Forbes Middle East recently unveiled the much-awaited ranking of the Top 63 online newspapers of the Arab world.
In a gala ceremony held in Dubai, attended by editors-in-chief of several newspapers from Arab countries along with senior executives from the corporate world, Forbes Middle East unveiled the coveted list for the second year in a row. This event was sponsored by Qualcomm and Al Tayyar Travel Group.
The Egyptian newspaper, Al Youm Al Sabe topped the list for the second consecutive year. During the period of survey, the newspaper attracted more than 15 million visitors to its website. The Algerian newspaper, Chorouk, bagged the second position, moving up from third position last year. Climbing 19 places from last year’s list to the third position was Emarat Alyoum, followed by the Egyptian newspaper Al Ahram in the fourth place and the Jordanian newspaper Al Rai in the fifth place.
In this year's survey, Forbes Middle East analysed eight newspapers from Saudi Arabia that lead the list, followed by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Lebanon, each having seven newspapers vying for the honours. There were five newspapers each from Bahrain and Jordan.
The most advanced
Al Watan, a Bahraini online Arabic newspaper, moved ahead the most in the ranking in comparison to its position in last year’s list. It moved 30 places up to take the 16th position in this year’s list, followed by Al Rai, which climbed 25 positions to enter the premium ‘Top 10’ list. Emarat Alyoum moved up 19 ranks.
There were 37 newcomers to the list this year. Al Eqtisadieh from Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which ranked eight, is the only newcomer to make it to the Top 10.
The Top 10:
Al Youm Al Sabe, Egypt
Emarat Alyoum, United Arab Emirates
Al Ahram, Egypt
Al Rai, Jordan
Al Quds, Palestine
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Al Eqtisadieh, Saudi Arabia
Okaz, Saudi Arabia
The ceremony was also attended by Dr Nasser Al-Tayyar, president of Arab Publisher House - Forbes Middle East magazine, and Khuloud Al Omian, editor-in-chief of the magazine.
Dr Nasser Al Tayyar said: “There is a great challenge facing newspapers today in terms of credibility, professionalism, and continuous improvement, especially when it comes to online versions. Therefore, we do encourage and embrace their hard work to promote the Arab Press to be in a better position globally.”
He added: “Our mission is to bridge the gap between the Arab and the Western media. Therefore, the Research Department of Forbes Middle East focuses on that while preparing such lists. These lists will contribute in creating proper investments in institutional Press, according to the latest methods and technologies to fit the global changes.“
Khuloud Al Omian, while commenting on the winners’ list, said: “What pleases me the most about this year’s ranking is the assistance that we have got from the editors in providing us with the necessary information and data. The result of this research is very positive as this year’s list comprises of 63 online newspapers, while last year it was only 50.”
She observed: “We found significant changes this year compared to last year's list. It indicates the list's success by contributing a greater awareness amongst decision makers of newspaper websites. Through our comparative studies, we observed that some newspapers in the Arab World have developed their websites adhering to last year's ranking. We found that new features were added to the websites with more focus on the interactive features and social media interaction. Both these parameters contributed to their progress in 2011 and allowed others to enter the list for the first time.”
Forbes Middle East compiled this list according to the Forbes methodology of scientific research, supported by Google Analytics, which is the best provider of website data. Forbes Middle East’s Research Department collected all the data from each newspaper management based on Google Analytics from July 5-September 4, 2011.
Forbes Middle East has always highlighted the importance of the role that media plays in raising awareness and educating communities in economic and social development including the electronic media that played a significant role in the recent Arab Spring.
Dr Fahad Al Jarboa, CEO of Al Tayyar Travel Group, while commenting on the partnership with Forbes Middle East, said: “We are extremely pleased to support Forbes Middle East’s endeavour to honour editors-in-chief from around the Arab world as we strongly believe in the importance of the role that the media plays in raising awareness and educating communities in economic and social development. We admire the efforts taken by the Forbes Middle East team to seek the right information and to highlight success stories to inspire young entrepreneurs around the region.”
Forbes Middle East is headquartered in Dubai Media City. The magazine is currently published in Arabic, covering all topics related to business and finance that draw entrepreneurs' interest for new investment opportunities in the Arab region. The magazine holds all rights to publishing and distributing of Forbes Middle East in partnership with US based Forbes Media. Forbes Middle East will launch its English edition and English website in early 2012.