MBC Group readies to leave Dubai Media City for new headquarters in Riyadh

Ati Metwaly , Sunday 12 Sep 2021

The decision comes within a larger move that also comprises Al-Arabiya and Al Hadath TV channels

General view in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 21 June 2020. (Photo: Reuters)

MBC Group, the Middle East's largest media company, revealed last week that it will move its headquarters from Dubai Media City to Riyadh.

The decision comes as part of a larger move by a number of other large media corporations in the region, including Al-Arabiya and Al Hadath TV channels, from Dubai to Riyadh.

"MBC, Al Arabiya and Al Hadath are based in Dubai Media City, the United Arab Emirates' media hub that hosts hundreds of media companies and most of their Middle East headquarters," Reuters stated last week.

The MBC Group will be followed to Riyadh by many of the programmes aired by the company, shooting their new seasons in the Saudi Arabian capital.

Reuters adds that: "MBC said in a statement sent to Reuters that back in February 2020 the MBC Group chairman publicly announced the intention to establish a new headquarters in Riyadh which would involve creating a business and production hub."

For MBC, the relocation coincides with the company's celebrations of 30 years since its launch of the first independent pan-Arab channel, MBC 1.

Last week, the celebrations saw the shooting of a special four-segment episode of the Arabic language version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire in the Warner Bros studios in Lisbon, Portugal.

The episode will air on 18 September, marking the launch of the media company 30 years ago in London. The media conglomerate later moved to its headquarters to Dubai in 2002.

MBC Group operates over 17 free-to-air satellite TV channels including MBC1, MBC2, MBC3, MBC4, MBC5, MBC Action, MBC Max, MBC Variety, MBC Drama, MBC Persia, Wanasah, MBC Masr, MBC Masr 2, MBC Bollywood, and MBC Iraq.

The group also runs two radio stations, MBC FM and Panorama FM, as well as the video on demand service, Shahid.

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