’s unique Arabic font is the first since the channel launched in 2003.
Time-lapse video shows Al Arabiya’s relaunch operations in rebuilding its broadcast studios in Dubai’s Media City to integrate new technologies and set designs.https://t.co/wZb3YuQeY5 pic.twitter.com/uBV4ojFrjt— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) April 25, 2020
“We created the original Al Arabiya font 17 years ago and it was the first font to be used on-screen. The font became so popular that it spread everywhere, being used by so many designers in the world, including big brands, as showcased on so many billboard brands and places,” said Fadi Radi, Head of Creative.
Al Arabiya’s staff began working on the revamp several months ago before the global coronavirus pandemic hit, which delayed the relaunch by a few weeks.
But Al Arabiya’s General Manager Mamdouh Almuhaini said employees pushed through with limited people on site.
“We had to change some of our procedures as we had to reduce our physical staff to 20 percent at our studios, while the rest of our team worked from home. Despite the difficult circumstances, we are sure we will be providing something that is fitting of the Al Arabiya name and fitting of what Al Arabiya’s viewers expect of their network,” Almuhaini said.