The London-based pan-Arab daily Al Hayat increased the circulation in Saudi Arabia from 20,000 to 190,000 daily with 140,000 subscribers. It is the result of the newspaper focuse on local news with three different editions published in the Saudi Arabia.
IIt decided to attract new readers by focusing on local news, just like the big UK papers who devoted more space to local coverage.
Published in London and distributed through the Arab world and in the Diaspora, the daily
launched a local edition in Saudi Arabia. The first issue was published on January 3rd, 2005.
Al Hayat was looking for a country with a large potential readership and an expanding advertising market. the Saudi market keeps growing and attracting new advertisers.
A single local edition would not to reach most readers in a country where both the press and the advertising markets are segmented regionally.
Three different editions were launched to cover the kingdom: one in the capital, Al Riyadh (center); one in Jeddah (West); and one in Al-Dammam (East).
Another reason for success was the fact of giving local news were given the same importance and priority as the national or international news.
The success of the daily is the direct result of the quality of the journalism ; comprehensive stories and short investigative features completed by pictures; a challenge to the Saudi traditional journalism that has limited its coverage to the political and socio-economic elites.
Experienced Saudi journalists were not hired. Priority was given to newly graduated Journalism school candidates. This helped bring a new and fresh perspective to the news room.
Al Hayat offers new advertisers attractive advertising rates; however, it is the reach of the paper that has the most positive effect in attracting new advertising revenues.
Because of flexibility of having three local editions in addition to the international daily edition allows Al Hayat to attract a wide range of advertisers, both local and global.