Local media in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been caught in financial crisis because advertisers have turned to new media such as Facebook and Google, UAE’s biggest newspaper Gulf News said Sunday.
In an analysis published on the Gulf News website, Abdul Hamid Ahmad, Editor-in-Chief of Gulf News, said that UAE’s local media had never been in a more “miserable situation” than today. “Companies have virtually stopped advertising in print publications,” said the editor.
In addition, the website of local media, as an extension of print media, failed to generate sufficient revenues, he said. “Something has to be done to save and secure the future of these media,” said the Emirati media veteran. Scores of local and foreign news outlets in the UAE have downsized their business or shut down in recent years. In December 2016, Britain’s General Trust and the Daily Mail stopped the 14-year publication of the free tabloid daily “7 Days” in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
In April 2017, news channel City 7, owned by the UAE’s conglomerate Bin Hendi Enterprises, ceased operations. Meanwhile, new media have emerged. Earlier in May, a new radio channel “The Heart of Sharjah” was launched as the first English radio channel in the UAE’s sheikhdom of Sharjah. In mid-April, global news network CNBC went live in the UAE’s capital Abu Dhabi, after the channel had been in operation from the Dubai Media City for over a decade.