The Financial Times today announced the launch of a new edition for the Middle East with the first full edition available on Tuesday 29 April. The timing of the launch coincides with reader and advertiser demand for global business news in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Middle East and the emergence of the Gulf region as a major international finance and business centre.
The launch is consistent with the Financial Times' global expansion strategy and complements existing operations in the Gulf region. The Financial Times now has dedicated editions for the UK, Continental Europe, Asia, US and the Middle East and is printed in 24 cities across the world. The Financial Times has been printed in Dubai since 2003 and this will remain unchanged.
The Financial Times' regional editorial and commercial teams will be based in UAE's capital, Abu Dhabi. Roula Khalaf, Middle East Editor in London, will manage a team of three full time journalists in Abu Dhabi, including Andrew England, Middle East Correspondent, and James Drummond, Gulf News Editor. Simeon Kerr, Gulf Business Correspondent, will be based in Dubai, complementing a network of further FT offices in Cairo, Tehran, Jerusalem and Beirut. Stringer journalists will be recruited in Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
The Financial Times' coverage of the Middle East is well established and the paper's business, financial and political coverage will now also be enhanced by a dedicated page inserted twice a week, every Tuesday and Thursday in the new FT Middle East edition.
There are also plans to expand its Middle East coverage on FT.com. The Middle East web page will be revamped and will feature more dedicated video and audio content.
Lionel Barber, editor of the Financial Times, said:
'We have identified a strong and growing demand for high quality, global independent news and analysis across the Gulf region. This demand reflects how the Gulf has quickly become a financial and business powerhouse and our new edition will cement the region's place in the global economy.'
John Ridding, CEO of the Financial Times commented:
'This edition is a further step in our successful global strategy, reflecting the rapidly deepening interface between the region and the international economy. It will provide a further boost to our global circulation and provide a quality advertising vehicle for businesses seeking to reach senior decision makers in the Middle East.'
The Financial Times will also be offering training and lectures to local students studying journalism and will be hosting three internships every year.
Advertising support for the launch of the FT Middle East edition will include an airport poster campaign using high profile sites at Abu Dhabi and Dubai airports. A TV campaign will start on 5 May utilising Al Jazeera and regional business channels.
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About the Financial Times:
The Financial Times, one of the world's leading business newspapers, is recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. Providing extensive news, comment and analysis, the newspaper is printed at 24 print sites across the globe, has a daily circulation of 454,937 (ABC figures, March 2008) and a readership of more than 1.3 million people worldwide. FT.com is one of the world's leading business information websites, and the internet partner of the FT newspaper. FT.com is the definitive home for business intelligence on the web, providing an essential source of news, comment, data and analysis for the global business community. FT.com attracts 6.2 million unique users, generating 48 million page views. FT.com has 101,000 subscribers.