DUBAI: UAE English language daily Khaleej Times held back no punches as it seized the opportunity to knock its rival Gulf News following the latter’s announcement of going behind a paywall.
“No toll gates in our lanes,” Khaleej Times promised in a tweet on its official account, promoting its free news service that does not force readers to pay to continue.
NO Toll Gates in our Lanes!
— Khaleej Times (@khaleejtimes) April 27, 2021
And in case readers still didn’t get it, they included a picture of a computer with the term “unlimited reading” in bold red across the center of the screen.
Gulf News, one of the two leading UAE English-language daily, announced last week that it would begin asking readers to subscribe to its news service to gain access to the full site - similar to paying a toll to continue driving on certain road.
“People think that when you go behind the wall, you’re preventing readers from reading. No, in fact, you’re opening a gateway for them for trusted journalism,” Gulf News’ CEO Abdul Hamid Ahmad, told Arab News in a previous interview.
“That’s important, you know, and in today’s world you don’t know how many websites there are, how many on social media, how many of this false, fake news. We are here to give good journalism, trusted journalism,” he said.
Between them, Gulf News and Khaleej Times hold the lion’s share of the English language daily newspaper market in the UAE. Both newspapers were established in Dubai in 1978 and have been competing since for the lucrative expat readers segment, which form a majority in the country.
There are other English language dailies in the UAE, such as Gulf Today and Abu Dhabi based The National. Apart from Gulf News, none of the other local Emirati newspapers require a paid subscription