The Entertainer launches new app in the UAE
Digital version of voucher book reaches more than 150,000 downloads in first month
January 27, 2014 5:11 by leilaalmawy
The Entertainer, a series of two-for-one deals on leisure activities, including dining, sports events and family days out, recently launched its app version for promoting easy access for its members. The book was founded by CEO Donna Benton and published in 2001 in Dubai, in a bid to encourage people to go to more places and do more activities at an affordable cost.
The app, which took approximately 18 months to develop, launched just six weeks ago and has already recorded more than 150,000 downloads. Benton says: “I think, globally, digital is performing really well and you have to be digitally savvy now in any country. It’s all about giving our customers options – whether in print or digital.”
The UAE is the Entertainer’s strongest market right now, since that is where the book was first launched. Other new, successful markets include Singapore, Hong Kong, Cape Town, London, Malaysia, Johannesburg and Jordan. With 27 books in 23 destinations, the Entertainer is enjoying 30 per cent growth in profit and 50 per cent year-on-year turnover.
The app works like the book, in that every time a member redeems an offer, it will be taken off the app, similar to how the voucher is taken from the book by the merchant. So, there are no major differences between the app and the book, other than the digital change, so members can still enjoy the same benefits on both platforms, but now with more options.
Benton explains how her idea to develop a luxurious voucher book stemmed from wanting to present people with more than just the ordinary discounts for stores and restaurants. She wanted to provide people with an affordable way to enjoy high-end leisure activities, such as Aquaventure waterpark at Atlantis, having brunch at a renowned restaurant or enjoying a spa package at the Park Hyatt, for example. Additionally, all of these deals are always two-for-one, ensuring all members get to use the vouchers along with a partner.
Similar to how e-books/e-readers first arrived on the market a few years ago, the app may not necessarily appeal to everyone, since people still like a touch-and-feel product, says Benton. Understandably, she caters to the needs of all of her members by providing the book alongside the app. However, the app and book enjoy varying success in different regions. While the app is thriving in Asia, because of the prominent digital market, the book is still the preferred method in Cape Town, over its digital counterpart.
The Entertainer app for the UAE region is now available for download on the iPhone and Android models, and BlackBerry 10, and will be available for Windows in the next few weeks. In addition to the app and book, the Entertainer has opened two new retail stores in Mirdif City Centre and Dubai’s Gold and Diamond Park selling merchandise, such as teddy bears, notepads and wallets.