The National wanted to be the Times of the Middle East. It failed
In 2008, when a new government-owned newspaper debuted in the Persian Gulf emirate of Abu Dhabi, it was greeted as the latest sign of the formerly sleepy oil town’s cosmopolitan ambitions. The island city of around 900,000 was in the process of making itself home to a series of prestigious Western institutions. Plans had been hatched for branches of the Guggenheim and the Louvre museums, as well as campuses of New York University and the Sorbonne.