Launched on March 3, 2003, the channel is based in Dubai Media City, United Arab Emirates. Production Company Middle East News (headed by Ali Al-Hedeithy at the time), one of the early funders, said the goal was to provide a "balanced and less provocative" alternative to Al Jazeera, which had enjoyed widespread success by that time.
Al Arabiya, a free-to-air channel, broadcasts standard news coverage as well as talk shows and documentaries every hour. These programs primarily cover current events, trade, stock markets, and sports. It is rated among the best pan-Arab stations by Middle Eastern audiences. The news organization's website is available in Arabic, English, Urdu, and Persian. As of March 2018, the website's number one consumer by country was Saudi Arabia with 20% of all viewers.
On January 26, 2009, US President Barack Obama gave Al Arabiya his first official interview as president, giving the message that "Americans are not your enemies" to the Muslim world, while also reiterating that "Israel is a strong ally of the United States." The White House directly contacted Al Arabiya's Washington Bureau chief, Hisham Melhem, hours before the meeting and asked him not to disclose until an official statement was made. by the administration.
Mamdouh Al-Muhaini is the managing director of Al Arabiya Network since October 2019 and replaces former director Nabil Al-Khatib.
On April 24, 2020, Al Arabiya introduced a new graphics and sound package and a new modified logo with studios in the network's first major rebrand since its launch in 2003.
On August 30, 2021, Al Arabiya Network began plans to shift operations from Dubai to Riyadh, with the stated goal to "produce a 12-hour newscast from the Saudi capital by early January". The move comes with the Saudi government's order for multinational companies to move their regional headquarters to the kingdom by 2024.