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Time Out Dubai vs What’s On

They both claim to rule the consumer market, but there can only be one king (or queen).

Pandering to consumerism is Dubai’s forte. The malls, restaurants, hotels, all of it is geared to get you to spend like a crazed consumer who needs a luxury fix. And where there’s consumerism, there are consumer magazines that tell you where, when and on what to spend your over-stretched salary. That’s where our two contenders come in: Time Out Dubai and What’s On. As the quintessential consumer magazines in Dubai, they exist for the sole reason to tell you what’s happening, where it’s happening, and who made it happen. And while both claim to be definitive guides to Dubai (although, to be fair, What’s On claims to cover the entire nation), there can only be one winner of our Brand to Brand challenge. Magazines will receive scores (out of 10) for each category:


Time Out Dubai


Launched in 2001, Time Out Dubai, an ITP publication, began as a monthly magazine. With direction from the Time Out London office, a small editorial team in Dubai attempted to recreate the edgy tone found in other Time Outs. It didn’t always work. In 2005, Time Out Dubai angered advertisers by going weekly. It’s not much of a history, but there you go. Score: 3.


Written by predominantly British journalists for (what seems to be) British readers who want to be ‘healthy’, ‘charitable’ and ‘nice’, Time Out Dubai’s readership isn’t clear-cut. The magazine’s media kit claims that Time Out Dubai targets readers who love Dubai, who spend between AED300-500 on Thursday night and who are between 25-54 years of age. Yes, but are they all British, we ask? According to a mini-survey we conducted, our results show that yes, Time Out Dubai seems to be targeting mostly British readers. Score: 5.


The magazine is audited by BPA, which is an international, independent auditing firm. According to its media kit, Time Out Dubai has a circulation of 30,821 per week. The stats, however, are from January-June 2007, so that number is probably wrong. Score: 2.


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