Complex Made Simple

Al Hilal Group launches Online News Network and Digital Business Community

Providing bespoke news content to audiences in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar.

One of Bahrain’s top publishing companies has launched the first dedicated pan-GCC online news network and digital business communities.

Al Hilal Group, the GDN’s parent company, has expanded its Gulf Digital News brand – providing bespoke news content to audiences in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar.

It follows the successful re-launch of the GDN website, www.GDNonline.com, in June and provides a targeted local news service for each GCC country, in addition to latest regional and international news.

The group has also rolled out 11 editions of its Arabian Business Community (ABC) portals with four UAE editions, three for Saudi Arabia and editions for Kuwait, Qatar and Oman, following the successful launch of ABC Bahrain last year.

Audiences can access ABC databases through the GDNonline site, which also allows readers to select their GCC country of preference.

“The launch of the second phase of our integrated digital strategy sees us working with a total of 22 websites and portals, which have all been integrated into a seamless online platform designed to leverage from the extensive publishing assets within our group,” said Al Hilal Group managing director Ronnie Middleton.

“This includes daily, weekly and monthly print and online publications, websites and marketing databases. We now offer the most comprehensive local, regional and international coverage of community and business news with the region’s first pan-regional series of interactive, interlinked marketing databases designed to proactively support the business communities in each of the GCC countries and across the Arabian Peninsula.”He added that further developments were in the pipeline.

”The next year will see some pretty ambitious developments, which we believe will take our online initiative into a very exciting phase – building on what we have achieved over the past two years but also setting some challenging objectives, which will help create some unprecedented opportunities for both our company and the communities we serve,” said Mr Middleton.

GDN editor-in-chief George Williams, who is the responsible editor for the GDNonline portals, said each GCC edition of GDNonline aimed to provide a balanced source of independent news.

“We are proud to be the first newspaper in the region to recognise the importance of delivering local editions of a pan-regional online newspaper to readers in each of the GCC countries based on our well-founded editorial standards of quality journalism,” he said.

“By incorporating the latest technological developments, we are able to reach the region’s various communities in a way which will highlight their local interests, but also provide them with a well-balanced, comprehensive source of regional and international news and information covering everything from community news to the latest in business, sports, entertainment, health, technology and motoring”he says.

GDNonline editor Sonorita Chauhan added that the online expansion aimed to establish a dynamic regional presence.

“In a very short space of time we have been able to create an attractive, interesting and dynamic online presence, which continues to attract a growing number of interested readers from the region and the world,” says Ms. Sonorita.

“Our business model ensures that the group’s online platform will continue to see steady investment as it develops over the next 12 to 18 months”she concludes.