Steve Smith & Mahmoud Al Rasheed

Setting the standard for Middle Eastern radio
ByJasmine BandaliWednesday , 26 February 2014
Steve Smith & Mahmoud Al Rasheed
© ITP Images
Ten years from now… We’ll still be in the media, no doubt, but probably with more of a digital slant

Entertaining 3.2 million listeners a day is no mean feat, yet it doesn’t faze the dedicated team at the Arabian Radio Network (ARN). For Managing Director Mahmoud Al Rasheed and Chief Operating Officer Steve Smith, running its nine stations is a project of passion. Each has learned about every aspect of the broadcasting business, from presenting and production to marketing. Mahmoud has been credited with bringing UAE radio up to international standards since the company’s inception in 2001. Seven years later, he recruited Steve to the Dubai-based team from Australia, and the pair have steadily expanded the network – it’s now the Middle East’s largest radio broadcaster.

Last year saw a steady stream of achievements from the duo as they set about taking ARN to another level. Their collaboration with Done Events on Justin Bieber and Bruno Mars’ sell-out gigs earned the respective companies recognition as leading forces for entertainment in the Middle East. A second milestone was achieved through the launch of Tag91.1, the region’s first Tagalog-language station. Aimed at the UAE’s Filipino population, it surpassed all expectations and achieved record figures.

Last but not least, ARN invested in the development of world-class smartphone apps for each of its nine stations. This foray into the online realm has been a huge success – the number of listeners tuning in since the apps’ launch last year has grown exponentially. Content can be accessed via services streamed live to their mobiles, keeping ARN connected to its loyal fan base wherever they are in the world.