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Big name publishing

Big name publishing

The launch of a Hindi newspaper in the UAE has drawn Kipp’s attention back to the happening world of publishing in the region. We check out the big new arrivals.

December 6, 2010 5:48 by

Say what you will about the Gulf and its somewhat authoritarian handling of the press, there is no denying that it has been enjoying a significant boom the past year – particularly in light of the addition of a few impressive international titles.

Though the more controversial themes are likely to be excluded from these titles’ local editions, the new publications at least render a certain prestige to the region, not to mention some interesting opportunities for struggling journalists (Kipp knows a few).

So who are the new arrivals? In the past year we’ve seen the addition of Forbes, National Geographic, Rolling Stone, and – most recently announced – Cosmopolitan. Kipp takes a look at the latest developments in the world of publishing.

Rolling Stones: We’d be lying if we said we were just a little disheartened when Rolling Stones Middle East publisher admitted to the obvious, that the title would stay clear of political stories (the political section has been changed to “regional affairs”). After all, this is the magazine that brought the McChrystal issue to light, having serious implications in the realm of US politics. Speaking to The National, Waref Hawasli, the owner of HGW Media, which holds the rights to publish Rolling Stone Middle East, said: “Rolling Stone has a political section but it is a popular culture magazine. We have changed the politics section to ‘regional affairs’. We will be very sensitive to cultural demands.” The magazine is apparently priced at Dh20 and the aim is to generate 40 percent local content for it initially and eventually 50 percent. Currently the title is being published in English, but HGW is open to the idea of publishing in Arabic. The first issue of Rolling Stones was launched in November, but Kipp hasn’t managed to get our paws on an issue yet – we’ll be raiding the Communicate desk shortly.

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