Rupert Murdoch, the family head of media empire News Corporation, announced yesterday that the company plans to expand its presence in the Middle East and base its operations there in Abu Dhabi.
Speaking at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit, he said: "We will headquarter the Middle East operations for our global online advertising network business in Abu Dhabi."
He also highlighted his ambition to produce original Arabic content in the region: "When we look to the future, News Corp is betting on the creative potential of more than 335 million people who make up the Arab world," he said.
On Monday News Corp announced a strategic partnership between its subsidiary Fox International and Abu Dhabi's Arabic content specialist twofour54. The partnership will involve moving some of News Corp's satellite channels from Hong Kong to Abu Dhabi and increasing production in the region.
Murdoch (pictured) went on to encourage greater transparency in the market in the Middle East and used his own success as an example of the importance of open markets. "We succeeded because the open American economy let us compete on our talents. So we grew," he said. "I have every confidence that Arab companies can do the same – and more. I also believe that Abu Dhabi can lead the way."
Rupert's son James manages News Corp's European and Asian operations and is seen as 78-year-old Rupert's most likely successor to take the helm of the $30 billion company. It is unclear at present whether he will oversee this new part of the business that the family hopes will drive revenues for the future.
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