By Darwish S Ahmed/Editor-in-Chief
When two people meet, the better informed person will prevail.
There lies the importance of newspapers in equipping people to succeed in today’s competition-driven world.
And Gulf Times, Qatar’s leading English newspaper, has been doing exactly the same — empowering readers through dissemination of information —since its launch in 1978.
An ever dynamic media organisation, Gulf Times has always understood the winds of change blowing across the horizon and adapted and expanded to meet the expectations of its patrons including readers and advertisers.
Particularly in the last four years, a slew of steps have been initiated and implemented with a view to providing the readers with a more complete newspaper as well as meeting the growing demand for coverage both within and without Qatar.
As Qatar is getting ready to host the FIFA World Cup 2022, the nation is in a sporty mode and infrastructure projects worth billions of dollars are underway across the country.
Qatar has already emerged as an international sport hub with the country successfully hosting global tournaments like the Doha Diamond League (Athletics), Commercial Bank Qatar Masters (Golf), Qatar Ladies Open (Golf), Tennis (ATP & WTA), Show Jumping/Equestrian, UCI Road World Championships (Cycling), Qatar Classic (Squash), World Swimming events, MotoGP and World Superbike Championships.
Locally also, the football clubs are very active throughout the year and they have evolved into important players in the regional and international club leagues.
All this has necessitated an increase in the number of the Sport pages and Gulf Times has now got a 12-page standalone Sport section, which is unique on a number of counts, even internationally.
Qatar has also been growing into a regional financial centre with several multinational companies opening their offices in Doha.
On its own right as the largest exporter of LNG in the world (77mtpa) and a recognised oil producer and manufacturer of a host of petrochemicals and fertilisers, home to one of the best international airports and one of the largest seaports and sprawling economic zones, Qatar is a major player in the world of economy and commerce.
It was quite natural for Gulf Times to expand its Business section to provide a wide platform to support the ever-growing local economic activities and the ambitions of its enterprising residents with a separate pullout of up to 12 pages of editorial content.
Life is not Sport and Business alone.
Qatar has got arguably the most unique demography in the world, it is home to people from more than 180 countries.
To accommodate the needs of the ever growing expatriate population of the country, Gulf Times has added separate pages for blocs like Asean, regions like Latin America and countries like the Philippines.
While Gulf Times devotes ample space for news and views from around the world, the reporting of activities taking place among the diverse expatriate community is a daunting challenge.
The task was met by launching a daily supplement of 20 tabloid pages providing abundant space to accommodate the wide spectrum of hustle and bustle in the vibrant society.
Community features separate pages for topics like Education, Art & Culture, Schools & Colleges, Tourism, Fashion, Cinema, Music, Food, Motoring, etc.
Though the print media continues to hold the sway and dominate the sector in Qatar, the world is slowly and steadily yielding to the attractions of the Internet.
Our times have witnessed the explosive growth of Information Technology and the future no doubt belongs to those who are able to keep pace with developments in this vital field.
Realising this crucial fact, Gulf Times has relaunched its website with novel and advanced features which are not found even on the sites of leading foreign publications.
The Gulf Times website is constantly and instantly updated as events unfold both in Qatar and abroad.
The website is complemented by an active social media platform, focusing on Facebook and Twitter.
Some of the Gulf Times Facebook and Twitter postings have registered record views, shares and likes.
Inspired by the resounding success of the Gulf Times social media platform, the organisation is exploring ways to tap this resource commercially and launch a digital newspaper to reach the larger audience.
As Qatar leaps ahead under the wise leadership of HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and HH the Father Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, Gulf Times will be on the side of its patrons, nudging them along the path of progress, peace, prosperity and holistic development that our leaders have envisaged in the Qatar National Vision 2030.
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