KT@40: Celebrating four decades of togetherness
KT has conscientiously kept a record of history in its pages. Our journalists have witnessed history first-hand and shared an undiluted version with our readers.
"He who does not know his past cannot make the best of his present and future, for it is from the past that we learn," said the UAE's Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. These prescient words by Baba Zayed are exceptionally apt today as Khaleej Times celebrates its 40th anniversary. It's a momentous day not just in the life of KT but also in the history of UAE media as the country's first English broadsheet turns 40.
Born on April 16, 1978, your favourite daily is turning a teenager (in newspaper years). Forty years. 14,610 days. Hundreds of thousands of pages. Millions of news and feature articles. Billions of words and pictures chronicling the evolution of a young nation, capturing the vignette of life and sketching a rainbow of emotions day after day, for four decades.
We're blessed that our 40th coincides with the Year of Zayed, the centennial of the UAE's Founder. Khaleej Times is proudly inspired by the values and characteristics of the late Sheikh Zayed, and Team KT strives to live by his ideas and ideals in every story we publish.
Sheikh Zayed lived to unite the UAE and worked tirelessly to make lives better for the federation's citizens and residents. It took his vision, determination and dedication to bring together the seven emirates, and he left no stone unturned when it came to creating a better tomorrow for the citizens, to whom he referred to as his children.
KT lives by those same ideals and endeavours to make life better for our readers. We prioritise good news (KT is perhaps the only newspaper in the world to have a Happiness Editor among our ranks) and our journalists go the extra mile to ensure we present authenticated, credible news and a diversity of viewpoints.
Despite the intrinsic ability of digital and social media platforms to break news faster, the daily newspaper retains its charm and has evolved into something of a views-paper, proffering sense and perspective to the unremitting stream of news in a 24/7 world.
When it comes to news, our journalists are trained to set aside their prejudices and be neutral, to triple-check their sources for credibility, accuracy, and intellectual fairness, and to be second to none in their ability to inform and engage the audience -- you.
We put global news and events in a hyperlocal perspective for you, and we target news that affects you - exactly what KT's first editor-in-chief Malcolm Payne said in his first column on the first page of the first edition of KT. "It is our intention to entertain, inform and keep you fully up-to-date with the events that affect your daily lives," he wrote. That still remains our intention.
We are proud to proclaim that Khaleej Times has tracked the pulse of the nation like no other media has -- or ever can. And we can say without an iota of exaggeration that KT has conscientiously kept a record of history in its pages. Our journalists have been there, on the ground, covering every UAE news and event worth covering.
We were there when Queen Elizabeth opened the doors to Arab world's then-tallest building, the Dubai World Trade Centre (February 24, 1979). We were there when, 20 years later, the famous Burj Al Arab was unveiled and became the Arab world's then-tallest building (September 1999). And we were there to capture the smorgasbord of sentiments when, on January 4, 2010, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, unveiled the Burj Khalifa, the pride of the UAE and still the world's tallest building.
Khaleej Times witnessed in 1979 the opening of the world's largest man-made port, the Jebel Ali Port; we saw the first sands being poured in 2001 to create the awe-inspiring man-made archipelago, the Palm Jumeirah islands, and we celebrated their completion in 2011. From the inauguration of the Bur Dubai Police Station (1979) to oil being discovered in Dubai and Sharjah (1980), Khaleej Times has witnessed history first-hand.
KT's annals bear testimony to the founding of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in 1981 and we reported history as it is when the UAE became the first Arab country to publicly call for Saddam Hussein to step down in 2003. Our journalists bore witness to the opening of Dubai's oldest mall, Al Ghurair Shopping Complex (1980), and subsequently of Burjuman (1992), Mall of the Emirates (2005) and The Dubai Mall (2008). We were there at the opening of the Dubai Duty Free (1983), at the inauguration of the first Dubai Shopping Festival (1996), and also when the Dubai Summer Surprises made its debut (1998).
From the formation of the UAE Central Bank (1980) to the pegging of the UAE dirham to the US dollar (1997) to the founding of the Dubai Financial Market and the Abu Dhabi Bourse (both in 2000), we've kept track of change. Our hearts soared with joy when Emirates took wings in 1985 and our chest swelled with pride when Etihad and Air Arabia took their maiden flights in 2003.
We saw the Wild Wadi Waterpark open its slides in 1998 and we also saw the opening of Yas Waterworld in 2013. From the inauguration of the Global Village in 1996 to the opening of the Ferrari World (2010), and IMG Worlds of Adventure and Dubai Parks and Resorts (both 2016), we've covered every event and occasion worth sharing with you.
Today, as we look back and reflect at how far we - you and us -- have come on this journey, it is natural to feel humbled by the love and affection that our readers have always shown us. We remain thankful for your bouquets and even more for the brickbats that you've showered on us; for, it is you, dear reader, who is our raison d'Ítre, our news spotlight, and our moral compass.
On this red-letter day for KT, we've captured some important thoughts and moments in time that not only showcase the UAE's glorious past and distinguished present but also offer a crystal-ball view of its promising future. This is presented in a 136-page special collector's edition, associated with the values espoused by Sheikh Zayed, distributed along with today's copy of your KT, beside a 10-page special section within the main newspaper.
KT has conscientiously kept track of change for the past 40 years, and we're extremely fortunate that our heritage and honest journalism has prepared us well for not just the present but also the future. Here's to the next 40.
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