There's a certain excitement in the air this week as the media luvvies that populate Dubai's 'scene' all wait for the new Abu Dhabi newspaper, The National, to hit the streets.
The first issue's due out this Thursday: a big and heavyweight team of journalists headed by ex-Telegraph editor Martin Newland has been ramping up for months.
It's going to be interesting. Gulf News has already significantly increased its local news coverage and everyone seems to think it's GN that will take the hit, if there is going to be any hit to be taken. However, the commercial powerhouse that is driving that daily 1KG hunk of paper isn't going to be too worried, one suspects, at least not in the short term.
We're certainly going to see a huge increase in journalistic activity generally. There are going to be a lot of people chasing those stories and looking for differentiated coverage - Newland's team will add something like 45 UAE reporters and 30 international reporters. And they're looking at a business section comprising something like 20 pages according to business editor Bill Spindle, who spoke at the monthly MEPRA klatch earlier this week.
So can we expect better journalism, more competitive journalism and more investigative journalism? I think we can. Quite how long the effect will last and how deep it will go remains to be seen. And, for me at least, that's the interesting bit.