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Al Waleed’s Al Arab TV station shut down permanently

Pan-Arab news TV informed employees about decision — report

Image Credit: AFP
Al Arab News Channel staff at the editorial office in the Bahraini capital Manama.
Gulf News

Manama: The plug has been pulled permanently on Al Arab, the 24-hour Arabic-language satellite news channel set up by Saudi entrepreneur Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal, a Saudi report said.

The pan-Arab station has informed its staff about the decision to shut down and about the procedures for financial settlements, news site Sabq reported on Monday.

Al Arab was founded in Bahrain in 2011 and was put on the air in February 2015 following a series of difficulties.

However, within hours, it was taken off air within the first 24 hours of its debut broadcast following a “technical and administrative” dispute with Bahrain.

Reports in Manama then said that Al Arab had failed to comply with the norms prevailing in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, including “neutrality and the non-targeting of the GCC unity and orientations.”

The GCC, established in 1981, comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The station sought to broadcast from another city and reports mentioned London, Istanbul and Cyprus as its best options. However, it ended up selecting the Qatari capital Doha to host its headquarters following long negotiations with the local authorities, Sabq added.

With the long delay in going on air, rumours emerged that the station would not be airing from Doha, but Jamal Khashoggi, Al Arab’s general manager, in November said that preparations for the broadcasting were underway and denied any change to the policy to beam from the Qatari capital.

The reasons for the decision to shut down Al Arab are not known, the news site said.

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