New Arabic 24/7 multiplatform news service Asharq News, headquartered in Riyadh with central offices in the Dubai International Financial Centre, designed and built by systems architect Qvest Media, is now on air. 


QVest: The control room at Asharq News

Asharq News provides the Arabic-speaking population worldwide with live news focused on the economy and finance on online, social media, TV and radio channels. The all-IP infrastructure reaches a scope and a performance that is so far unique in the MENA region. The hybrid architecture of virtualised on-premises systems and cloud applications for content aggregation, production and distribution is equally unrivalled.

The consistent use of innovative technologies opens up comprehensive possibilities for location-independent collaboration at Asharq News. The broadcaster can easily produce high-quality news and analyses live on the spot quickly and with a global network of journalists. Thanks to an exclusive content agreement with Bloomberg, Asharq News has real-time access to information from more than 2,700 economic and financial experts from around the world. Journalists from Asharq News can collaborate remotely thanks to the seamless news workflow across the studios in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Cairo and Riyadh.

With an end-to-end all-IP infrastructure, Asharq News benefits from lean operating processes as well as a high adaptability and scalability of its production platform. The 100GBit/s-capable all-IP media infrastructure designed and implemented by Qvest Media supports the SMPTE ST 2110, NMOS IS-04 and IS-05 standards and offers sufficient bandwidth for an UHD/4K upgrade of the production infrastructure in the future. The audio-over-IP implementation supports IEEE, IETF and AES67. Since the network consists of customary IT components, it forms the basis for both the redundant broadcast network design and the seamlessly integrated corporate IT network.

“With Asharq News, we have launched one of the world’s most advanced live news platforms together with Qvest Media as our master systems integrator. The wide range in collaboration and news research allows us to report live and on the pulse of the action quickly, which is crucial to our success,” said Omran Abdallah, CTO of Asharq News. “We are very pleased about the outstanding and positive international response that we have received since our launch on 11 November 2020.”

Ahmad Hadi Al Kayal, general manager and CSO of Qvest Media Dubai, added: “I am very pleased that Asharq News successfully managed to go on air despite the aggravated pandemic conditions. We owe this mostly to the close and trusting co-operation between Asharq News and our well-coordinated team as well as our streamlined project delivery.”

For the design and the construction of the media infrastructure, Qvest Media co-ordinated more than 25 manufacturers as part of its vendor management to form a seamless live news workflow. A central component to accelerate this news workflow is the multicloud management platform qibb.

As a cloud application management layer, qibb is used to orchestrate and monitor the cloud applications relevant for news production: the newsroom system Avid iNEWS, the production platform Avid MediaCentral | Cloud UX, the social media aggregation and research of and Burli NewsHub, as well as the social media publishing from Wildmoka. This allows incoming news feeds to be curated and routed to the responsible journalists easily and the smart networking of best-of-breed components creates a unique and revolutionary live news workflow.

“Asharq News incorporates our many years of experience in the future technologies of all-IP, cloud management and smart news production,” said Philipp Glänzel, general manager and CTO of Qvest Media Dubai. “We are happy about our substantial contribution to the technical capabilities and advanced infrastructure for an enhanced distribution of the latest news across the Arab-speaking world.”

Asharq News also sets new benchmarks in studio design, for example with video walls and floor displays with a total area of more than 300sqm. The LED walls can be divided into several segments and have a movable, motorised ceiling suspension that allows them to be moved silently in on-air mode. In addition to the design and installation of these systems, Qvest Media also integrated the necessary technology for the visualisation of graphic and video material, which is used for the interactive display of programmes accompanying content on the LED walls.