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Wed 26 May 2004 04:00 AM

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Arabian marine magazine ready to set sail

No name yet, but the publication aims to educate the region on all aspects of the sea.

Ocean enthusiasts are set to see the arrival in June of a monthly magazine entirely dedicated to the marine industry in the Arab world.

The new publication, which will be produced by marine specialists Knotika, aims to cover all aspects of the industry from yachts to marinas while also focusing on the economic side of the industry.

With experts predicting the marine industry in the Middle East could be worth as much as a billion dollars in the coming years, the objective of the magazine, it seems, is to raise awareness rather than capital.

“I don’t look at the market today, I look at the market tomorrow,” says Wael Juju, managing director, Knotika. “That’s why I’ve decided to create a good quality magazine, which will have a mass circulation and make people more enthusiastic about the industry.”

Initially, the magazine will have a pan-Arab circulation of 20,000 with a pagination of around 150 pages. The plan, according to Juju, is to launch the publication in English shortly afterwards to make the rest of the world aware of the region’s potential.

The ten man editorial team is made up of five Arabic speakers and five non-Arabs, all with at least a basic understanding of the industry.

“After two or three issues we will publish in English as we believe an Arabia sea magazine in the European market will generate a great deal of interest in what is happening here,” explains Juju.

At present the Arab World only has two publications covering the boating industry in Arabic, compared to over 200 magazines at international level looking at the marine sector as a whole.

Juju is quick to point out the importance of quality rather than just quantity. Having placed $500,000 in setting up the title, he is hopeful the magazine will help generate $15 million worth of business in the industry per issue.

Although advertisers from the boating industry as well as various high-profile regional property developers are queuing up to be part of the project, advertising revenue is not vital to the magazine’s success.

“At the end of the day, it’s an investment for the industry, so the rewards are far more than what the advertising could bring,”

“We believe we will reach decision makers and provide quality information to our readers and that also means bringing business to our advertisers. I think with all the marina projects underway in the region, Al Fanar, the two Palms, the World, Qatar’s Pearl, we will represent the best vehicle for the players involved,” concludes Juju.

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