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Daily Newspapers in the Dubai and the UAE

The official news agency in the UAE is the Emirates News Agency or WAM from the Arabic Wakalat Anba'a Al Emarat. Established in November 1976, news transmission in Arabic started in June 1977, and in English in December 1978. WAM supplies numerous news organisations with text, photo and video feeds of news related to the UAE and the UAE government.

Most locally published newspapers are 2 dhs each, and have been for many years. Gulf News Friday edition went up to 3 dhs in about 2005. Other editions of the Gulf News up to 3 dhs from 01 January 2008. The Financial Times (UK), and The Times (UK) are printed in the UAE and cost 10 dhs.

Local English newspapers published in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and the UAE
7 Days
  • 7 Days - free, tabloid style, established 2004, bought by Daily Mail Trust Group in October 2006.
  • Was published 6 days a week (not Saturdays) until end 2006, then 7 days per week, then back to 6 days per week as of March 2007 (then 5 days per week in 2010?).
  • From 05 August 2010, changed to a weekly edition, published on Thursdays, might only be for Ramadan and back to daily in September 2010. Or maybe not. A Gulf News report 12 August 2010 quoted an unnamed 7 Days employee as saying "We'll probably go back as soon as Eid is finished, ... We will be going back to the daily."
  • 7 Days usually writes more provocative articles than the other papers in Dubai (and gets its fair share of flak as a result).
  • Sister newspaper to Metro published by Associated Newspapers (UK).
  • Contact Al Sidra Media, PO Box 35207, Dubai, tel +971-4-2831317, fax +971-4-2833142, email letters@7days.ae or distribution@7days.ae, website www.7days.ae.
Other newspapers published in the UAE in English
  • China Daily (Asia Weekly) (in English) - weekly newspaper, AED 5, printed in Dubai by Masar Printing and Publishing, PO Box 485100, Dubai, UAE. Subscription enquiries tel +971-4-3284115. Part of the Asia News Network. Published by China Daily Asia Pacific Limited, Unit 1818, Hing Wai Centre, 7 Tin Wan Praya Road, Aberdeen, Hong Kong. Also printed and distributed in several other countries.
  • Daily Express (UK) - printed in Dubai by Atlas Media Communications from 18 May 2010
  • Daily Mail (UK) - printed in Dubai by Atlas Media Communications from 18 May 2010
  • Daily Star (UK) - printed in Dubai by Atlas Media Communications from 18 May 2010
  • Emirates Business 24/7 - daily UAE business and financial newspaper launched 09 December 2007 to replace Emirates Today. Went online only from 01 July 2010.
  • Emirates Today (discontinued December 2007) - a bit like 7 Days but much less provocative, and articles sometimes had more depth (or padding). Tabloid style. Irritating website. Managing Editor Eudore Chand. Newspaper replaced by Emirates Business 24/7 from 09 December 2007. Website (www.emiratestodayonline.com) was taken offline, an absurd decision, making their news archive inaccessible.
  • Financial Times - not a UAE newspaper but since 2003, it has been printed in Dubai. The FT is a well-known UK business newspaper with a focus on UK and international corporate news, but with little content related directly to Dubai and UAE business news. From 29 April 2008 the FT Middle East edition included a page with Middle East related news. Once or twice a week.
  • Gulf News (www.gulfnews.com) - seems to be the most popular with western expats. Broadsheet. Biggest selection of classifieds - property, cars, jobs. Submit feedback, story ideas, comments to the Citizen Journalism line - phone +971-4-4067666 from 0830-2030 Sat-Thu (started Nov 2006). Editor-in-Chief Abdul Hamid Ahmad. Price 3 dhs from 01 January 2008.
  • International Herald Tribune (IHT, USA) possibly considering a Dubai / UAE / Middle East edition in conjunction with the Khaleej Times, with an office in Dubai under consideration (partnership agreed in April 2008).
  • Khaleej Times (www.khaleejtimes.com) - main competitor to the Gulf News, seems to be more popular with the Asian community. Reasonable business section as UAE newspapers go. Broadsheet.
  • Pan Arabian Enquirer - see The Pan Arabian Enquirer.
  • Sport 360 - daily sports newspaper to be published in Abu Dhabi by Gulf Sports Media, launch date expected to be late 2010. Editor Steve McKenlay, previously sports editor or similar at The Sun (UK), and the London Standard (UK). Tabloid format, minium 40 pages. Good luck. (Gulf Times report 25 July 2010). Update: launch date September or October 2010? Editor-in-Chief Salem Al Shaikh, website www.sport360.com.
  • The Al Ain Times (www.alaintimesuae.com) - first issue September 2006, local weekly English and Arabic newspaper for Al Ain residents. Published on Saturdays by Alpha Beta Publishers, PO Box 15229, Al Ain, UAE. Tel +971-3-7671995 (still valid?). Website www.alaintimes.ae and tel +971-3-7644102 no longer valid. 15 October 2009 issue has tel +971-3-4554506, fax +971-3-7557508, email alaintimes@gmail.com.
  • The Daily Telegraph / The Telegraph (UK) - probably not considering a UAE edition but there was some talk about it around the time The Times started printing in Dubai.
  • The Dubai Enquirer (www.dubaienquirer.com) - dry sarcastic Dubai news. Not a print newspaper but a website only, and it's all complete nonsense (see their disclaimer). Started in 2005, discontinued about a year later? Revived as The Pan Arabian Enquirer in 2012.
  • The Emirates Evening Post (discontinued April 2007) - afternoon/evenings, website links to PDF files of each page, tel +971-4-3405566. Publisher Press Centre and Art Productions LLC, Sharjah. Website www.eveningpost.ae (no longer in operation).
  • The Filipino Times - online only (?) newspaper with news and events related to and for the Filipino community in the UAE, and Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW). Covers news, entertainment, and business from the Philippines, the UAE, and the GCC region. Contact information and location: Unit C-11, Building 3 C-11, twofour54 media zone, PO Box 77910, Abu Dhabi, UAE. Tel +971-2-4012835, fax +971-2-4012836, email editorial@filipinotimes.ae, website www.filipinotimes.ae.
  • The Goan on Saturday - weekly newspaper in English for Goans living in the UAE, or anywhere else, but not clear if distributed only in the UAE or also other countries. Cost AED 5, website www.thegoan.net. Published by Rajeev Narayan Sharma on behalf of Fomento Publications. Printed and distributed by Gulf News distribution (GN Distribution), PO Box 6519, Dubai, UAE. Registered office: Villa Flores da Silva, Erasmo Carvalho St, PO Box 31, Margao 403601, Goa, India. Editor in Chief - Sujay Gupta. Consulting Editor, Emirates, is Bikram Vohra tel +971-4-3441234, email bikram.vohra@thegoan.net or dubai@thegoan.net. Advertising tel Al Rahma Advertising +971-4-3512101. Subscriptions tel 800-4585 (toll-free in UAE), email thegoan@gulfnews.com.
  • The Gulf Today (www.godubai.com/gulftoday/ ... new website at www.gulftoday.ae from 2010) - daily broadsheet similar to the others, published by Dar Al Khaleej in Sharjah - they also publish the Arabic newspaper Al Khaleej. First published in 1996.
  • The Mail on Sunday (UK) - to be printed in Dubai by Atlas Media Communications from mid-2010?
  • The National (www.thenational.ae) - Abu Dhabi based broadsheet with lots of pages, lots of journalists, and lots of money. Owned by the Abu Dhabi government, published by Abu Dhabi Media Company, editor-in-chief was Martin Newland until June 2009, replaced by Hassan Fattah. Launched 17 April 2008 with the expectation of not suffering from government, er, self-censorship, as other newspapers in the region allegedly do. Except when the boss says "Understand now that we are not here to fight for press freedom." Allegedly. Or something like that. Six days a week (not Saturdays) until 15 November 2008. From then on "The National on Saturday" weekend edition with magazine was published.
  • The Pan Arabian Enquirer (online only) - call themselves "The World's Only 7-Star Satirical News Source". Nicely done. Unbelieveably, some readers appear to actually believe TPAE stories are real news, for example a number of customers requesting more information from Emirates Airline about their planned A380 Onboard Shisha Lounges reported in TPAE, or the drivers offended by the new Gold Class lane on the Abu Dhabi Dubai highway. Hopefully readers with more wasta than TPAE aren't amongst those who don't know what satire is. Although given that some of the real news stories on other UAE papers sound satirical themselves (but aren't), a degree of confusion is understandable. Most of the TPAE is quite entertaining - it kept us distracted for somewhat longer than other UAE publications. Haha, they even spotted one of us and wrote a story in January 2013 - "Man staring intently at Macbook in coffee shop has achieved nothing so far today". TPAE emerged in 2010 for a brief period out of the ashes of The Dubai Enquirer, then restarted in 2012. Website www.panarabiaenquirer.com.
  • The Times (UK) since May 2007 prints and distributes an international edition in the UAE.
  • The Times of India (India) was reportedly considering a Middle East edition but the idea was shelved.
  • USA Today (USA) - to be printed in Dubai by Atlas Media Communications from mid-2010?
  • Xpress (www.xpress4me.com) - weekly tabloid kicked off in March 2007. Published by Al Nisr Media (they publish the daily Gulf News). Free? In some locations at least. Website updated daily?
Arabic newspapers published in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and the UAE
  • Akhbar Al Arab (www.akhbaralarab.ae) - displays PDF of front page in frame on home page. Strange.
  • Al Alam - weekly Arabic language newspaper based in Dubai, launched 05 April 2007. Email alalam@alalam.ae, website www.alalam.ae (not available December 2009).
  • Al Bayan (www.albayan.ae) - tel +971-4-3444400. Editor-in-Chief Dhae'en Shaheen.
  • Al Emarat Al Youm (www.emaratalyoum.com), Editor-in-Chief Sami Al Riyami. Suspended from publication for 20 days from 06 July 2009 on the instructions of an Abu Dhabi Federal Court of Appeal ruling, upheld by the Supreme Federal Court of the UAE. The newspaper had been sued by the owners of the Warsan Stables (the Abu Dhabi Royal Family) for publishing a story in 2006 claiming their horses had been drugged with steriods.
  • Al Ittihad (www.alittihad.ae) ("The Union"). Editor-in-Chief Rashid Al Uraimi. Established 1969 by Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Ruler of Abu Dhabi at the time. Published 7 days per week by the Abu Dhabi Media Company (ADMC). New look unveiled 20 October 2009 (on the 40th anniversary).
  • Al Khaleej (www.alkhaleej.ae) - not the same as the Khaleej Times. Also publishes The Gulf Today. Tel 8006888 (toll free in UAE), +971-4-2625304 in Dubai, or +971-6-5777777 in Sharjah. Started 1970? Editor-in-Chief is Habib Al Sayegh
  • Al Mal (www.almalnews.ae) - weekly financial newspaper launched 23 June 2008, covers UAE and Gulf region, 48 page tabloid format, published by The National Publisher in Abu Dhabi.
  • Al-Reyadha Wa Al-Shabab - magazine? No website?
  • Al Watan newspaper - in Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia (same name, different newspaper?) but not in the UAE?
  • Alrroya (www.alrroya.com) (Al Roya / Alroya?) - "Alrroya Aleqtisadiya" Arabic business newspaper launched 15 March 2009, published by Imedia in Abu Dhabi. Tel +971-2-6517777.
  • Emarat Times - Arabic enewspaper launched 01 June 2009, available online only (www.emarattimes.com). Editor in Chief is Saif Al Marri, Managing Editor is Salman Al Shashaa / Shasha, publisher Dar Al Sada Publishing in Dubai. Tel +971-4-4227366, fax +971-4-4227368, email news@emarattimes.com
Other newspapers published in the UAE
  • Anbaa Mosku - a Russian newspaper but in Arabic. Launched in Middle East October 2009, and in UAE in October 2010 (no that didn't make sense to us either but that's what the report said). Publisher RIA Novosti, a Russian news agency (Based in Moscow? Deputy Editor-in-Chief Alexander Yu. Babinksy). There was a previous Anbaa Mosku newspaper that halted publication in 1991 at the time of the collapse of communism.
  • Daily Ash Sharq International - Urdu newspaper for Pakistan audience, tel +971-4-2659165, fax +971-4-2659665, email nadxb@emirates.net.ae
  • Kabayan Weekly (Kabayanweekly) - weekly tabloid newspaper in English and Tagalog languages serving the Filipino and English speaking communities in UAE. Sections include International News, Local News, Business, Sports, Entertainment, Lifestyle, etc. Launched 10 May 2011, published every Sunday. Website www.kabayanweekly.com.
  • People's Daily of China - considering an overseas edition to be published in the UAE (WAM report 17 November 2009).
International newspapers available in Dubai and UAE

There's a good range of international newspapers - most UK dailies are available and a selection from many other countries - Geant, Carrefour, Spinneys, and Waitrose supermarkets have a good choice. The website www.todaily.com gives details of how you can get your favorite international newspaper delivered. Prices are steep though - 2 to 4 times what they cost in the country of origin.

Online news sources in the UAE

Most online news sources simply aggregate content from print publishers and newswires, sometimes automated. Usually going to Google news (news.google.com) and typing in "Dubai", "Abu Dhabi" or "UAE" provides much the same result (or better if you refine your search terms).

  • AME Info (www.ameinfo.com) - a company database, and collection of press releases related to the Middle East. Also frequent short summaries of what other newspapers publish, and sometimes original reports and video clips.
  • Arabian Business (www.arabianbusiness.com) - publishes a popular print magazine about Middle East business news. Online has daily updates, mostly secondary versions of stories in other newspapers ("A report in the blahblahblah daily today said ..." kind of thing)
  • Arab Eastern Newspaper Dubai - website www.arabeastern.com (under maintenance December 2009), online only, news aggregator? Email team@arabeastern.com, tel +971-4-3758073.
  • DPM News Agency - News aggregator? Also publishes DPM Economist. Tel +971-4-3902244, email info@dpm.ae, websites www.dpm.ae and www.dpmnewsagency.com (not available December 2009), or maybe www.dubaiphotomedia.com. But DPM seems to have been taken over by some sort of spam / copying software or humans (in 2010).
  • Emarat Business Review - business news in Dubai, online only, email editor@emaratbusiness.com, website www.emaratbusiness.com, news aggregator?
  • Kipp Report - seems to be mostly a rehash of other newspaper stories from the UAE and Middle East but sometimes with an interesting point of view. Online only?
  • Zawya - a company database and online business news source for the Middle East based in Dubai. News articles are mostly press releases, repeats of content from other news sources, and Zawya Dow Jones reports. Subscription based. Website www.zawya.com.
UAE press freedom

Residents and visitors will note a difference in tone between local and foreign press coverage of Dubai and the UAE. UAE-based newspapers are noticeably lacking in negative reporting about the UAE, especially anything related to the UAE government, and especially anything related to the emirate in which they are published. Or bad news will be spun in a more positive light. This censorship is somewhat nebulous as it is driven internally by the media, rather than from an explicit external instruction not to publish bad news about the UAE (at least not a public proclamation to make it clear what is permitted and what is not). Of the UAE newspapers, The National and 7 Days seem to be the least timid when it comes to pushing boundaries of press freedom in the UAE, but their reporting is still a long way from the bluntness with which journalists in many other countries write their articles. Some of the self-imposed censorship is pragmatic as it is apparently unlawful to be disrespectful about authority figures in the UAE. Members of the ruling families are obviously to be respected. But whether visiting politicians, non-royal government members, non-government royal family members, business, sports, and other personalities of note are included, and what constitutes disrespect, is not so clear so most residents and media publications usually err on the side of caution.

An unfortunate consequence of this situation is that when something bad does happen in the UAE that is newsworthy internationally (for example a crash in property prices, indebted expats losing jobs and fleeing the country to avoid jail, a large potential debt default by a Dubai government owned company, a royal family member being accused of torture), the foreign press is accused of fabrication, distortion, and attacking Dubai and the UAE for no reason. A description that many would apply to journalists and newspapers anywhere in the world. But it does seem to make it even more difficult to find objectivity about the UAE. It's clear that the foreign press (especially many western publications) delight in overdoing the negativity, but it's equally clear that the local press to a large extent, ignore it. For accurate and objective information, the newswires AP, AFP, Bloomberg, and Reuters seem to be about the most balanced although Bloomberg and Reuters focus more on the business and financial world. The Financial Times is also worth reading but as it is an international newspaper (albeit printed in Dubai now), there is little in the way of local news on a day to day basis, and the focus is also on business and economics.

For most residents, any one of the local English language daily newspapers will do a reasonable job of keeping you informed of UAE related news - at least about things like rainy days and flooded roads, who won the football, upcoming events, changes in visa rules (sometimes), opening ceremonies for letters and other items of significance, traffic accidents (thankfully they've stopped the bizzare "Accident of the Week" competitions), random court cases, drug crimes, and so on. Otherwise, the UAE is relatively tolerant when it comes to news access on the internet (even Israeli newspaper website access was freed up in 2009), or buying overseas publications. There are very few, if any, news sources that are not accessible online.

02 March 2010: The Gulf News published an editorial by their Abu Dhabi Editor, Abdullah Rasheed, entitled The ceiling of press freedom in UAE is falling, in which he highlighted issues of restrictions on press freedom in the UAE - Press freedom is deteriorating and freedom of expression is in increasing danger.

  • Whether he was brave, or foolhardy, with his fairly blunt comments remains to be seen. But what surprised many was that the Gulf News even published it in the first place, confounding many as the Gulf News is often criticised for being rather timid when it comes to printing anything to do with the UAE that is remotely controversial.
  • In one paragraph he wrote: There isn't enough protection provided to journalists and self-censorship is practised by our newspapers to avoid angering official bodies and to please the government. Some newspapers even indulge in hypocrisy to please officials and the bodies they represent, and there is also full subordination to advertisers. Between all these issues, the main causes, such as freedom and Emiratisation of the media, were lost.
  • Later in the same opinion piece he said The list of banned subjects is growing, and there are more instructions not to publish certain stories. Furthermore, editors-in-chief are used to applying pressure on journalists, which has turned some of these editors into representatives of the government, practising vicious censorship of their own newspapers.
  • Full editorial at www.gulfnews.com/opinions/columnists/the-ceiling-of-press-freedom-in-uae-is-falling-1.590497

Update 16 August 2010 (WAM report): Sheikh Mohammed, the Ruler of Dubai, speaking at a press conference at Zabeel Palace affirmed that the authorities in the UAE did not impose any restrictions on information or news about economic and financial issues. He was quoted as saying "My directives to these authorities are clear and beyond any questioning as we rely on candour and transparency. We strongly believe that media is the mirror of the nation. It has a noble message to disseminate and to enlighten the public, away from exaggeration, bias and distortion of facts. Media is the nation's voice. The sun cannot be blocked by a sieve,"

Update 16 March 2011 (WAM report): Sheikh Mohammed met Tom Glocer, the CEO of Thomson Reuters, for a discussion about current affairs in the region. WAM news reported: His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Tuesday stressed the importance of ensuring freedom of the Press and media persons in order to enable them to perform their mission to the fullest. Shaikh Mohammed highlighted the UAE's policy in this matter, which offers the freedom of movement, work and opinion to local and foreign journalists. He stressed that this policy stems out of the faith of the country's leadership in the role of the media in conveying the image in a clear and transparent way by holding the mirror against all the happenings across the economic social, cultural and political landscape without bias or dictation. Shaikh Mohammed expressed his views during a meeting with Thomson Reuters CEO Tom Glocer, who was accompanied by a number of Reuter officials based in the UAE. The meeting was attended by Dubai Crown Prince Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Letters to the Editor

The letters page is often a popular source of conversation amongst expats, many of whom probably look at the letters before reading anything else in a Dubai newspaper. The Gulf News was the most talked about, at least until 7 Days came along and introduced a whole new level of eyebrow-raising letter writing - there are rumours that some of them are written in-house.

Generally Letters to the Editor appear to deal with the same subjects repeatedly. The major topics are Traffic in Dubai, Rental Costs for Accommodation, and Lost or Found Mobile Phones in Taxis. There's a minor sub-cycle something like Pet Shops in Satwa, Cricket, Driving Standards, Cricket again, Mobile Phones in Cinemas, Dubai Zoo, more about Cricket, Weight of School Bags, School Buses with no A/C, and occasionally a political rant about something to do with a googly interfering with a silly mid-off.

Gulf News Reader's Club
  • Readers can submit articles for publication. Send application to readers@gulfnews.com.
  • Established July 2006 with six members, up to about 50 members by November 2006.
  • A bit like letters to the editor but you can send in a longer diatribe.
Last update Wednesday 05-Feb-2014
Related pages
Related websites (new window)
  • dubaimedia.blogspot.com - Dubai Media Observer blog - an ascerbic critique of UAE newspapers and media. Sometimes interesting but mostly a platform for someone called 'Anonymous' to demonstrate their familiarity with English expletives.
  • www.khaleejtimes.com - Khaleej Times newspaper website
  • www.todaily.com - Todaily website, cheaper international newspapers delivered to your home or office. Appears to be abandoned when last checked in June 2009
  • www.wam.ae or www.wam.org.ae - WAM news website. WAM is the official UAE news agency.
  • www.xpress4me.com - Xpress newspaper website, print edition published weekly, online updated more often.

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