Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber is not named on the website of the Abu Dhabi fund bidding for the Telegraph titles and his Wikipedia page contains no reference to his role in shaping the country’s censorship regime. Al-Jaber is, however, poised to become a prominent figure in UK media as chairman of International Media Investors (IMI) and led his nation’s censorship agency for five years.
The boss of the United Arab Emirates’ state oil company — who is now heading the Cop28 climate talks — has been accused by the National Media Council between 2015 and 2020. During that time, a popular Dubai website was banned for reporting on the liquidation of failed property projects.
The UAE has tried to attract western journalists to the country despite its fear of a free media. It brought leading writers to the country during the financial crisis when it set up a newspaper to emulate The New York Times.
The National, a paper backed by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan, was envisioned as a high-quality publication that could replicate the success of the English-language TV channel Al Jazeera. Martin Newland, the former editor of The Daily Telegraph, was hired to lead the paper’s launch in 2008, and it is now owned by IMI.
Read more: thetimes.co.uk