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Dubai loses BBC World Service, BBC Arabic
License expiry sees broadcasts replaced with classical music.
July 6, 2010 2:43 by Samuel Potter
Listeners in Dubai are no longer able to receive BBC World Service or BBC Arabic, Kipp has learned.
Since Thursday the frequency shared by the two channels has been broadcasting classical music. A spokesperson for the BBC said that the license for broadcast has expired, and that the BBC was investigating other methods of providing programming.
“BBC World Service in English and BBC Arabic are no longer available on 87.9 FM in Dubai due to a cessation of our license,” said the spokesperson. “We are actively pursuing other ways of making our programming available across the region, including Dubai.”
However the BBC was quick to emphasize that “audiences in the region can access BBC World Service and BBC Arabic on 90.3 FM in Abu Dhabi, and also BBC World News and BBC Arabic television on Nilesat, Arabsat and Hotbird, as well as on E Vision.”
In Dubai, listeners connected to the internet can access BBC World Service in English 24 hours a day online (via the ‘Listen live’ link at bbcworldservice.com). Meanwhile Arabic internet users can find radio and television streaming at bbcarabic.com, and Arabic news bulletins and summaries are also available on AlFujaira FM 95.1.
But it seems those without internet will have to go without the services for the foreseeable future.