Khaleej Times turns 45: Community leaders, influencers reflect on legacy of UAE's first English newspaper

The most important voices of our time share their thoughts on why KT will continue to remain an important player in mapping the region's evolution

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Published: Sun 16 Apr 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Tue 18 Apr 2023, 12:55 PM

Newsrooms may have undergone an overhaul, and platforms may have evolved from a paper you need to hold with both hands to a screen that can fit in your palm. But for KT, some things never change: The grit, the passion, and the mission to deliver stories that matter.

As the UAE's first English newspaper turns 45, some of the country's movers and shakers — from entrepreneurs to community leaders, top authors, artists and designers — share their insights on how far Khaleej Times has come and why it will remain relevant amid the rapidly changing media landscape.

Shamlal Ahamed, MD, International Operations, Malabar Gold & Diamonds

"Our heartiest congratulations on 45 years of Imparting truth and knowledge! We sincerely hope that your establishment will continue its immense contribution to society, setting numerous benchmarks in objective and transparent coverage of events across the globe. We look forward to continuing our close association and making a positive impact in the community."

Mohammad Badri, Director, Eros Group

"Eros Group would like to extend its warmest congratulations on the management and the staff on their 45th anniversary. Over the past four and a half decades, they have established themselves as one of the most trusted and respected news sources in the region. Their dedication to providing accurate and timely reporting has earned the respect of readers and peers alike. Their unwavering commitment to excellence has helped to shape the media landscape in the Middle East, and their coverage of regional and international news has been invaluable to many readers. Eros Group has been part of their journey for a very long time and will continue to do so. We wish them many more years of success to come!"

Sunny Varkey, Founder, GEMS Education

"I take this opportunity to congratulate Khaleej Times for reaching this milestone. Much has changed in the last 45 years, which have seen the UAE emerge as a leader and shining light on the world stage. The publication has played an important part in covering this remarkable journey and supporting the nation’s development, while at the same time successfully navigating the many disruptions and challenges that have impacted publishing as a whole. Khaleej Times has been a valued proponent of GEMS Education and I am grateful for the support of its editors. I wish them continued success for the next 45 years, which will no doubt require them to continue to innovate and forge new paths in this vital sector."

John Sunil, CEO, Burjeel Holdings

"I extend my warmest congratulations to Khaleej Times on celebrating 45 years of success. Khaleej Times has been a beacon of journalistic excellence that informs and inspires its readers across the UAE and beyond. Your dedicated reporting on healthcare has provided invaluable insights to the readers into the opportunities and challenges facing our industry. Burjeel Holdings has been fortunate to have your support in raising awareness about health and healthcare issues. Looking ahead, I have every confidence that Khaleej Times will continue to thrive and spark important conversations about the future of healthcare.

In the age of social media and digital platforms, newspapers like Khaleej Times still make a difference by providing in-depth analysis, insightful commentary, and balanced reporting on critical issues. I hope the newspaper will continue to embrace digital technologies to stay relevant and engage with the younger generation while maintaining its high journalistic standards and editorial integrity. Once again, I congratulate you on your anniversary and look forward to many more years of exceptional journalism from Khaleej Times."

Mohammed Jalal Al Rayssi, Director-General of the Emirates News Agency (WAM)

"As Khaleej Times celebrates its 45th anniversary, I wish the paper a long life! Although I said the paper, I know it has successfully and seamlessly transitioned into the digital era with aplomb. In fact, Khaleej Times deserves credit for not only telling stories of our region to the world and vice versa, but also for popularising the Arabic word Khaleej far beyond the Arab world.

I have had a close association with Khaleej Times for more than three decades, first as a reader, and later in various official capacities. I am confident KT will continue doing credible and sterling journalism in future, disseminating the message of unity, harmony and prosperity that the UAE stands for."

Nayla Al Khaja, first Emirati female filmmaker

"As a long-standing publication with a reputation for quality journalism, I see Khaleej Times continuing to be a leading voice in the region for years to come. With an unwavering commitment to delivering news and insights that matter to its readers, I believe Khaleej Times will adapt to the changing media landscape and continue to engage and inform its audience through various upcoming digital platforms. As the UAE and the world continue to evolve, I have no doubt that the newspaper will remain a trusted source of news, analysis, and opinion."

Andrew Yap, Co-Founder of Big Bad Wolf

"The cycle for newspapers is coming back because the world has now realised what digital can do and what it can’t. Just like how records are coming back again, humans are more or less gravitating towards a lot of old ways of things that we do. The important question for newspapers is, how do they reinvent themselves, how they present themselves, and how they present and engage old audiences as well as young.

I feel that now the time is right for newspapers to reinvent. Like back in those days, you get that boy in the streets shouting out like in New York City, the boy is shouting the headlines. I think they should reinvent the way it is presented it and the way the stories are delivered, to engage with the new audience or to re-engage the audience again."

Sheikha Hend bint Faisal Al Qassimi, Emirati entrepreneur and author

"The future remains a mystery to us all, no matter how well we attempt to prophesize it. The United Arab Emirates, along with its major entities, has been raised in an environment of diversity and perseverance, contributing to its splendid adaptability. The pursuit of excellence in performance, dream attainment, and overall achievement has led us to become the new land of the free and brave in today’s world. I take immense pride in the Emirates’ neutral and peaceful path, and I pray that it continues to follow its beautiful path of goodwill.

Khaleej Times has always been one of the media houses that represents the voice of the masses and individuals in a democratic way, and I admire this commitment."

Abdulla Lutfi, Emirati artist of determination

"I am an autistic savant. I have found Khaleej Times to be an inclusive publication. In fact, I had the honour of being featured on the cover of wknd. magazine. I am sure in the future, Khaleej Times will continue to bring awareness about neuro-diverse people and highlight people from all walks of life and all disabilities. In the future too, I will continue to be a fan of Khaleej Times. I really like its digital version as well."

Saeed Almemari, first Emirati to scale seven summits

"Khaleej Times is a platform where we share our experiences, news, stories to the people, and to the world. It’s a great platform to share stories for non-Arabic speakers and readers. I wish them great success in the coming 45 years."

Laila bin Hareb Almheiri, Emirati entrepreneur and CEO of Alive Group

"Acknowledging the challenges Khaleej Times has overcome to reach its current state, marking its forty-fifth year, is of utmost importance. As the world rapidly embraces digital technology, Khaleej Times has been quick to follow suit, even prior to the turn of the millennium. The newspaper has consistently remained in tune with its readers and, as society and technology continue to evolve, I have no doubt that Khaleej Times will continue to pursue innovation and digitization, while creating a competitive advantage within all these platforms, including social media.

Personally, I am eager to see genuine stories about men and women who have had a great impact on the lives of others, as well as progressive pieces that reflect our current experiences and society."

Mohammad Kazim, Emirati entrepreneur and co-founder of Tamashee

"I am passionate about hearing more stories of individuals who have devoted a portion of their lives to innovation, creation, or philanthropy. These stories demonstrate how passion is essential for personal growth, benefitting society and the economy. Empowering and enabling passionate individuals not only differentiates our offerings but also creates a sustainable business environment in today's highly competitive and globalised world."

Peter Hellyer, UAE historian, writer

"Forty-five years ago this week, when I was managing foreign language broadcasting in Abu Dhabi, our daily news bulletin ran the story of the launching of the daily, Khaleej Times, the first privately-owned English language paper.

Since then, the UAE and the world have witnessed huge changes, and so too has the media. From hot metal to online websites with a global reach, the Khaleej Times has seen it all, striving to keep abreast of those changes and to inform our UAE communities.

In the years ahead, I am confident it will continue to do so."

Nigel Sillitoe, CEO, Insight Discovery

"In this age of democratised information, when anyone can set up a digital channel to broadcast their views, I believe professional newspapers are increasingly important. Facing an onslaught of misinformation and disinformation, we need facts we can rely on and insights that explain our fragmented world. Regulated newspapers meet this need. By holding others to account, and by being held to account themselves, they are our first line of defence. So, I hope Khaleej Times and its peers will amplify their work as consumer champions: disproving lies, exposing fraudsters and protecting us from shady companies. We can’t afford to be without them."

Shashi Tharoor, Indian MP and former undersecretary general of United Nations

"At a time when the relentless rise of technology has imperilled the future of many newspapers, Khaleej Times continues to provide a vital service to its readers in the Gulf, many of whom are expatriates anxious for news from home. As it turns 45, KT embodies the idea that there is always room for originality, creativity and relevance, none of which easily admits substitution. Long may it flourish!"

Pico Iyer, author

"Newspapers such as Khaleej Times give me hope for the future as well as information for right now, binding us all together in a shared conversation. I'm so glad the paper has been giving us the news from the UAE in English for 45 years, and I hope it continues to be a bridge between the Emirates and all of us in the larger, English-speaking world."

Saba Karim Khan, Pakistani author based in Abu Dhabi

"In another 4.5 decades, we are likely to see Khaleej Times go more ‘glocal’ (global with its local essence uncompromisingly intact) in its truest sense — equally enriching for someone reading it on their local train, offices and homes in Delhi, London, New York, as it is trusted by hordes of workers, homemakers and students in the UAE itself. Whether today or 45 years hence, the senses that a physical copy of Khaleej Times invokes is like comfort food — no matter how much technology takes over, it won’t go out of fashion."

Ahlam Bolooki, CEO, Emirates Literature Foundation and director, Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, Managing Director, ELF Publishing

"It is a period of great transformation for the media industry, which will only intensify as further developments are made in the AI sphere. With the onset of automated content creation, there is a need for ethical consideration to ensure responsible journalism. Media outlets have to be transparent about the use of AI-generated content. And they have to take responsibility for verifying information and fact-checking, and ensuring that the news they publish is accurate and fair. Congratulations to Khaleej Times on this milestone anniversary, and good luck for the next 45 years and beyond."

Rizwan Sajan, founder and chairman of Danube Group

"Khaleej Times has been a part of Dubai’s social fabric for years. Our breakfast routine remains incomplete without it. As avid readers, we have come to rely on Khaleej Times to stay informed about the latest news, policies, and advancements, like ChatGPT to stay relevant and up-to-date. The ability to cater to a constantly changing and diverse range of readers with its varied content will be a win in the times to come. As Khaleej Times embarks on its next 45 years, I wish them continued success and growth."

Mina Liccione, standup comedian

“Forty-five years? What an achievement! Being the first is always hard because you're literally paving the way. With every mistake comes an important lesson learned. Khaleej Times has always been at the forefront so naturally, moving forward, they'll continue to progress and inspire. The future lies in more digital content, from the written word to the spoken word through creative short videos, podcasts and Vlogs. I look forward to seeing Khaleej Times take bold new steps forward in this digital age over the next 45 years and on behalf of locally based artists, am thankful for their continued support!"

Dr Thumbay Moideen, founder president, Thumbay Group

"Khaleej Times has come a long way, has grown tremendously, and continues to grow with its ground-breaking news coverage, outstanding quality and speed of reporting. The company’s visionary leadership has ensured adherence to journalism’s ethical standards: Accuracy, objectivity, and respect for the dignity, privacy, rights and well-being of people encountered in the course of gathering and presenting the news. Many things have changed, and KT has also emerged as a pioneer in communicating news to its readers through new digital and online platforms, but the commitment to the community of the UAE, the determination to deliver value, innovate, pioneer new ideas have remained constant throughout in its 45 glorious years. This 45th anniversary of your publication reminds me of thousands of good memories, and your journey has been phenomenal and inspirational to all its readers. Congratulations on achieving this milestone, and wishing the publication continued success and glory today and in the days to come.

Tariq Chauhan, group CEO, EFS Facilities

“News journalism and the journalist attached with it have always been the key players with their significant contributions to the political and economic landscape of any country. The UAE has made exponential progress in the last few decades, and in this journey, news institutions played an essential role. The role of Khaleej times in this journey of the UAE’s progress has been pivotal. The work of its journalists has been applauded by the nation's leaders for its quality, providing 360 news readership experience to its patrons. Over the last four decades, Khaleej Times has had enormous influence in shaping public opinion and outlook on the UAE's journey of sustainable growth and transformation.

“Similar to the UAE's leadership, we hope Khaleej Times will continue to contribute a significant role in this journey. As things stand, all signs point towards the digitalisation of media, including print. And herein, we find a “metamorphosis”, with newspapers making their presence known in cyberspace. This adoption from ink to the internet promises a bright future with faster reporting of stories while advancing the art of journalism to match the changing times. This is where we expect a publication as reputed as Khaleej Times to stand above the rest and make its mark.”

Siddharth Balachandran, Chairman, India club, Dubai

“Forty-five years! Truly a lifetime of creating a positive bias in Dubai's society, in a holistic manner... Congratulations on the achievement of a very important milestone.

“Now, what is the future for Khaleej Times, and news publications in general? I believe the future is very bright and positive... And this belief of mine is reinforced with the idea that the core ideal of a news publication is, was, and will remain responsible opinion propagation. The role of responsible journalism has only become more important in today's hyper-connected world and I believe that the biggest challenge in this hyper-connected world is the fake news situation. There is always a reassurance associated with a credible source and that feeling of reassurance is even more when the credible source is a news publication with a multi decade history, like Khaleej Times. So, I would venture to suggest that the traditional newspaper may be an important part of the creation of a notional platform, where credibility and thought analysis would reign supreme and result in positive opinions being created, and propagated in a responsible manner with accountability.”

Dhananjay Datar, Al Adil chairman

"Khaleej Times stands as a testament to the UAE's growth and development over the past 45 years. As a publication of record, it has captured the social, political, and cultural evolution of the region and continues to do so with remarkable foresight. In an era where news sources abound, KT has demonstrated its relevance by keeping its ear to the ground and providing insightful coverage of the region's milestones. As we look to the future, it is clear that KT and newspapers at large will continue to play a critical role in shaping public discourse, informing communities, and providing a platform for important conversations. I have no doubt that KT will continue to thrive and innovate, and I look forward to seeing the publication's continued growth and success for many years to come."

Dr Khalid Omar Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Media City (Shams)

“With a forward-thinking approach, I am optimistic about Khaleej Times' role in shaping the discourse and direction of the UAE and the wider region over the next 45 years. The newspaper has established itself as a reliable source of information for millions of readers throughout the GCC and beyond, thanks to its commitment to delivering timely, accurate, and insightful news and analysis.

“As Khaleej Times moves forward, I believe it will continue to adapt and innovate, utilising the latest technologies and platforms to engage with readers in new and exciting ways. While the newspaper embraces digital transformation, it will remain steadfast in its mission to inform and inspire our communities. Through its incisive reporting, thought-provoking commentary, and in-depth analysis, Khaleej Times will continue to illuminate the most pressing issues of our time, including economic and political developments, as well as social and cultural trends.

“I am confident that Khaleej Times will remain a powerful and intellectual beacon of excellence in journalism for many years to come, serving as a trusted guide and companion to readers throughout the region and beyond.”

Jumana Khan, social media influencer

“I believe Khaleej Times is always going to grow. I've been reading this newspaper ever since I was a kid because my family resides here and I was raised here. I've been watching my friends reading KT as well. I am proud to say that it never ran out of topics and provides us with all the information that we need, especially about the UAE. Its digital platform is amazing as well. Some people read hard copies and then there are people, like me, who read news online. I think digital is even going to grow faster because the young generation reads the news on their smartphones or handheld devices.”

Sara Al Madani, Emirati entrepreneur, communications professional and CEO of Index Media

“I firmly believe that the newspaper industry will survive for it is an important factor for society and will never go extinct. It is even bound to thrive in the future the same way other aspects in the media industry have. Similar as how photography and videography have evolved, our approach with the newspaper industry will also have to evolve with the changing times.

“We might not see the traditional print newspapers on our doorsteps in the future, but we will definitely see an increasing number of online and mobile versions of newspapers that cater to the varying reading habits of consumers.

“Through constant innovation and adaptation to changing times, the future of the newspaper industry depends on our ability in adopting new technologies, providing personalised content, and creating engaging experiences for the readers.”

Nyla Usha, Radio Presenter with Hit 96.7 and Indian film actress

"As a radio presenter, I host a morning breakfast show that includes a newspaper review. So, for at least the last decade, I have been reading Khaleej Times every day. Earlier we used to wait for the newspaper to be delivered so that we could do the review. However, in the last 6-7 years, never have I taken up the physical copy of the newspaper and gone through it. It has always been online. I believe this must be the case for most people. I think, in a few years newspaper will completely turn online. The cost of printing papers can be saved, and the news articles will become more interactive online with suitable video and audio files added to support the stories. However, the most important thing is that good journalism that verifies facts and communicates only honest and reliable news will continue to thrive and Khaleej Times will be at the forefront of it.”

Hamish Harding, chairman, Action Aviation

“Khaleej Times has played a critical role in sharing news, views and insights to the diverse and multi-cultural population of the UAE and has been doing so for over four decades. I look forward to seeing Khaleej Times evolving in the future with the changing print and digital media landscape, keeping its readers’ interests at the heart of its decision-making. Khaleej Times has been a strong supporter of my own explorations to the lowest point in the oceans in 2021 and into space in 2022 and I look forward to their reporting on future adventures I may be planning.”

Manal Rostom, Dubai-based marathoner and mountaineer

“I envision a platform that showcases more peace treaties celebrating humanity. I envision a platform celebrating more women from the region doing epic things on a daily basis where it’s no longer frowned upon or labelled as breaking stereotypes because stereotypes will be long gone and forgotten.”

Michael Cinco, fashion designer

“Khaleej Times, at 45, is a true example of a legacy publication. It has withstood the test of times as it continues to give us fresh insights on current events, lifestyle, fashion and all things newsworthy and relevant.”

Alisha Moopen, Deputy Managing Director, Aster DM Healthcare

“Over the years, Khaleej Times has emerged as a trusted voice sharing the UAE’s glory and its people’s stories with the world, in the process setting benchmarks for excellence in journalism and contributing to the development of the country. We are proud to have been associated with the publication in its journey and value its contribution to the society. As it continues to charter new territories of the news publishing world through digitisation and innovation, we wish them success for the next 45 years and beyond.”

Sara Karrit, dance influencer (known as Afro By Sara)

“Khaleej Times has already established itself as a leading voice in the Middle East and I have no doubt that over the next 45 years, it will continue to evolve and grow, adapting to the changing media landscape while maintaining its commitment to delivering high-quality news and insights to its readers. With its experienced team of journalists and dedication to excellence, Khaleej Times is poised to become an even more influential and respected source of information, shaping the discourse on key issues and driving positive change in the region in the years to come. I am excited to see what the future holds for this esteemed publication.”

Zubair Sarookh, comedy content creator

“Over the past four-and-a-half decades, Khaleej times has established itself as a reliable source of news and it will continue to be a pivotal force of information dissemination in the UAE and beyond. In the next 45 years, I see Khaleej Times enhancing the quality and depth of its reporting by becoming a leading media channel in virtual reality, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence. With its strong brand, loyal readership, and talented team of journalists and editors, Khaleej Times is well positioned to continue thriving in the years to come. With its rich history and bright future, the newspaper is sure to remain a vital part of the UAE’s media landscape for many years to come.”

Bal Krishen, Chairman & CEO, Century Financial

“Many publications have successfully transitioned to digital platforms; others have developed new revenue streams, such as events and subscriptions. Khaleej Times has a strong legacy in this region and can build on this to explore new revenue streams. Additionally, the publication can focus on expanding its digital presence and developing innovative ways, such as its artificial intelligence-powered newsroom, to deliver news and information to its readers.

“Ultimately, the future of publications and newspapers will depend on their ability to adapt to changing consumer preferences and the digital landscape while maintaining a commitment to journalistic integrity and high-quality content.

“I am sure Khaleej Times can continue to thrive by embracing innovation and building strong relationships with its audiences in the years to come.

Arshad Khan, CEO Venomex Limited and financial markets expert

“Khaleej Times plays a crucial role in shaping public discourse and fostering informed citizens. By providing rigorous reporting, diverse perspectives, and a commitment to truth and accuracy, they are a vital source of business information for the UAE and beyond. To continue their impact, newspapers should prioritise in-depth analysis and investigative reporting on pressing business issues, including government actions. These publications should also promote a culture of innovation, highlighting achievements and the government's support for individuals and businesses in the UAE.”

Devina Mehra, Founder, Chairperson and MD of First Global Group

“Heartiest congratulations to Khaleej times and its team for completing 45 glorious years.

“While there's considerable talk of the demise of newspapers, in my view it is a process of evolution rather than deterioration. Obviously, the move is towards digital rather than physical content, but newspapers have a role on both ends of the spectrum, from providing a local flavour to the news to more in-depth articles that other platforms tend to skim.

“Plus there has to be a move towards how people consume content now which includes videos and podcasts to an option to listen to newspaper stories plus more reader/ user engagement.”

Debbie Wingham, designer

“Khaleej Times is a newspaper that people know and trust beyond the Gulf region. Newspapers have been a vital aspect of the media landscape, serving as the primary source of news and information for millions of people. Without them I'm sure I wouldn't be where I am today with my client base and credibility. Whilst the newspaper industry has undergone significant changes in recent years, as more readers are turning to digital platforms for their news and information needs, it’s incredible that Khaleej Times manages to balance digital and tangible print publications. I still believe people are touchy-feely and will be for years to come; the enjoyment of flicking through a morning newspaper or glossy magazine in the weekend supplements will still be relevant.”

Tala Samman, content creator @myfashdiary

“As a Dubai kid, we really had two main newspapers growing up and Khaleej Times was one of them.

“Newspapers have changed a lot since the rise of online media. Being on our phones and computers all the time, online news sources have become more accessible and convenient. That said, I firmly believe that newspapers will still exist, though their format might evolve. Happy 45th anniversary Khaleej Times!”

Tam Khan, Former MMA fighter and Fitness Influencer

"I think the newspapers in the UAE have been monumental, especially Khaleej Times since it is the first English daily, and I feel it was absolutely essential due to the influx of expatriates in the country. It built bridges between the expats and indigenous people of the UAE and it was also very important in making non-Arab speakers accessible to world news.

“I feel Khaleej Times will lead by example and always be at the forefront of whichever technological revolution we have in the journalism world. I look forward to watching the next chapter in this amazing newspaper's future.”

Nelly Attar, mountaineer (first Arab female to summit K2)

“Congratulations to Khaleej Times to be completing 45 glorious years. In the next decades to come, I see the publication soaring to new heights and growing as a team. Hopefully, I will still be sharing my stories with the newspaper. Let’s see which mountain I’ll be climbing at that point! In the next 45 years, we’ll continue to see stories of people from different walks of life with Khaleej Times being a leading platform to showcase their voices.”

Ghizlan Guenez, founder of QM Labs and The Modist

“As an institution in media, Khaleej Times has been a cornerstone of covering and sharing the most relevant stories and developments in the country and in the region at large, besides being a source of insight and information. Having lived in the UAE for over two decades, I’ve grown up reading the paper and using it as a point of reference. As was the case in the past, Khaleej Times will spread its roots deeper in the media industry, continuing to be a thought leader, a trusted source and one that pins our beautiful country’s milestones one after the other.”

Pratik Gauri, founder and CEO, 5ireChain

“It took a full 80 years from invention to widespread adoption of the steam engine while for electricity it took only 40, and IT made it in the last 20 years to mainstream. And, if it is for the rapid pace of media popularity AI could take just 10 years for widespread adoption.

“Innovation is also responsible for finding novel and interesting applications for existing technologies and finding hybrid solutions for problems. If it wasn’t for the media it would be difficult to find the extent to which problems could be solved using modern tech”

Ismail Sharif, former Emirati golfer and seven-time UAE national golf champion

“What a wonderful journey it has been for the Khaleej Times, it was the first English newspaper to have come up in my country and it’s still going strong. It was the English news daily I used to read about 30-40 years ago and I have some great memories. Then when I started my career as a golfer, we always had support from Khaleej Times. I personally appreciate the support because Khaleej Times played a huge role in the growth of local golf tournaments back in the 1980s. This newspaper was supportive of our sport not just in the UAE, but the entire region.

“Now the future is online. People love to see everything on their mobile phones. I think Khaleej Times has adapted very well to the change keeping the future in mind. They have realised that people’s habits have changed and the kids in this generation are born with a mobile phone. It’s a different world now. But have said that, print media will still have a big role. So I think key to success (for newspapers) in the future will be in finding the balance. I am sure Khaleej Times will rise to the challenge like they have done for many years now.”

Ahmed Raza, former captain of the UAE men’s national cricket team

“I have so many great memories of Khaleej Times. I remember we used to get KT at the traffic light at 5 in the morning. I think the price for one copy was Dh1.50 those days in 2001-2002. I used to get the newspaper and look at the sports pages to see if we made it to the team. The level of excitement was amazing. And it all starts with the process of saving that Dh1.50 to buy that newspaper. I also remember the Young Times. It was so popular, if you are among the top 10 students in the school or if you have done well in sports or music you would make it to the Young Times. That magazine was a very big part of our childhood.

“Now newspapers are not printing as many copies as they did in the past. Looking at the positives, it’s great because we are saving paper, we are saving the planet. But the negative side of it, your screen time has increased because you are now reading the newspaper on your phone. It’s a double-edged sword. But I think moving forward, digital media will become stronger. There are a lot of positives with climate change in mind. I think it’s heading towards the best direction.”

Chaya Mughal, Captain of UAE women’s national cricket team and Women’s Development Officer at Emirates Cricket Board

“Talking about women’s cricket in UAE, media has played a huge role in taking the sport forward. We had great support from Khaleej Times and other newspapers when we played our first match in front of a live television audience. That was a ground-breaking moment for women’s cricket in the UAE. After that match, things changed rapidly for us in this country as more young girls in school started playing. I think that was the time when we came into the picture and people started noticing us. So the media has played a big role in the development of our sport in the UAE and I have to thank the media for that, especially Khaleej Times because you have shown a big interest in the growth of women’s cricket in the UAE. I remember when I was working in a school, whenever an article on me and our team appeared in the Khaleej Times, my colleagues kept those cuttings and presented me at work. Those are sweet memories because I never thought we could also be on the sports page.

“Going ahead, I hope the media continues to support local sports, not just cricket. Now it’s mostly digital which I believe is great because you have everything on your mobile. But somehow I am still a print person addict as I love to have my cup of tea with the newspaper. There is no better way to start the day than reading the sports pages in the morning.”

Karthik Meiyappan, UAE men’s national cricket team’s leg-spinner who made history by taking a hat-trick against Sri Lanka in the ICC T20 World Cup last year in Australia

“First of all, I would like to congratulate Khaleej Times on its 45th anniversary. It’s a great landmark. Khaleej Times has always been such a prestigious newspaper and I have great memories from my school days because whenever I got wickets, I used to check the sports pages if my name was published. I think the first time my name appeared in the newspaper was when I was 14 years old. I was playing for the Zayed Cricket Academy when I picked four wickets in a tournament and I appeared in a newspaper article. It was pretty special for me as a 14-year-old kid. Seeing your name in the newspaper for the first time was very exciting and joyful and I could not stop bragging about it to my friends.

“Of course, media has a big role in an individual’s success. Khaleej Times and the other newspapers in the country have been very supportive in my growth as a cricketer. Going ahead, I will be very happy if the media houses continue to support the young athletes. As I said, media has a huge responsibility in the growth of sports in the modern world. Whether it’s the print media or digital media, I hope the support for young athletes would continue.

Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer, flydubai

"We would like to congratulate Khaleej Times on its 45th anniversary and wish the team every success for the future. Over the last four-and-a-half decades, Khaleej Times has played a role in bearing witness to and documenting the progress and successful journey of the UAE. The media is an important pillar of our community in reporting and recording our achievements and milestones, and as the region continues to grow and reinforce its position on the world stage, media publications like Khaleej Times remain significant in upholding our values and the vision of the UAE.”

Sunil John, President – MENA of BCW and Founder of ASDA’A BCW

“At a time of fast-paced evolution of the media industry worldwide, the 45th anniversary of Khaleej Times, one of the oldest English newspapers in all the Arab world, is a real testament to its high standards of journalism.

“I have observed with great interest how Khaleej Times has reinvented itself, time and again, be it in design or its approach to original content under some of the world’s brightest editors. A forerunner in digital journalism, Khaleej Times has also embraced the social media era with compelling snackable content.

“As one of the top findings of our ASDA’A BCW Arab Youth Survey reveal, while most young Arabs get their news on social media, they trust print and online content. Khaleej Times has effectively straddled both the worlds – print and digital – and built the trust of its readers.

“Continuing to secure of the loyalty of readers will be critical for newspapers, and the legacy that Khaleej Times has built, with its talented team of reporters and editors, will continue to power its onward course. Congratulations on this important milestone.”

Dr Ram Buxani, Chairman, ITL-Cosmos Group

"Khaleej Times! You have achieved Sapphire! 45 years of clean and non-controversial journalism is not a small achievement. In any civilised society, it is imperative to have a reliable story-telling tool in form of newspaper to bridge the communication gap.

“I vividly remember, when I arrived in Dubai in the year 1959, how eagerly people were waiting to receive newspapers from their home countries. We would get 10 or 15 days’ newspapers in one lot depending upon transit time taken by ships. Jashanmals were getting newspapers by air from the UK, India and other countries but not many could afford due to prohibitive prices.

“Media scene took interesting turn when Cawas Motiwalla started cyclostyled newspaper, carrying mostly Reuters news and getting delivered at doorsteps every day in the morning. But that was neither good enough to quench the thirst for news nor it was providing enough opportunities to advertisers.

“Then came the exciting launch of Khaleej Times owned by Galadari group in April 1978, by Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum. The UAE without proper media was indeed incomplete and Khaleej Times as the first English daily has played its pivotal role in serving the society. Khaleej Times started its professional association with Dawn of Pakistan and an efficient team under Salim Asmi handling editorial and Hassan Bozai as photography head. I have not found Khaleej Times wanting in efficiency since its inception. It is my first paper every morning. I would like to wish it many more decades of successful running.”

Joy Alukkas, Chairman, Joyalukkas Group

“I would like to congratulate Khaleej Times, the first English newspaper in the UAE, as it celebrates its 45th anniversary. It is particularly poignant as the Joyalukkas Group is also celebrating its 35th anniversary this year. Khaleej Times has been one of the main publications that supported us in the media space right from the beginning of our story in the UAE and the region as a whole. I have been following the manner in which the publication has covered news from all angles and made a seamless transition to the digital space to broaden its reach to digital natives. I attribute Khaleej Times’ success to its fantastic leadership and its great editorial and marketing team, which is working tirelessly to keep the publication ahead during these highly competitive times.

“As long as there is a love for reading and an appetite for news about the local community and the world in general, publications like Khaleej Times will continue to flourish in the years to come.”

Paras Shahdadpuri, Chairman, Nikai Group of Companies

“Khaleej Times has established itself as an integral part of the UAE’s media landscape, serving as a reliable source of information, delineating the social, political, and cultural changes in the region for an impressive span of 45 years.

“With the advent of digital media, the newspaper industry has faced a significant challenge in recent years. Nonetheless, Khaleej Times continues to adapt and revolutionise its approach to retain the significant impact it had established over the four decades.

The advent of digital media has adversely affected readership for traditional print media. Data analytics and artificial intelligence are gaining prominence in journalism, allowing news organisations to understand their audience better. KT has embraced this shift and continues to invest and build expertise in new technology to explore new ways to engage with its audience.

“Above all, KT thrives to maintain its commitment to ethical and high-quality journalism because in today’s world, trust, transparency, and authenticity are extremely pivotal.”

Dr Azad Moopen, Chairman and Managing Director, Aster DM Healthcare

“Khaleej Times has been at the forefront of journalism in UAE for 45 years, ever since the country was established. The newspaper which breaths the soul of the nation, has been deeply involved in the building of the confidence of the local and expat population through positive journalism. I am a committed reader of KT for 36 years, since I landed in the UAE. As KT celebrates 45 years of being the voice of the leaders and the people of the UAE, we congratulate the editorial team and management for the excellent role they have played. Apart from reporting the local, regional and global news promptly, KT also played an incredible role in shaping people’s perspective for building an informed society. Aster had the privilege of partnering with KT closely for four decades and remains committed to the cause of Khaleej Times on the auspicious occasion. The future of journalism is through advanced multi-channel digital technology led publication and distribution with diversified news content. I am sure that the astute leadership of Khaleej Times will be able to ride the wave and be ahead of the curve.”

Surender Singh Kandhari, Chairman, Al Dobowi

“Like the times, media is also rapidly changing. The old concept of printing news has given birth to in-depth analysis and knowledge to explain an occurrence or event, may it be valid for print or screen. That is where content is still king and will earn following.

“Expert writing will never disappear, eloquence and know-how are the cornerstones of the human endeavour never forget that. It is this capability that every media outlet must harness thereby building a bridge with the end user. Copy flow from correspondents, special commentators, interviews (one on ones) and exclusive insight and inside reports are the priorities.

"As technology creates instant feed, the newspapers are coping up to give the best within the parameters of time and importance of the news. Nearly all newspapers have a digital platform that is like an avatar to keep the print version relevant – a symbiosis of sorts – address both, those who prefer to hold the newsprint and even those who prefer to glance through their PDA’s. Platform-wise too, it will be good to utilise a breaking news onto digital and offer a 4 dimensional in print. The tea, coffee and the rustle of the paper still have role, just has to be returned.

“Readers prefer to be interactive too casting their opinions or going through informative analysis online or in Apps facility and also reading the details of the news through the newspaper. It’s this credible aspect of a newspaper in print that they will continue to serve the community plus have an offshoot through its digital version, also emphasizing on credible information.

“Media has an important role to play in the development of a nation and the society at large, whichever medium it may be! Many congratulations to Khaleej Times for serving the nation with news and views for over four-and-a-half decades. It is indeed a landmark achievement as the first English daily of the region celebrates its 45th Anniversary. The traditional print media will continue to innovate and evolve every day to keep up to the expectations of the readers from different walks of life and varied age groups.”

Alan Williamson, CEO, Taaleem

“Newspapers have come a long way since the establishment of Khaleej Times, UAE's first English language newspaper. The industry has seen many changes over the years, from the drift towards digital media to the rise of social media as a news source. In the next 45 years, newspapers will undoubtedly continue to evolve and adapt to the changing media landscape. While some may fear the decline of print media, I believe that newspapers will always have a place in society. Newspapers also play a crucial role in education, as they offer a wealth of information and insights that can broaden students' understanding of the world around them and help them develop critical thinking skills. As long as there is a need for quality journalism and trustworthy reporting, newspapers will continue to provide a vital service to their readers. The future of newspapers lies in their ability to innovate, embrace new technologies, and deliver engaging content that speaks to their audience. Khaleej Times has been a pioneer in the industry, and we look forward to seeing what the future holds for the publication in the next 45 years.”

Hasan Al Hariri , CEO, Dubai Astronomy Group

"I would like to express my heartiest congratulations to Khaleej Times for having completed its 45 years. This newspaper has definitely had an impression in the minds of the UAE residents. I have been subscribing to this newspaper for a very long time. I recall that my father used to have this newspaper in our house. I have a personal connection with Khaleej Times, as I used to collect the cuttings of news articles about space, space activities, and astronomy. As an astronomer, I can clearly see the support and contribution of this newspaper in promoting the interest of readers toward space education which is shaping our future.

“Khaleej Times reinvented itself with the new era of social media. Here Khaleej Times' role has been critical in shaping young minds. This is vital because newspapers have a significant implication on society and in the development of the nation, by spreading the right content and positive news. News and articles published in this newspaper bear a prominent role in guiding people towards a brighter future. As a leading newspaper, Khaleej Times has a big responsibility catering to the local and international communities together. Dubai Astronomy Group is thankful to Khaleej Times for covering the UAE space activities at a global scale and developing astronomy and space information around the world.”

Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman & CEO of Dubai Duty Free

"Congratulations on your 45th anniversary; it is a great achievement. Khaleej Times is the first and longest-running English-language newspaper in the UAE and I have enjoyed reading it since I first came to Dubai in 1983.

“It has been at the forefront of reporting on every milestone of the UAE and has proven to be a publication of record, mapping the important social, political, sports, and cultural evolution of this region. I have seen the newspaper develop along with Dubai, and I am delighted that throughout its 45 years, I have had the pleasure of being interviewed several times by the Khaleej Times, including being featured in the annual St. Patrick’s Day supplement.

“It has been a challenging time for all print media in the world and I am happy to see that Khaleej Times, along with other leading UAE titles, has managed the transition to both print and online very well. The UAE has a rich and varied news media that has nurtured several talented journalists. I am looking forward to continuing to read Khaleej Times and other newspapers. I wish you continued success and once again, congratulations from us all at Dubai Duty Free.”

Saeed bin Suroor, legendary Emirati horse trainer and winner of nine Dubai World Cup races

"Some things should never change and I think that is the case with newspapers. I understand that people are always evolving and so do newspapers. But there is something so special, so endearing about reading a newspaper like Khaleej Times.

“Ever since I was appointed trainer with Godolphin, I have been reading all about horse racing in the columns of the newspapers. The information has always been accurate, interesting, and engaging.

“Most people in the sport of horse racing like to see what the newspapers have to say, either before a race meeting, or after it. Personally, I make it a point to look at all the newspapers in the UAE ad I’m always impressed by what the editors have to say about our sport.

“It is with this integrity, and passion, that Khaleej Times was able to become an integral part of UAE society. I would like to say thank you for all these years of great work and wish Khaleej Times all the very best going into the future with their creative thinking.”

Tadhg O’Shea, 11-time UAE Champion jockey

“When I first landed in Dubai in 2001, the very first paper that I read was Khaleej Times and its sports section. It’s been very dear to me over the years. They do a fantastic job putting all the news together. It’s a very, very professional newspaper which has a great outlook not only on sport but on news from around the world. I wish them all the success going forward.

“I’m a little bit old-fashioned and I love getting the newspaper every morning. Social media is taking over our world unfortunately but I really, really do love the old style of conveying the news that only newspapers still do.

“I wish it all the success and hope it continues to do what it does best, with its stories in print and online, which again is a very good addition to the overall appeal of the Khaleej Times.”

Tony Lewis, Founder & CEO, Total Communications and former KT Sports Reporter

“To everyone at Khaleej Times, congratulations on the newspaper’s 45th anniversary. It has been a close companion to so many of us over the years, in my case since the day I arrived in Dubai back in 1986 to work as a sports journalist. Early on, I fondly remember being dispatched, by Sports Editor Neville Parker, to the site where construction was underway on the Emirates Golf Club. My story the next day, illustrated by images from another old friend and former colleague, Shaqil Qaiser, revealed that Dubai was building a course that would host the game’s biggest stars. Since then, Khaleej Times has traced the remarkable development of the UAE, reporting on so many historic moments for the Emirates, and updating its readers on events that have shaped the world. Through the ever-changing media landscape, from print to digital, KT has retained its influence, reminding us that traditional media still works today. Long may that remain.”

Shabbir Merchant, Pakistani community leader; managing director, Champion Neon

I extend my heartfelt congratulations to the management and entire team of Khaleej Times for always being the first to deliver relevant news and stories for the Pakistani community. KT is always there covering our events and functions. May the hardworking and dedicated staff of the first UAE English daily continue doing their job and fulfil their responsibility to deliver the news before anyone else.

Zaki Nusseibeh, Cultural Adviser and Interpreter to the UAE President, Chancellor of UAE University

The establishment of a robust national press was seen from the outset by UAE founder Sheikh Zayed as a vital part of a dynamic communications infrastructure that is of central importance to nation building in the UAE. It facilitates information sharing among different segments of society and connects citizens and residents from different geographic areas of the country, helping them to forge a bond of shared understanding.

Given that English served as a common denominator across a richly diverse multi-lingual community, it was important to encourage the foundation of English-speaking media side by side with the Arabic press to convey to the world the remarkable rapid development of the UAE and to generate awareness, both at home and around the globe, of an ever-strengthening national identity and presence. The Khaleej Times has served in such capacity for 45 years, playing an essential part in the nation’s development. Today it strengthens the fabric of our ultra-modern multi-media infrastructure that will help lead our progress for the next fifty years.

(Curated by: Issac John, Sahim Salim, Rasha Abubaker, Mazhar Farooqui, Rituraj Borkakoti, Nandini Sircar, Waheed Abbas, Somshanker Bandyopadhyay, Nasreen Abdulla, Leslie Wilson Jr., Husain Rizvi, Somya Mehta, Laraib Anwer, Anamika Chatterjee)

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