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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

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 Meanwhile Arabic internet users can find radio and television streaming at, 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.

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  1. samira on July 6, 2010 2:50 pm

    Not anymore. You can access BBC World Service on 90.3 FM

  2. Samuel Potter on July 6, 2010 3:04 pm

    As mentioned in the article, according to the BBC the World Service is available in Abu Dhabi on 90.3 FM. It is no longer licensed in Dubai on any frequency, though Kipp supposes that, for some, the Abu Dhabi signal may travel.

  3. Ahmed on July 6, 2010 5:03 pm

    The signal does not travel that well, especially on really humid days.

    As usual, we in Dubai have to rely on Abu Dhabi even for the waves in the air. How sad.

  4. Matt on July 6, 2010 5:52 pm

    The signal from the Capital does travel but it’s not very good, certainly when I was in Jumeira it was very crackly. I’m very disappointed the BBC hasn’t kept it’s license, not sure I can cope with the interference or with the other radio stations. Come on Beeb, sort it out.

  5. Alex Aurora on July 6, 2010 6:06 pm

    You can also pick it up here

  6. ray on July 6, 2010 6:50 pm

    This is terrible. I am an Irish expat & am on the road in Dubai everyday & listen to BBC World English every day. I hope that BBC will find a way to restore service. I had been hoping that we would have a 24hour English service by radio.

  7. Marie on July 6, 2010 7:25 pm

    BBC pls sort this out, World Service was the only saving grace in a sea of crap radio

  8. charles on July 7, 2010 4:44 am

    how does the licence “expire” in Dubai after so many years and yet remain OK in Abu Dhabi? Is there a bigger picture here we are unaware of?

  9. Miss Anne Thropic on July 7, 2010 9:40 am

    No BBC World in Dubai leaves precious little choice. Cat Boy and Geordie Bird, the two most pointless people on the airwaves, live on. Sad.

  10. Andrew on July 7, 2010 1:34 pm

    Duckworth & Daisy giving them a run for their money.

  11. Basel A-Shaban on July 7, 2010 4:22 pm

    What a sad day. I always listen to BBC as I am driving around Dubai. Now when I drive, I will just switch my radio off. There is nothng out there equal or even comes close to BBC. What a sad day to BBC listners.

  12. fouad on September 12, 2010 11:54 am

    now i c …i was looking hardly for bbc in my car’s radio and i thought my radio need maintenance ….. i used to hear arabic and english one everyday …. if it’s expired … then why u’re nor renewing it ?????????


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