Saudi media giant MBC to move HQ from Dubai to Riyadh

Saudi media giant MBC to move HQ from Dubai to Riyadh
3 min read
04 February, 2020
Saudi Arabia's Media City will build new headquarters for MBC Group.
Riyadh is building Media City [Getty]
The Middle East's largest multimedia group will shift its hedquarters from Dubai to a new complex in Saudi Arabia.

MBC Group [Middle East Broadcasting Centre] signed an agreement on Tuesday to build new offices in the capital of Riyadh.

It will form part of Riyadh's planned Media City a huge project which will host cultural, media and technology businesses.

MBC Group’s Riyadh office will be open within five years, the company said in a statement.

Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan A-Saud, chairman of Riyadh’s Media City project tweeted: "I signed with my brother, Sheikh Walled bin Ibrahim Al-Ibrahim, chairman of the board of the MBC Group, the largest group in the Arab world, an agreement to establish a new headquarters for the group in Media City."

After spending nearly a decade in London following its launch in 1991, MBC moved its headquarters to Dubai Media City in the UAE.

MBC offers free-to-TV content to over 180 million people across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Read More: Khashoggi verdict: This is what Saudi Arabia calls justice

"Through the establishment of a new headquarters in Riyadh, the group seeks to keep abreast of developments in the Kingdom, and to benefit from the open, developed and supportive environment for the media and entertainment sectors, and with those, content production," Sheikh Waleed said.

"We are working to consolidate and continue our leadership in this vital sector throughout the whole region, especially in light of the tremendous developments that have resulted and are constantly being produced by the reforms and development steps in the Kingdom, since the announcement of Vision 2030."


Saudi Arabia has made a real effort to appear more liberal not least by launching its Vision 2030 frame, but the reality remains murky.

The murder of The Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018 has done huge damage to Saudi Arabia's reputation in the Middle East and afar.

Saudi Arabia sentenced five men to death for the brutal abduction, torture and murder of the dissident journalist but Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) – argued to be the architect, did not experience any consequences.

Less than a year later and Saudi Arabia was once more embroiled in controversy, this time over MBS’s alleged hacking of The Washington Post CEO Jeff Bezos' phone.

"The alleged hacking of Mr. Bezos's phone, and those of others, demands immediate investigation by US and other relevant authorities, including investigation of the continuous, multi-year, direct and personal involvement of the Crown Prince in efforts to target perceived opponents," UN Special Rapporteurs Agnes Callamard said in a statement.

"The information we have received suggests the possible involvement of the Crown Prince in surveillance of Mr. Bezos, in an effort to influence, if not silence, The Washington Post's reporting on Saudi Arabia."

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