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Sky News to open Dubai bureau

Dubai , February 5, 2009

Sky News, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, said it is set to open a new foreign bureau in Dubai as part of its regional expansion strategy.

'Plans to open a bureau in the region have been under consideration since early 2008, and Sky News is delighted to now confirm that it will open its doors in mid-late March 2009,' said a top official.

Sky News reporter Ashish Joshi has been named as the new correspondent and will be taking up his new role in March this year.

Ashish joined Sky News in 2004 after spending 10 years at Zee TV, where he was head of News and Current Affairs.

Based in Dubai’s Media City, the new bureau will consist of two additional permanent members of staff working alongside Ashish – a producer and a cameraman.

Sky News has a long-held tradition of being first with in-depth analysis of the big issues in world news and opening a new bureau in one of the fastest developing regions will bring the rosta of Sky News foreign bureaux to a total of eight, said Sky’s head of Foreign News, Adrian Wells.

'Opening a bureau in Dubai will strengthen Sky News’ ability to report on this fascinating, and ever more influential area. With the current financial crisis deepening every day amongst most of the world’s leading economies, the economy of the UAE is one of very few examples of resilience,' he noted.

'This, coupled with current cultural shifts in the Middle East which have far reaching effects across the world, make it a compelling region to cover in more depth – this is a prefect time to cement our presence in the region,' Well stated.

“Sky News recognises the importance of the gulf-states and we’re extremely pleased that we will now be able to report more fully on one of the world’s most exciting regions,” he added.

On his new role, Ashish Joshi said, 'I am delighted to be taking on this new challenge in a region I know very well from my previous role as head of news with Zee TV.'

'It is a fascinating, fast-paced, influential and sometimes fractious region of the world, where very different cultures live and work side by side, world business sits cheek by jowl with traditional fishing communities, and the rich and famous come to play without ever perhaps seeing the ‘real’ UAE.'

'I relish the challenge of reporting on the region and helping viewers understand why it is so influential and what drives it,' he quipped.

Along with the opening of the new Dubai bureau, the World News slot on Sky News will be extended by an extra hour, now showing from 3am-6am GMT.

This will allow for an extra focus on the Middle East in line with breakfast viewing in the region, and there will be an enhanced focus on business news from the Middle East during this slot.

Sky News ran a series of special reports from the UAE in 2008 – ‘Eye on the Emirates’ examined stories as diverse as the progress of the Burj Dubai, the world's tallest hotel set to open in 2009, and the stunning Burj al-Arab, miles of idyllic artificial beachfront and the world’s largest man made island, Palm Jumeirah.

It reported on Dubai often being seen as a glamorous, party city and the playground of the rich and stylish where 85 per cent of the population are now immigrants, including a growing number of Brits.

But it also examined the clash of western lifestyles with Muslim beliefs held by many UAE citizens which has, at times, led to controversy. The most notable of such cases being the recent ‘sex on the beach’ case involving Britons Michelle Palmer and Vince Acors.

How will this culture clash develop as more hotels, offices and beach resorts are built? Will it remain a calm oasis in the desert? Will growing friction between Western and Muslim lifestyles lead to more clashes and court cases – or worse? Will the business centres of the world cease to be in Europe,<


Tags: Dubai | Sky News | bureau |

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