IMI and CNN partner to launch CNN Business Arabic

International Media Investments CEO Nart Bouran gives further insight into the partnership and what CNN Arabic has to offer

International Media Investments (IMI) and CNN International Commercial (CNNIC) have signed an agreement for a partnership that will see the creation of CNN Business Arabic, a dedicated digital business platform from the MENA region for Arabic speakers all over the world, which will be launched in Q4 2022.

Developed and operated by IMI in partnership with CNN, CNN Business Arabic will provide business, finance and economic content for Arabic speakers, offering audiences the latest business information and analysis. It will focus on global and regional economic news, analysis and reporting on business, company news, industry, technology and markets.

International Media Investments CEO Nart Bouran gives further insight into the partnership and what CNN Arabic holds:  

Can you tell us more about the partnership with CNN?

 Our partnership agreement with CNN International Commercial (CNNIC) to launch CNN Business Arabic – a dedicated digital business platform from the MENA region, highlights our commitment to delivering relevant, compelling, and timely digital content to Arabic speakers across the globe.

CNN Business Arabic joins CNN Arabic and a network of ten existing CNN-branded partners who operate in countries around the world including Brazil, Japan, Portugal, the Philippines, and Turkey.

What is the goal behind launching CNN Business Arabic, and why now?

The launch of CNN Business Arabic in Q4 2022 marks a powerful partnership, that combines the digital capabilities of IMI group, with the brand recognition and newsgathering experience of CNN.

 It will offer a fact-based financial, economic and business news platform for the MENA region and the world’s Arabic-speaking population to fill the gap which currently exists for high-quality, business news and analytics in the Arabic language. 

There are over 430 million Arabs in the world however, there are very few high-quality, dedicated Arabic business news platforms in the MENA region that appeal to all generations – especially youth. With young people increasingly reliant on digital and social media for news, the provision of a credible digital business and finance news source will appeal to this audience. 

With our region experiencing rapid economic change, we also expect the content we will cover to be relevant to a much wider public audience, particularly with a growing public interest in topics such as investment opportunities, and the impact of socioeconomic developments on their daily lives. 

As a global business hub that attracts international investments with its diverse and competitive economy, advanced digital readiness and strong focus on the preservation and global growth of the Arabic language, I believe the UAE is the prime location for launching this platform.   

When will the new platform launch?

CNN Business Arabic will launch by the end of this year – in Q4 2022. Now, we are focusing our efforts on developing the platform and building the wider team to complement the capabilities that exists today at Al Roeya. 

CNN Business Arabic will benefit from a transformation of IMI’s Al Roeya news desk by leveraging its extensive experience and successful track record in providing audiences with digital business, finance and economic news.The new platform will also benefit from the digital expertise of IMI’s existing organizational reach and capabilities.   

How will CNN contribute to this partnership? What does it add to your media status?

Through its partnership with CNN, CNN Business Arabic will benefit from access to news gathering expertise and content from across the CNN Worldwide portfolio. The new business platform will also have access to CNN’s global talent pool while benefiting from its training and consultation capabilities. 

 The partnership will strengthen IMI’s global status and its role in delivering digital first products and content while providing the public with the latest and most accurate information on news and issues that have a direct impact upon their lives.  

Who is the target audience of the new platform?

 Although the platform will serve as a go-to source for news and information for Arab speakers around the world, the young people who constitute the largest demographic of our region’s population will be a key audience for us. 

 We will provide them with the opportunity to stay up-to-date and informed about key regional and global economic developments, enabling them to use this knowledge for education and career advancement opportunities. 

With ASDA’A BCW’s recent Arab Youth Survey stating that 79% of Arab Nationals between the ages of 18 to 24 receive their news from social media, providing them with an Arabic-language platform for news will be particularly relevant.

In terms of the wider Arabic-speaking population from across the globe, as the world becomes more digitally connected than ever before, there is a pressing need to create credible business news platforms. By delivering economic, financial, and business-related content, CNN Business Arabic will provide the information and analytics needed to increase public awareness of topics such as investments and financial matters, enabling them to make better and more informed decisions.

Tell us about your future plans and of any potential media partnerships in the pipeline?

In collaboration with our partners, we will leverage our media talent and capabilities to deliver high-quality content that adds value to our audience lives and actively contributes to economic innovation in the region.

We will do this by delivering news through our media outlets which are already key players in the media landscape. In addition to Al Ain News and The National, we also own a 50 per cent share of Sky News Arabia as part of a joint venture with Sky PLC, and have a minority share in Euronews. IMI continues to seek quality partnerships that align to our business strategy and support our growth aspirations by enabling us to strengthen our digital media presence.

You are focusing today on digitalized media, what is driving you towards that direction?

Consumer habits and preferences are constantly and rapidly changing. Today, people and particularly the younger generation, are looking for content that fits in with their increasingly dynamic and fast-paced lifestyles. 

This has led to a move away from traditional media as it does not meet the need for instant access to content, anytime, anywhere. As the consumption of news and information across digital platforms and social media continues to increase, the media industry needs to change to match this pace.

Our focus on digital media enables us to do this – to deliver on what our audience wants and needs and ensuring we are in a strong position to expand our global audience.