YAAB building major news source in Middle East


With the help of Acquia Cloud, YAAB is designing four unique media sites to capture the attention of readers throughout the region

Digital media company YAAB wants to become the next big online news hub in the Middle East. With a goal of engaging editors and readers from throughout the region, the Amman, Jordan-based startup plans to build four unique media sites in 18 months. To meet tight launch deadlines, YAAB has chosen Drupal and Acquia Cloud as its development platform.

Reliability and scalability were key requirements in the decision. In the news business, where readership can grow exponentially when a breaking story hits, downtime is not an option. In addition, YAAB wanted its news sites, which will combine professional journalism with user-contributed content, to function on a variety of mobile platforms.

“We set ambitious goals—four websites to design and launch in a short time period,” said YAAB General Manager Ammar Kurabi. “Drupal was a great starting point for bringing news to the mobile web.”

How they are doing it

YAAB (which stands for Yet Another Amazing Business) was founded in March 2012. To meet the ambitious time constraints for designing and launching its four news sites—each uniquely branded and targeted to varying audiences—YAAB selected Drupal for its modular structure. The open-source application makes it easy to add key elements such as blogs, user forums, and micro-sites. Drupal also enables YAAB to aggregate stories from other news sources as needed.

“With Drupal’s customization options, we can organize, manage, and publish our content with ease,” Kurabi said. “What’s more, Drupal’s state-of-the-art platform supports the latest web technologies.”

For a secure hosting provider, YAAB turned to Acquia Cloud. The Drupal- ready platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offers a trusted environment for YAAB to test its websites along with best-in-class technical support. If YAAB gets stuck on a technical issue, Acquia professional support is available to work with developers to fix any problems.

“We received excellent advice from Acquia in terms of developing our site architecture,” Kurabi said. “Acquia Cloud simplifies the deployment and management of our websites and enables us to achieve success in our Drupal application lifecycle management.”

To enhance the security of its sites and stay up-to-speed with Drupal best practices, YAAB also subscribes to Acquia Network, a comprehensive suite that includes utilities to monitor site performance and check site health, along with a knowledge base and online training tools. This way, YAAB can ensure its websites are always operating in optimal condition.

The results

With Acquia Cloud in place, YAAB was able to meet its deadline for launching Yakhabar.com. The first of four sites, Yakhabar.com features humorous commentary from its member community on current events, sports, and politics. With the launch of its Yakhabar complete, YAAB is currently working on a social network for Arab women, a travel and tourism site, and a pan-Arab Citizen- Journalism news portal.

Because Acquia Cloud guarantees 99.95 percent uptime for enterprise customers, YAAB never has to worry about its sites going down. The open-cloud platform also gives YAAB assurance that increased traffic won’t negatively affect site performance. Should a spike in user traffic occur—a common situation in the news world—Acquia can immediately provision additional cloud resources to ensure more hardware to avert the problem.

“Acquia Cloud takes over the headache of monitoring our infrastructure, reducing our total cost of ownership,” Kurabi said.

Due to the nature of the news business, at times, we may expect to get millions of hits per hour. When this happens, Acquia Cloud enables us to expand our architecture on the fly.
Ammar Kurabi, General Manager,

Company Information

Independent Arabic News Organization
Drupal user since May 2012
Acquia client since May 2012