Informed sources said that broadcasters, journalists and technicians working for the Saudi-owned Al Arabiya channel in their current headquarters in Dubai, received notifications to gradually move to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The management of “Al-Arabiya and Al-Hadath” channels, some of them officially received verbal notifications and messages stating that they were preparing themselves to move to Riyadh, where the new headquarters of the group, whose ownership was transferred to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, according to the “Al-Quds Al-Arabi” website, quoted the sources.
This news resulted in confusion in Dubai Media Production City, where Al Arabiya is based, especially as a group of employees were preparing for the start of the social season.
The decision raises pressure on families and schools, especially since the start of implementation will be early next month.
Al Arabiya channel and MBC group
According to the information received from the Emirates, the employees who received transfer notifications will join their colleagues from the Saudi MBC group.
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Where a group of them work from Riyadh. Currently, about half of the Saudi channel crew is present in the Kingdom, and it produces a number of programs for MBC.
With regard to the transfer of “Al Arabiya” and “Al Hadath”, the transfer process will take place in 3 stages, lasting for about half a year, after which the final transfer and departure from the Emirates will be.
The sources stated that the channel’s management had taken into account the refusal of many workers to leave Dubai, and it employs a significant proportion of Saudi media professionals, to replace foreigners.
A technical team is preparing and preparing the new headquarters, according to information obtained by Al-Quds Al-Arabi.
Preparations are almost in their final stages, as Riyadh studios will now be linked to the current studios in Dubai Media Production City.
For its part, the channel’s management confirmed to some officials that the Saudi leadership aspires to have a limited broadcast of Arabic from the Kingdom’s capital, no later than the end of this year.
Then it will be in a later period broadcast for 12 hours, before reaching a full broadcast from Saudi Arabia.
A blow to Dubai Media Production City
This latest decision raised the fears of many, as it will be a blow to the Media Production City in Dubai, where Al Arabiya rents the largest studio (No. 6) and rents huge amounts estimated at 700 thousand dollars.
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Also, workers in the Saudi channels represent the largest wage block in Dubai, which will leave a wide void, and will have repercussions on the real estate market, and even an impact on the spending rate of workers in those channels.
MBC channel group
Since 2017, the MBC channel group, in addition to Al-Arabiya, and all its websites and social networking accounts, have been under the grip of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman after the owner of these channels completely relinquished them to him.
The MBC Group includes many TV channels, a radio station and dozens of websites, and is based in Dubai Media City.
But it was established in the early nineties of the last century in the British capital, London, and it was founded and headed by its board of directors since then, Sheikh Walid Al-Ibrahim.
He is a relative of the late Saudi King Fahd bin Abdulaziz, and it is believed that Prince Abdulaziz bin Fahd is also one of his partners in the channel and in many projects and businesses.
Sheikh Al-Ibrahim, who heads the board of directors of MBC, was named among those arrested on the night of November 4, 2017, on corruption charges.
While Prince Mohammed bin Salman later announced that most of the detainees agreed to settlements and returned the money they had obtained through corrupt methods, but the prince did not reveal details of that.
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The status of the Al Sharq channel of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, which broadcasts from its main studios in Dubai, has not yet been confirmed.
The Saudi Al Sharq channel is managed by the Saudi Research and Marketing Group, which also publishes the Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, and Sayidaty magazine, and is supported by Ahmed bin Salman, brother of the crown prince.
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