The Emirates News Agency, WAM, (Wakalat Anba'a al-Emarat), was established
in November 1976 by decree of the Minister of Information and Culture of the
United Arab Emirates. Transmission of its Arabic language service commenced on
18th June 1977, and of its English language service in December 1978.
Transmission is from 08.00 am until 01.00 am, except on special occasions, when
transmission times can be extended.
WAM is a
member of the Group of Arab Gulf Co-operation Council newsagencies, the
Federation of Arab News Agencies, FANA, the Islamic Newsagencies Union, the Pool
of Non-Aligned Newsagencies and of OANA.
WAM has a
total of 180 employees inside the United Arab Emirates, with 22 foreign
reporters in countries elsewhere in the region and in major international
capitals. Its headquarters is in the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi, with other offices
in Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al-Qaiwain, Ras al-Khaimah, Fujairah, Al Ain and
It has a
total of 30 reporters outside the UAE, with offices in the Arab cities of Cairo,
Beirut, Rabat, Riyadh, Damascus, Sanaa, Algiers, Jerusalem, Gaza, Khartoum, Amman, Baghdad, Tunis and Tripoli. Other offices and reporters are located in London, Paris, Brussels,
Geneva, Berlin, Moscow, Washington, New York, Tehran, Islamabad, New Delhi, Seoul, Tokyo, Istanbul and Canberra.
Emirates News Agency also operates a website, with services in both Arabic and
was established, WAM has kept abreast of changes in technology, and now
distributes its news and picture services by satellite, both locally and
internationally. Over 90 per cent of its photographs are now available in
digital format, which has helped both to expedite performance and to cut costs
WAM is a major
arm of the Ministry of Information & Culture in terms of implementing the
Ministrys media policy. It provides daily news coverage of official and other
events throughout the country and is one of the key sources of information for
all media establishments in the Emirates. It provides coverage of around 85-90
per cent of official activities, as well as the activities of official
In 2001, WAM
transmitted a total of 44,000 news items, of which the majority were related to
local events. It also filed 10,000 stories on Arab and Islamic events and 6,000
on other international events, while it also distributed a total of 4,500
television and picture stories, covering both local and overseas events.
A total of 220
establishments receive the WAM service, including all of the local media, a
number of Ministries and UAE corporations and all UAE diplomatic missions
abroad, as well as the foreign media.
WAM also plays
an important role in documenting development in the country, and in providing
information to researchers and others.
and computer networks, WAM receives the transmission of 30 Arab, Gulf and
international news agencies. It has also co-operation and news exchange
agreements with 20 Arab, Asian and international news agencies, part of an
effort to strengthen collaboration between the media of the UAE and other
WAM signed three new agreements for bilateral co-operation and exchange
expertise, information and news with the Sudan News Agency, SUNA, the Malaysian
National News Agency, BERNAMA, and the Russian News Agency, NOVOSTI.
In 2001, it
signed co-operation agreements with the Chinese News Agency, XINHUA, the Kuwait
News Agency, KUNA, the Jordanian News Agency, PETRA, the Indonesian News Agency,
ANTARA, and the Yemeni News Agency, SABA.
devotes considerable attention to the training of its own staff, and those of
other UAE media establishments. In 2001, a training course was organised,
together with the BBC, on Practical Journalism in an open society with the
participation of a number of local journalists from different media
institutions, while 27 local editors were sent in 2000 and 2001 on training
courses in Kuwait, Qatar, Lebanon, Tunisia, India and Syria.