Radio Stations in Dubai and UAE
As a generalisation, Dubai and UAE radio stations tend to be fairly droll - at least the English language ones - but every now and then there's a show or DJ worth tuning in to. Below is a list of a few possible English language radio choices in the UAE to entertain you.
Note that during mourning periods, when rulers or their close family have passed away, UAE radio stations suspend normal programming and play subdued music as a sign of respect. The daytime BBC World Service broadcast usually continues as normal though.
- BBC World Service is broadcast daytime from 0900-1800 on 87.9 FM (clear in Abu Dhabi, scratchy in Dubai). Occasionally will prompt your eyebrows to head skywards with some of their discussions and investigations - it appears not to be filtered or censored. Update July 2010: Your eyebrow muscles are safe from being stretched as BBC World Service is no longer broadcasting in the UAE, due to a "cessation of our licence" according to a comment from a BBC spokesman reported in the UAE press. Perhaps the UAE authorities were concerned about residents' eyebrows.
- Business Breakfast on Dubai Eye from 0600-0900 (103.8 FM), if you like business news and financial information, is worth a listen. Brandy Scott joined the team in September 2006 (yes, it's a real name), and replaced the eloquent Richard Dean who departed in January 2007 to go and work for Bloomberg (and returned for the 6pm to 8pm evening business show in September 2008). Ms Scott tries hard to not sound like a Kiwi. Malcolm Taylor, the other presenter, speaks proper, like. And saves guests from the persistent Ms Scott when she refuses to take no comment for an answer to a question.
- Business Tonight started in 2008 after the success of the Business Breakfast on Dubai Eye. BT was first on from 4pm-6pm but then moved to the later 6pm-8pm slot. A similar format to the BB, but with the anchor Richard Dean, who many listeners are happy to hear is back in Dubai. Pamela Ritchie, Alistair Crighton, and a few others join Mr Dean as regular presenters, with Mr Crighton in particular trying hard to ask questions of the guests that everyone wants to hear answers to, but guests try and squirm out of.
- Catboy on 92 FM does a breakfast show from 0600-1000 which is popular with some residents, and hated by others. He married his co-host Geordie Bird (GeordieBird) in December 2006. They should have a happy marriage, on air Mr Boy does all the talking and Ms Bird says "uh-huh" every now and then. We can't wait to see what refined names will be bestowed upon their children. Fishbowl and Puppylove have a nice twang don't you think?
- Conception [off-air?] with David Newsum on 92.0 FM Fridays 1700-2000 will blow out your earwax if you like House/Trance (off air from September 2008? Not heard since).
- Dubai 92.0 FM was smart and aired the excellent BBC Radio 1 music shows for a while, especially Thursday nights for Pete Tong's Essential Selection (repeated Fri 0200-0400?). Judge Jules also on Thursdays from 2000-2200, and several other shows on Friday nights to destroy your speakers with. Update: during Ramadan 2008, 92 FM turned up the bland control and took the international shows off air. Unknown if this was a temporary thing or a change in programming. Update January 2008: still no sign of any decent music on Dubai 92 - just how many times can you listen to Snow Patrol or Morose 5 before throwing a brick at your radio?
- Dubai Today - replacement show for Speak Easy, 0900-1200. Much the same idea, two people talking about topical events and issues in Dubai with audience participation via text message, phone calls, and occasional guests in the studio. Varying degrees of informativeness, entertaining debate, boredom, patronisation, sycophancy, etc depending on who the presenters are. Humour occasionally makes an appearance but the show's appeal has diminished since the departure of Victoria and Nanette of SpeakEasy fame. Jessica Swann and Akhtar Khan were the anchor presenters during 2008 and 2009 until March when Akhtar Khan left, and his spot was filled by Mustafa Al Rawi (previously of The Majlis) for a while. Wes made occasional appearances and then took over the full time job of trying to wind Jessica up (sometimes successfully). Jessica Swan left the show to return to Australia in early 2011 to host the ABC Riverland Today program.
- Entertainment Today with Mark and Jason (or more often referred to as "Lloyd and Lumber") who, if you haven't seen them, sound like they would be wearing slippers and dressing gowns while smoking cigars and quaffing brandy after a busy day with the shady Arthur Daley. They're actually quite funny together, and have a good knowledge of all things entertainment related - films, music, etc. Worth listening to. Sundays to Thursdays 2pm to 4pm.
- Majlis, The [off air] from Dubai Eye with Mustafa Al Rawi on Thursday mornings 0800-1000. Sort of a UAE version of HardTalk except the host is friendly & agreeable with his guests but snippy with his audience. Discussion and interviews with Emiratis about current local issues. September & October 2006 shows included Etisalat and TRA (Telecoms Regulatory Authority) management discussing website blocking, VoIP & Skype; the Top Cat (pun intended) at Dubai Zoo; Emiratis working in the private sector - talking with the only Emirati working at the Aamal organisation (ironic because Aamal is a recruitment agency for UAE nationals). The talkshow invariably stirs up a deluge of entertaining and provocative comments from listeners - some of which result in a less friendly retort from the host. By the end of 2006, the guests were less likely to be people or organisations you'd heard of - perhaps the the listener responses frightened off anyone interesting. By April 2007 the show was halted.
- My Expat Radio - a dedicated online radio station based out of Dubai, tel +971-4-2881418 to leave your own short contribution.
- Simply Classical - classical music on Dubai Eye (103.8 FM) on Saturdays at noon, with John Deykin, a tireless promoter of the classical music scene in the UAE.
- Siobhan Live is on weekdays after lunch and has legal, cultural, property, lifestyle, green issue shows with regular presenters once a week joining Siobhan (unknown if her surname really is "Live") for a session from 12pm to 2pm on Dubai Eye (103.8 FM). Siobhan (another lady who cocks a snook at the "face for radio" premise) and Carlo Dei Tedesci on Thursdays with the lifestyle show are the best entertainment value. If you've ever wondered if you can hear someone blush, listen to Siobhan left speechless at some of Carlo's innuendos and double entendres. The Dubai arts and culture show (yes, there really are art galleries in Dubai), The Edge, on Tuesdays is also a good one especially when Buffi (with an 'i') gets together with Siobhan.
- Sticky Fingers is usually worth listening to - he even knows his stuff when it comes to sports in the occasional afternoon discussion on Dubai Eye. Which is where you can also listen to Andy McNabb pontificate about English football and his unrelated, but allegedly narrow, escape from RAK and ruin. Sticky Fingers also does a Friday afternoon chillout session (The Sugar Lounge) on 92.0 FM with an odd mixture of very cool tunes and nauseating elevator music.
- Virgin Radio Dubai ("Virgin" is a brand name in this case, not a target market), mid-December 2007 launch said Richard Branson in a Nov 2007 interview with Malcolm Taylor of the Business Breakfast. In the end, it finally started up end of January 2008. Not too bad as delays in Dubai go. Find it at 104.4 FM. Listeners can make requests in the evenings and the music selection is marginally less mind-numbing than 92.0 or 104.8.
Occasionally Dubai DJs get in to trouble for making inappropriate comments on air - Chris Fisher of 92.0 FM in April 2006 made an April Fools joke that Robbie Williams had cancelled his concert in Dubai. The DJ was suspended, not apparently for the wind-up, but for commenting on it after the management had told him not to.
Jonathan Miles was another DJ who managed to get himself into a bit of bother back in 2004 when he was working for Channel 4 out of Ajman. His entertaining and irreverent chat saw him taken off air, reinstated, and eventually booted out for good. Many residents miss his perverted sense of humour and were dismayed to see him fired.
List of ARN (Arabian Radio Network) radio stations in the UAE
- Al Arabiya, 98.9 FM - latest Arabic popular music.
- Al Khaleejiya, 100.9 FM - Khaleeji music and poetry.
- Awaaz, 104.4 FM - Hindi music and information. Shows include Cafe Awaaz, Full Plate, Awaaz Junction and Karavan.
- City, 101.6 FM - Bollywood music, Indian pop, Asian World Music and dance music. Desi Mem breakfast show in English from 0700-1100.
- Dubai 92, 92.0 FM - western pop music station (English). Chris Fisher does his stuff there (if you haven't heard of him, that's probably a good thing) mornings from 0700-1000, then there's Jono from 1000-1400 sometimes. Thursdays you get the good stuff. Roger Sanchez at 1700, Judge Jules at 1900, Pete Tong at 2100, Armin Van Buuren (not 'Armin Van Buren') at 2300 and Carl Cox at 0100 Fri early morning. Winding down with Gilles Peterson (who?) at 0300 when you should be asleep. Fri 1700-2000 Dave or David Newsum (not Newton, Newsom, Newsome) "Conception" House and Trance.
- Dubai Eye, 103.8 FM - Dubai talk shows (English). Business Breakfast Sun-Thu. Speak Easy Sun-Thu. Send sms text messages to 4001 (costs more money than normal sms). Tel 6001499 to join in with discussions on air on Speakeasy.
- Fujairah Media, FM 98.4 - Arabic radio station based in Fujairah (Fujeirah)
- HIT, 96.7 FM - Classic Golden Hits and Tamil Hits. The Big Breakfast Show from 0700-1000. Fax +971-4-3912007, text sms to 4007 (costs more).
- Noor Dubai, 93.9 FM - Islamic radio station with news, information and talk for youths in the Emirates.
- Pulse 95.3 FM (forum topic) - for South Asian community, midnight 02 Sep 2007 launch. Offers a collection of 'unadulterated evergreen hits and news' for those 'wishing to relive the golden era of Bollywood' according to the deputy GM of ARN.
Other Dubai and UAE radio stations
- 107.8 FM, Dubai/Ajman - Arabic music.
- Abu Dhabi Classic FM, 87.9 FM in Dubaii (taking over the BBC slot in July 2010), 91.6 FM in Abu Dhabi, and 105.2 in Al Ain.
- Abu Dhabi Music, 90.0 FM
- Abu Dhabi Radio Holy Quran
- Al Arabiya 99.0 FM - Arabic - news and latest hits.
- Al Rabia FM 107.8, Arabic radio station, operator is Ajman Independent Studios.
- Al Rayyan FM, 100.2 FM
- Arabic AM, Dubai.
- Asia Net, 1539 AM
- BBC World Service Abu Dhabi in English - available 0800-1700 on Abu Dhabi 90.3 FM and 97.9 FM (reception ok in Dubai, not so good further north).
- Channel 4 FM, Dubai/Ajman 104.8 FM - western pop music station (English).
- Classical Music FM, 87.9 FM.
- Coast 103.2 FM, Fujairah Media group, English, launched early 2007, they say "more music, less talk". Music hits from 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s... Management of operations changed from Emirates Neon Group (ENG) to Ajman Independent Studios (Channel4 FM operator) in February 2009.
- Coast FM / The Coast, 106.5 FM - easy listening.
- Cool FM, 94.7 FM
- Cricket World Cup 2011 (ICC) official online internet radio station (website www.cricketfreeq.com), launched by Channel 2 Group on 22 March 2011 (press release).
- Emarat FM, 97.1 FM
- Emirates Radio 1 FM, 100.5 FM in Abu Dhabi, 104.1 FM in Dubai and Northern Emirates. Starring Emma B, Dave Cleary, Danny C and Humaid.
- Emirates Radio 2 FM, 106.0 FM in Abu Dhabi and 99.3 FM in Dubai and Northern Emirates - western pop music station (English). DJs include Fadi, Annah Yates, Jeff Price, the Better Drive with Steve, and Suzi Wonder (you 'wonder' if she's related...).
- FM 92.6, Arabic news radio station, launched 2006 by Fujeirah Media group, rebroadcasts Radio Monte Carlo.
- Free FM, Dubai.
- Hum FM, 106.2, Umm Al Quwain.
- LiveFarsi (planned) - new Farsi language radio station with talk and music from Iran (April 2009 report).
- MBC FM, Dubai - covers other Middle Eastern countries.
- Oxygen, 102.4 FM
- Quran Kareem, Abu Dhabi - UAE national radio.
- Radio 4 FM, 89.1 FM, Dubai - Indian radio station with shows including the Masala Club, Radio 4 Dabbawalla, Love Talkies, Char Baje Band Baje, Hot 7@7, and Go Wow. Operator is Ajman Independent Studios.
- Radio Asia, 94.7 FM
- Radio Farda, 1575 AM
- Radio Sawa, 90.5 FM
- Ras Al Khaimah, 95.3 FM
- Rock 909, 90.9 FM - a Fujairah Media Group (FMG) radio station, rock music. Launch date November 2011? Program by YouNique Media Group in Fujairah? Same as Rock Radio available on 90.7 FM?
- Rock Radio, 90.7 FM - a Fujairah Media Group radio station playing rock and heavy metal music. Started in 2011 (11-11-11), taken off-air 05 September 2013 (due to signal reception problems apparently). Still available online at www.rockradio.ae, www.tunein.com, or their Facebook page (RockRadioUAE)? Email contact email@example.com.
- Sharjah FM, Sharjah, 94.4 FM
- Sharjah Radio (Sharjah Media Corporation SMC), available on 96.3 FM in Abu Dhabi from 14 Dec 2013.
- Spice FM 105.4 - Fujairah Media group, launched late 2007? Asian/Hindi/Filipino radio station with music for easy listening. Poor reception in Dubai. Indian Consulate weekly "India Matters" show on Saturdays 6-7pm.
- Star FM, 92.4 FM and 99.9 FM
- UAE Classics, 91.6 FM in Abu Dhabi, 105.2 in Al Ain, classical and jazz music (in testing phase October 2009, email firstname.lastname@example.org), launch date 23 October 2009
- UAQ FM, 97.8 FM
- Virgin Radio Dubai 104.4 FM - soft launch Jan/Feb 2008.
Radio stations (FM) in frequency order
- 87.9 BBC World Service (daytime only). Suspended in July 2010, replaced by Abu Dhabi Classic FM.
- 88.8 (also 97.4)?
- 89.1 Radio 4 FM / Radio4 FM - Hindi
- 90.0 FM, Abu Dhabi Music
- 90.3 Abu Dhabi FM / BBC World
- 90.5 Radio Sawa
- 90.7 Rock Radio (off-air from September 2013)
- 90.9 Rock 909
- 91.6 UAE Classics Al Ain (start date 23 October 2009), Abu Dhabi Classic FM sometime later, available at 105.2FM in Abu Dhabi.
- 92.0 ARN Dubai 92FM
- 92.4 Star FM (also at 99.9)
- 92.6 FM 92.6 / Fujairah FM (Fujairah Media)
- 93.9 ARN Noor Dubai
- 94.4 Sharjah FM
- 94.7 Cool FM / Radio Asia
- 95.3 ARN Pulse (off-air?)
- 95.3 FM, Ras Al Khaimah
- 96.3 Sharjah Radio in Abu Dhabi
- 96.7 ARN HIT FM
- 97.1 Emarat FM
- 97.4 - see 88.8
- 97.8 UAQ FM
- 98.4 Fujairah Media (FM)
- 99.0 ARN Al Arabiya
- 99.3 Emirates Radio 2 FM Dubai Classic Hits (also on 106FM?)
- 99.9 Star FM (also at 92.4)
- 100.2 Al Rayyan FM
- 100.5 Emirates Radio 1 FM Abu Dhabi
- 100.9 ARN Al Khaleejiya / Khaleejia / Khaleejeya
- 101.6 ARN City FM (Hindi)
- 102.4 FM, Oxygen
- 103.2 Coast FM (Fujairah Media)
- 103.8 ARN Dubai Eye
- 104.1 Emirates Radio 1 FM Dubai
- 104.4 Virgin Radio Dubai
- 104.4? ARN Awaaz? Was here but must have been replaced by Virgin Radio.
- 104.8 Channel 4 FM
- 105.2 UAE Classics Abu Dhabi (start date 23 October 2009), available at 91.6FM in Al Ain. Frequencies swapped in 2010? Abu Dhabi Classic FM on 91.6 FM in Abu Dhabi and 105.2 FM in Al Ain?
- 105.4 Radio Spice FM (Fujairah Media)
- 106.0 Emirates Radio 2 FM Abu Dhabi Classic Hits (same as 99.3FM?)
- 106.2 Hum FM
- 106.5 Coast FM - easy listening.
- 107.8 Al Rabia FM - Arabic
AM Radio Stations UAE in frequency order
- 1539 AM, Asia Net
- 1575 AM, Radio Farda
Listen live online to Dubai radio stations
- www.1078fm.com - 107.8 FM - link available on home page to listen live.
- www.arnonline.com - ARN (Arabian Radio Network) website - listen online to Dubai Eye 103.8, Dubai 92, and City 101.6 - (www.drnonline.com not resolving to www.arnonline.com 29 May 2008)
- www.dubai92.com - Dubai 92 FM, listen online, check out the DJs, but painfully slow.
- www.myexpatradio.com - online radio station based in Dubai but available worldwide (like most online radio stations)
- www.radio4fm.com - Radio 4 FM (89.1) link available on home page to listen live.
Last update Monday 30-Dec-2013