National editor quits to become GEMS PR chief

Hassan M Fattah to leave Abu Dhabi newspaper to become GEMS communications director
By Staff writer
Fri 20 Sep 2013 01:22 PM

The editor of The National, the Abu Dhabi-based daily newspaper, is to leave his role to join GEMS Education as communications chief.

Hassan M Fattah, the former New York Times correspondent, is understood to be joining the Dubai-based education provider as its new communications director.

Fattah was originally deputy to Martin Newland, the launch editor who used to be in charge of the UK's Telegraph. He became editor in 2009 when Newland moved "upstairs" in the role of editorial director.

Speculation that Fattah was leaving The National, which is owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, has been circulating for months.

When Arabian Business approached Fattah about the rumours in August, he denied he had been approached by GEMS.

"I get offers all the time, but I'm flattered," Fattah said, in an email. "Have them call me."

A leaked email published by capitalnewyork.com seemed to confirm the move.

"Congratulations on your appointment and welcome to the GEMS group," wrote a manager at GEMS Education in the email to Fattah, it reported.

At launch in 2008, The National recruited a plethora of top journalists from the US, Britain and Canada but the paper has since been hit by budget cuts and shakeups in management.

GEMS Education currently operates close to 100 schools in 19 countries, serving 147,000 students from 151 countries.

It employs 11,000 staff, and is planning to increase its presence to 50 countries within the next three years.

The company charges up to $40,000 a year in school fees.

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