December 28, 2011 / 5:55 PM / 8 years ago

Bahrain to host Saudi prince's Rotana, news channel

DUBAI (Reuters) - Saudi billionaire prince Alwaleed bin Talal will move his Rotana entertainment company and a new Arabic television channel to Bahrain.

“They are expected to serve as an anchor in the new Manama-based Media City and should be instrumental in attracting other reputable media organisations to Bahrain,” a statement from Bahrain’s Information Affairs Authority said on Wednesday.

It said Alarab TV, a new project between Alwaleed’s Kingdom Holding and Bloomberg news agency, would launch in December 2012. Rotana, based so far in Saudi Arabia, involves a series of channels covering music, cinema, religion, news and drama.

Earlier this month Alwaleed, a nephew of King Abdullah estimated by Forbes magazine this year to have a fortune of over $19 billion, bought a stake in social media site Twitter, widening his foothold in global media.

He owns a 7 percent stake in News Corp and its Fox entertainment channels air on the Rotana network.

Twitter has been a key means of communication for activists during the protests that spread throughout the Arab world this year, including Bahrain, where pro and anti-government users engage in fierce debate and campaigning.

Saudi Arabia sent troops to Bahrain in March to help the Sunni Muslim monarchy quash a democracy uprising dominated by the island’s majority Shi’ites.

Writing by Andrew Hammond

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