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FT launches Middle East edition

LONDON - Pearson is launching a Middle Eastern edition of its business newspaper the Financial Times.

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The FT said the new edition has been launched to meet increasing reader and advertiser demand for global business news in the Gulf following its emergence as a major international finance and business centre.

The first full edition will be available tomorrow, joining the FT's other editions in the UK, Europe, Asia and the US.

Roula Khalaf, Middle East editor in London, will manage a team of three full-time journalists in Abu Dhabi, where the regional editorial and commercial teams will be based.

This team will include Andrew England, Middle East correspondent, and James Drummond, Gulf News editor.

Simeon Kerr, Gulf business correspondent, will be based in Dubai, to expand the FT's network of offices already located in Cairo, Tehran, Jerusalem and Beirut. Extra journalists will be recruited in Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

The FT plans to expand its Middle East coverage on FT.com and will revamp the Middle East web page to feature more dedicated video and audio content.

John Ridding, chief executive of the Financial Times, said: "This edition is a further step in our successful global strategy, reflecting the rapidly deepening interface between the region and the international economy.

"It will provide a further boost to our global circulation and a quality advertising vehicle for businesses seeking to reach senior decision makers in the Middle East."

Advertising support for the launch of the new edition will include an airport poster campaign using high-profile sites at Abu Dhabi and Dubai airports and a TV campaign, which will start on May 5 across Al Jazeera and regional business channels.

The FT's Middle East edition is the second national title to launch in the area this month. Former Daily Telegraph editor Martin Newland launched his UAE newspaper called The National less than two weeks ago.

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