By David Robinson
New Arab satellite TV channel focussed on the Gulf region's burgeoning real estate market
A new Arab satellite TV channel focussed on the Gulf region's burgeoning real estate market has been launched in the UAE.
Al Aqariya ('The Property Channel'), which broadcasts in English and Arabic, hopes to cash in on a regional boom in advertising spending by real estate and tourism companies.
Spokesman Nabil Kazan said pan-Arab real estate advertising was worth $26.2 million in the first six months of 2004, already surpassing $13.1 million for the whole of 2002.
'When you see those kind of numbers, it's great motivation,' Kazan said in Dubai Media City, a state-run free zone where the station is based.
Arab real estate advertisers currently spend more than 80% f their budget in newspapers, but just 12% on television, Kazan said.
The UAE is witnessing a property boom, centred in the regional business hub of Dubai.
Al Aqariya is owned by a consortium of private Gulf investors who have put up initial investment of US$3 million.
The channel transmits free-to-air across the Middle East and North Africa via the Nilesat, Arabsat and Hotbird satellites.