Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed invests in Arabic Sky News

A new Arabic-language Sky News channel that will be free-to-air across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region from 2012 has Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed backing it as he is named as the project's investor.

Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed has been named as the investor behind a plan to launch a Sky News-branded Arabic news channel out of Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi Media Investment Corp (ADMIC), a newly formed private investment company owned by Sheikh Mansour, has formed a 50-50 joint venture with British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB), which operates the Sky News channel in the UK.

The new Arabic-language Sky News channel will be free-to-air and available to viewers across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region from 2012, according to a statement issued by the two parties.

More than 180 journalists will work at the station, housed in studios to be developed at Abu Dhabi's twofour54 media zone.

A network of bureaux across MENA, as well as a number of international news centres, will support the operation in the UAE capital.

It is understood that ADMIC was set up as a special purpose vehicle for the venture with Sky, and does not currently have other interests in media. According to the statement, it is "a private company focused on making strategic investments in the Middle East media sector."