UAE daily tabloid battles for survival

UAE daily freesheet 7Days was fighting for its survival last week after its distributor suddenly ended its relationship with the paper.

Distribution firm Blue Truck had been responsible for the paper's circulation across the country until it decided to stop delivering the paper to homes and offices early last week.

Blue Truck refused to comment on the reasons why it was no longer distributing the paper when contacted by Campaign.

The newspaper, published by Al Sidra Media, relies heavily on its delivery network to homes and office blocks across the UAE. It has a BPA audited circulation of 70,906.

The news comes after the paper was heavily criticised by some parts of the UAE's media for aspects of its editorial coverage in recent weeks.

A spokesman from 7Days was unavailable for comment, but a senior source at the paper claimed another distributor had been found and deliveries were slowly returning to normal.

Some advertisers have also stopped using the tabloid, Campaign understands.

Last month the UK's Associated Newspapers, publishers of The Daily Mail and free sheet Metro, acquired a 60% stake in the management team that runs 7Days.

Steve Auckland, managing director of Metro, said at the time that distribution of the paper could go over one million within five years, as the company looks to roll-out the title into other markets in the Middle East.

7Days was the first tabloid-sized daily to be distributed free in the UAE.

Since its launch the paper has earned itself a reputation for reporting and tackling controversial stories.

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