Qatar's latest channel Al Araby launches from London

DetailsRebecca Hawkes | 26 January 2015

A new Qatari-owned Arab satellite television channel called Al Araby TV Network has launched across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) from its base in London.

Available from Sunday 25 January, the free-to-air channel aims to be 'a platform for Arab youth, talent, energy and aspirations' with content ranging from news to entertainment.

Fadaat Media, the Qatari company that owns the pan-Arab daily Al-Araby al-Jadeed ('The New Arab') and its online editions, is behind Al Araby TV.

"We are interested first and foremost in people and their concerns, rather than in regimes, businessmen and religious extremists", said Islam Lotfy, CEO, Al Araby TV.

"We are passionate about the issues and concerns of everyday people and their lives and dreams," he told al-Araby al-Jadeed, adding that 60% of the channel's content is politics and news and the other 40% is entertainment, with drama, music and independent films.

The satellite channel's launch coincides with the anniversary of the Egyptian revolution, an event that filled millions of people with hope for a new beginning in the Middle East. It reportedly hopes to attract the region's youth motivated by the Arab spring.

Al Araby TV has been touted as a rival to Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera, which has been heavily criticised for showing bias towards the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt – a claim it rejects.

Islam Lotfy told the BBC in November that while Al Jazeera "is a party in a political battle, we are not. Up to this moment, there is no interference in the editorial policy from Qatar".

Al Araby TV will be broadcast on NileSat with the frequency 10815 and in high definition (HD) on Es'hailSat 1 at 25.5° East with frequency 11142.