Gulf News keeps top spot among UAE daily newspapers

Print media market continues to lose share to other media such as digital and TV

18:20 February 22, 2017
Gulf News reaches

Dubai: Gulf News continues to take the lead as the top newspaper in the UAE, with a 26 per cent reach, as revealed by the Arab Media Outlook report: ‘Youth ... Content ... Digital Media, 2016’.

“The top English daily is Gulf News with a reach of 26 per cent, while the top Arabic daily is Al Khaleej, with 19 per cent reach,” the report said.

“A brief analysis of the audited circulation for Gulf News from BPA shows that in December 2011, the newspaper had 107,998 qualified copies, which moved to 107,778 in June 2015,” it stated.

The report, which indicates that print media market continues to lose share to other media such as digital and TV, highlights that newspaper revenues have fallen over more than 20 per cent, over the last five years, with classified revenue losses reaching almost 50 per cent.

The fall in classified revenue is impacted by a host of online players, which shows the challenge facing the circulation numbers of UAE newspapers.

It also explained that digital paid revenue is driven by online publishing and digital gaming revenues, while print circulation is declining. “Expatriates constitute more than 80 per cent of the UAE’s population, making it one of the primary reasons for strong digital substitution to print,” showed the report.

The advertising market in the UAE is, therefore, expected to remain almost flat over the coming years due to the slowdown experienced in 2015, added the report.

Reading trends

When it comes to people’s habits of reading news, the report showed that 48 per cent of newspaper readers in the UAE read at home, while 22 per cent read the newspaper at work. Only nine per cent read the newspaper at a friend’s or relative’s house, and seven per cent read it in public places, showed the report.

“Newspapers in the UAE are at significant risk of losing subscribers … and ad revenues for the UAE newspaper industry is expected to fall in the years ahead,” indicated the report.

However, when it comes to magazines, the UAE publishes over 150 magazines covering a wide range of sectors, genres and categories, including entertainment, technology, business, fashion, travel, lifestyle, home, and design. The print magazine market in the UAE is mostly bilingual — Arabic and English — with many magazines containing local content that is published locally.

“The weekly magazine supplements such as Friday by Gulf News, which are distributed free with newspapers, continue to claim the largest readership,” stated the report, showing a significantly big drop in reach for paid magazines.