saudi arabia

After 30 years, Al Hayat shuts down London headquarters

Pan-Arab daily shifts offices to Dubai but will keep a bureau and correspondent in British capital

18:07 January 2, 2018

Manama: Pan-Arab daily Al Hayat has closed its editorial, administrative, distribution, and subscriptions offices in London from where it was published for the last 30 years, according to reports.

Al Hayat, often cited as the best-known daily in Arabic, will keep a bureau and a correspondent in the British capital. Some of the staff will be relocated to Dubai, its new headquarters.

The daily will continue to be printed and distributed in London, but through its Dubai office.

Al Hayat reportedly issued its last edition from London on Saturday.

The paper will in the middle of this year shut down its office in the Lebanese capital Beirut where it was founded by Kamel Mrowa on January 28, 1946, the reports said.

According to Yousuf Ebrahim, former senior Middle East correspondent for The New York Times, Al Hayat weathered 13 bombing attempts before the Lebanese civil war forced it to shut down in 1976.

Al Hayat (life in Arabic) was relaunched in 1988 by Jamil Mrowa and Adel Bishtawi, in London under Saudi ownership. It was often regarded as a pacesetter in Arab journalism and featured several iconic Arab columnists.

The international 20-page edition generally contains seven pages of political news, opinions, features, business, culture and arts, sport, youth, fashion, motors and miscellaneous articles.

Reports said that Al Hayat would focus more on its website edition to keep in line with the latest changes in the media landscape and in a bid to reach out to the largest number of readers.

The closure of the London headquarters and the shift to Dubai could also mark the end of the “migrant Arab media” and the start of the reverse migration due to the enormous technological transnational progress and the revolution of the social media with the impressive changes it has made.