Vice looks to win over Arab millennials with Mideast launch

Shane Smith, the co-founder and CEO of Vice Media, visited the twofour54 media zone in Abu Dhabi in April. (AP)
Updated 14 November 2017
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Vice looks to win over Arab millennials with Mideast launch

LONDON: The US-based company Vice Media has launched in the Middle East aiming to win over a new audience of young Arabs with its often controversial content.
Vice Arabia — together with its regional partner Moby Group — launched on Nov. 13 in Dubai, with the screening of an film documenting the lives of young people living across the Middle East and North Africa.
The documentary — entitled Bil Arabi — is the first piece of content to be published by the platform. It features the region’s youth talking about topics as diverse as religion, politics, drugs, love and money.
“Capturing their fears, emotions, hopes and dreams, it’s testament to the important work we’ll aim to do at Vice Arabia in representing the many voices of young people across the region,” said Islam Al-Rayyes, editor-in-chief, Vice MENA. Vice Arabia will create original content in Arabic, some of which will be translated for its English media platforms.
The regional launch of the brand has been welcomed by many young Arabs.
“I’ve always been a huge fan of Vice. Having a Vice Arabia is even better because I know for sure that the team will tell our stories as Arabs, and the way Vice do things is always on point and with a twist,” said a blogger and host of a Saudi hip-hop radio show, known as Big Hass.
Vice Arabia will also house a regional hub of its creative agency Virtue Worldwide, which will work with regional brands creating sponsored content.
Media commentators will watch with interest to see if Vice can maintain its reputation for hard-hitting content, while operating in a region where journalists can face censorship issues.
Vice has previously reported on issues such as the treatment of migrant workers in Dubai.
“I’m sure it will ruffle some feathers, but probably not as much as you might expect,” said Austyn Allison, editor of Campaign Middle East, based in Dubai.
“If it stays away from the most touchy political subjects, it can still seem edgy. And the post-Arab Spring youth are doubtless ready for that. The region is young, and growing more progressive by the day,” he added.
“As long as it manages to talk to as many of the youth as possible, while keeping grounded about the limits of the society where it will publish, it should find a welcome niche as a means of controlled rebellion and self-expression among a demographic ready and willing to redefine their sense of identity.”


Arab News launches ‘Road to 2030’ section to track Saudi Arabia’s bold reforms

Illustration by Steve Scott for Arab News
Updated 22 September 2018
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Arab News launches ‘Road to 2030’ section to track Saudi Arabia’s bold reforms

  • Section to provide news, opinion and analysis on country’s transformation
  • Newspaper’s National Day coverage looks ahead to 
Kingdom’s high-tech future

RIYADH: Arab News, the Middle East’s leading English-language daily, today announces the launch of a digital service to track and explain the ambitious reforms underway in Saudi Arabia.
Announced on the eve of Saudi National Day, the new “Road to 2030” section will include the latest news, analysis and opinion around the reforms and transformation underway in the Kingdom.
Hosted on the paper’s website, the section  —  www.arabnews.com/road2030 —  is named after the Vision 2030 program unveiled in 2016 by HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is the Kingdom’s heir to the throne. 
It coincides with Arab News’ special coverage of Saudi National Day, which marks the formation of the Kingdom on Sept. 23, 1932.


The theme of the souvenir edition, published on Sunday, will be around the future of the Kingdom —  and how the country will look as the 2030 reforms continue to take shape. 
The edition of the newspaper features a unique wrap-around cover illustrating how the country could look in 12 years’ time, as well as a timeline about the reforms and articles about their progress and young people’s views on the future of Saudi Arabia. 
 “We decided to not to limit our Saudi National Day to celebrating the Kingdom’s past —  but to also look ahead to its bright and promising future under the ambitious Vision 2030 plan,” said Faisal J. Abbas, Editor-in-Chief of Arab News.  
“This is reflected via the newspaper’s commissioned cover artwork, which imagines Saudi Arabia in 12 years’ time, as well as the stories by our promising team of young Saudi journalists and contributors. 
“We are also proud to launch the Road to 2030 section, which will track the changes underway in the Kingdom and be a reference for observers, visitors and investors in Saudi Arabia.”
Arab News is part of the regional publishing giant Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG). It has been the English newspaper of record for Saudi Arabia and the region for over 40 years.