Abu Dhabi Classic FM goes nationwide

The UAE's only classical music radio station is now available in Dubai and the Northern Emirates.

DUBAI // The UAE's only classical music radio station is now available nationwide. Abu Dhabi Classic FM, broadcasting on 91.6FM in the capital, yesterday launched a new frequency, 89.7FM, which will be available in Dubai and the Northern Emirates. Abdulrahman Awadh al Harthi, the director of Abu Dhabi Radio Network, of which AD Classic FM is a subsidiary, called the launch a milestone for the station.

It "reaffirms our earlier commitment to broadcast UAE-wide. We are confident this will further boost the station's popularity," he said. The station offers a mix of classical, jazz and world music, and broadcasts received in Dubai and the Northern Emirates will be identical to programmes heard in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. This will include the popular morning show, called Breakfast Classics and hosted by Phil Matthews; a show called Off the Cuff, presented by Andrew Cuff, who plays trumpet for the Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra; and an evening slot, Dinner Jazz, hosted by Surianah Mahmud.

The station also provides news plus information on events such as those associated with Abu Dhabi Classics, which opens for its 2010 season in October. Rebecca Rendell, 26, a Ras al Khaimah-based artist from the UK, said she was excited about the roll-out. "I grew up on this kind of music and I find it extremely relaxing," she said. "I always play it when I'm in the studio because it helps me get into the zone. I like a lot of different sorts of music, but I can't listen to hardcore dance while I am working. I will definitely tune in."

Tarek Naja, 28, who works in IT security, also in RAK, said he hoped coverage reached all the emirates. "I don't know whether it's my radio or the coverage, but I don't seem to get any good radio stations up here," he said. "I really like classical music so I'll be looking out for it." But Iman ben Chaibah, who works as an IT product manager in Dubai, said she new station might have a tough time attracting listeners because the city already has "a diverse mix of stations... which give me whatever I want from pop music to hits from the '70s and '80s, as well as lots of talk shows and discussions".

Abu Dhabi Radio Network is part of Abu Dhabi Media Company, which owns The National. aseaman@thenational.ae