The first issue of Al-Ittihad newspaper was published on 20 October 1969, during a period that witnessed continuous effort by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the then ruler of Abu Dhabi, alongside his brothers, the rulers of the Emirates, to found the federation of the United Arab Emirates.
The name “Al-Ittihad” carries great meaning and symbolism that partly explain why Al-Ittihad is considered the mouthpiece of the UAE, not only as a society, but also as a political entity known for its objective positions and orientations. The newspaper was originally published on a weekly basis, consisting of 12 pages. At that time, its circulation reached 5,500 copies, and was at times distributed for free to withstand competition from newspapers coming from other Arab countries.
With the declaration of the founding of the UAE in 1971, the Al- Ittihad was published daily for several consecutive days. It was also published daily for two weeks around 6 August 1971, on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s ascension to power in Abu Dhabi.
Since 22 April 1972, Al-Ittihad has been published daily. Today it is published in an advanced format, comprising of 32 pages, including several pages printed in color. Later, Al-Ittihad’s16-page Sports supplement has been published, followed by Dunia Al-Ittihad, a 16-page daily magazine-like supplement that consists mainly of art and cultural content.
Additionally, Al-Ittihad was the first newspaper in the Arab world to adopt satellite transmission technology for simultaneous printing in 1981. It established a second printing press in Dubai to print the newspaper in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai simultaneously in order to overcome the problem of delayed distribution in the northern emirates.
Today, Al-Ittihad takes pride in one of the most sophisticated printing presses in the Middle East, something that is reflected in the quality of printing that is comparable to renowned international newspapers’.
Today Al-Ittihad has around 200 journalists distributed over the newspaper’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi and bureaus in Dubai, Fujairah and Ras Al-Khaimah, along with reporters and correspondents across the country, a bureau in Cairo, and a number of correspondents in Arab and international capitals.
Al-Ittihad journalists use cutting-edge technology in the smart newsroom, which is equipped with modern devices and tools for editing and digital media. Moreover, Al-Ittihad has adopted NewsPress, a program that allows dealing with content in anintegrated, up-to-date way, from newsgathering and editing to the printing stage.
Furthermore, Al-Ittihad newspaper has been among the first national newspapers to tap the Internet. On Friday 15 March 1996, it launched a website to offer its readers a new and interactive service, thus became the first UAE newspaper to provide such a service. The newspaper has stayed up-to-date with all developments in the field of digital media. It has established platforms on most social media platforms, through which it provides breaking news, as well as a varied content that seeks to meet the desires of readers and followers from various segments of society.