Asharq Al-Awsat (Arabic: الشرق الاوسط, meaning "The Middle East") is an Arabic international newspaper headquartered in London. A pioneer of the "off-shore" model in the Arabic press, the paper is often noted for its distinctive green-tinted pages.
The New York Times in 2005 called Asharq Al-Awsat "one of the oldest and most influential in the region." Although published under the name of a private company, the Saudi Research & Marketing Group, the paper was founded with the approval of the Saudi royal family and government ministers, and is noted for its support of the Saudi government.
Launched in London in 1978, and currently printed in 12 locations internationally, the paper is often billed as "the leading Arab daily newspaper," and calls itself "the premier pan-Arab daily newspaper" based on the fact that past estimates of its circulation have given it the largest circulation of the off-shore Pan-Arab dailies, a category including its chief competitor Al-Hayat. However, reliable estimates are available only from the early 2000s, before rival Al-Hayat launched a massive effort to increase circulation in Saudi Arabia.