A dedicated Filipino radio channel in the UAE goes live on air for the first time today.
Broadcasting 24 hours a day on 91.1FM, the Arabian Radio Network’s Tag91.1 station is set to entertain and interact with the country’s growing Filipino population.
CEO of the Arab Media Group, parent company of the ARN, Mohamed Almulla told 7DAYS the new launch was intended to fill an “obvious gap” in the market.
He said: “One single bit of information worth repeating over and over is that the representation of the Filipino population in the UAE is about 645,000. So it’s not a small community – but there has been a lack of enough targeted media initiatives to engage them.”
The ARN boss revealed the demand from both listeners and advertisers alike was also evident in the fact that the Tagalog station already has 10 commercial partners on board before going live.
“This is not something that usually happens in media because your commercial partners first come out to test the product. But this is a reflection of how many companies are interested to target the demographic and shows that the gap in the market is so wide that people are rushing to be a part of it,” he said.
Almulla said he believes ARN is a reflection of Dubai and that the launch of it’s ninth station represented a natural evolution of the city and sets a global benchmark.
“This is a success story we can share with the rest of the world – I don’t think there has been a country in the world that has been so ambitious and forthcoming about bringing communities together on one platform. We think we have perfected the game of launching new stations catering to specific demographics,” he said, adding that the development was also in keeping with Dubai’s Expo 2020 vision of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’.
Tag91.1 will play the biggest original Filipino hits and reach out to the Pinoy population of the UAE with a host of competitions and interactive activities.
“Just to give you a small insight into some of the plans – our group also owns a company called DONE events – Bruno Mars will be performing in April and we know he has a connection to the Filipino community because his mum happens to be Filipino, so Tag91.1 will be one of the leading media sponsor stations for the event. There are also plans to introduce basketball tournaments and other community initiatives,” Almulla revealed. Online at Tag911.ae, the station will also launch a dedicated iPhone, Android, Nokia and Blackberry apps, and a built-in player on all Samsung Smart TVs.
“When we switch on the microphone on Monday we’re really excited to announce that it’s finally happening – that we finally have someone of our own for the community,” said former Virgin Radio host Louie da Costa, who will now be on air with Tag91.1. And BlueBird from Filipino Rhythm on Dubai Eye 103.8, who will also be joining the new station, said: “We’re going to have a lot of competitions coming up. But the music is the most important thing for every Filipino – it’s our tagline, ‘Mahal Ko Music Ko’ (I love my music)”