From today, you will notice an enhanced design and a much friendlier user experience — and that is by no means all we are announcing. Change is the only constant, and no one understands that better than we do at Arab News; having reported on regional developments since 1975, we have seen leaders rise and fall, wars begin and end, revolutions, economic booms, crises and much more.
All large, successful companies understand the need to keep changing to remain relevant. This is why today we are announcing not only a facelift, but a vision — a masterplan we call Arab News 2020. My mandate upon assuming the editorship of this newspaper in September 2016 was to make it “more global, more digital.” Thus, part of our 2020 vision is to become the No. 1 digital source for regional news and views.
What is happening in the Kingdom, from curbing the powers of the religious police to allowing women to drive, is no less significant than the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 — and we are delighted to be able to report this story at first hand.
Faisal J. Abbas
Obviously, such an ambitious goal is much easier to set than to achieve. However, we are halfway there already, thanks to the enormous efforts of my colleagues, both old and new. In less than a year and a half, our web traffic has surged by over 50 percent and Arab News has become the most quoted source about the region in international media outlets such as the BBC and The New York Times.
Crucial to this is the fact that we are the main English-language daily published in one of the most interesting places on the planet at the moment: Saudi Arabia. It is rare to be the newspaper of record in a country undergoing such massive, rapid reforms. What is happening in the Kingdom, from curbing the powers of the religious police to allowing women to drive, is no less significant than the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 — and we are delighted to be able to report this story at first hand.
That all eyes are upon us is not something we take lightly. In fact, we consider it a major responsibility, which is why our “relaunch” focuses too on offering added value to our growing base of readers. Over the past year and a half we have established bureaus in London, Dubai and Southeast Asia, and launched our first international digital edition in Pakistan (www.arabnews.pk).
In the pipeline are more international bureaus, such as our forthcoming hub in Washington, and more country-specific editions will be announced this year.
Of course, while we will always continue to live by our motto of being only as good as our last story, we at Arab News are excited more than ever to be the voice of a changing region. And with so many changes and enhancements, our paper-turned-digital platform is living proof that life actually begins after 40!