How Arab News' new bureaus and digital editions are shaping the brand's news agenda 

Dubai is one of the bureaus that Arab News has opened during the publication's expansion.
Updated 20 April 2018

How Arab News' new bureaus and digital editions are shaping the brand's news agenda 

  • The first Arab News bureaus to open outside of Saudi Arabia were in London, Southeast Asia and Dubai
  • Most regional stories have an international dimension and Arab News has expanded to reflect that

JEDDAH: “Arab” news, for better or for worse, is rarely solely confined to the region.

From the bloody conflict in Syria and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to the investment moves made by the wealth funds of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, most regional stories have an international dimension — and this newspaper has expanded its global footprint to reflect that. 

Before September 2016, Arab News had no global bureaus or correspondents, nor did it have a vision for growing its international audience. 

Since that date, we have been creating new bureaus and recruiting new contributors regionally and internationally, as part of our “more digital, more global” strategy. This aims at attracting non-Arabic speakers across the world who are seeking specialist information about Saudi Arabia and the Arab world.

It means we can cover how the latest policy decision in Washington, a military move by Moscow, or a massive business investment from Beijing may impact the Arab world.

Just as decisions made on the global stage reverberate in the Middle East and North Africa, countries in the Arab world, notably Saudi Arabia, have ever closer ties with Western powers. Witness the ongoing visit by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the US.

The first Arab News bureaus to open outside of our headquarters in Saudi Arabia were in London, Southeast Asia and Dubai.

Award-winning journalist Baker Atyani leads the Southeast Asia bureau, with contributors in Islamabad, New Delhi, Kabul, Manila and Jakarta. Major stories from that bureau include an interview with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

Our global operations are complemented by the Dubai bureau, headed by Ross Anderson and the London bureau, run by Ben Flanagan. 

On top of this, Arab News also has foreign contributors across the globe, reporting to Jonathan Lessware, the newspaper’s foreign editor.

Of course, the Middle East remains a key area of interest to our editors and readers. Regional contributors include Daoud Kuttab in Amman, Hazem Balousha in Gaza City, Najia Houssari in Beirut, Suadad Al-Salhy in Baghdad and Menekse Tokyay in Ankara.

As global interest in the Arab world grows, so does our network of contributors and readership. We are connecting the world. 


Second French academic detained in Iran since June

Updated 16 October 2019

Second French academic detained in Iran since June

PARIS: A prominent French academic has been in detention in Iran since June, when he was arrested with his Franco-Iranian colleague, a researchers’ group and the French foreign ministry said Wednesday.
Roland Marchal, a sociologist whose research focuses on civil wars in Africa, and Fariba Adelkhah, an anthropologist, both work at the Sciences Po university in Paris.
The FASOPO association, of which they are both members, announced Marchal’s detention on its website, saying it had remained quiet about his arrest at the request of French authorities until the story was reported on Tuesday by Le Figaro newspaper.
The association said “discretion had seemed preferable to the French authorities, who immediately began working, at the highest level, to obtain the liberation of our colleagues...”
The French government, it said, had wished to prevent the issue becoming a reason for “nationalist flare-up” in Tehran.
The foreign ministry in a statement confirmed Marchal’s detention and said it strongly condemned his arrest.
“We are mobilized to obtain his release,” it said, adding Marchal had received several consular visits.
“We urge the Iranian authorities to be transparent and act without delay to put an end to this unacceptable situation,” the ministry added.
FASOPO said it had alerted French authorities to the pair’s disappearance on June 25.
The association said it supported the government’s decision to keep quiet given the experience of foreign colleagues “who found themselves in the same situation” and who had found Western media reporting “either useless or, worse, counter-productive.”
Adelkhah’s arrest was confirmed by Tehran on July 16. The reason for her detention has not been made public.
Paris has repeatedly requested that she be given consular access and set free. Iranian authorities, who do not recognize dual nationality, had railed against the “unacceptable interference” of France in the matter.
FASOPO said Marchal was arrested after arriving in Iran from Dubai to celebrate the Muslim Eid feast with Adelkhah.
It said he was known “for his strong stances that reflect his uncompromising quest for intellectual honesty and humanistic values.”
Iranian-born Adelkhah is a specialist on Shia Islam who has written extensively on Iran and Afghanistan.
The arrests came as President Emmanuel Macron conducts intense diplomacy to find a way of keeping alive the 2015 nuclear deal which limits Iran’s atomic program.
Iran has several dual nationals and Western passport holders in detention.
They include British-Iranian Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, who has been jailed in Tehran since 2016 on sedition charges, causing major tensions with Britain.