Tea Before Noon is a return to old-fashioned browsing

Hala al Gergawi has launched a magazine that aims to promote the achievements of women in business by bucking current media trends and bringing online content back to print.

A Dubai-based publisher has launched a magazine that aims to promote the achievements of women in business by bucking current media trends and bringing online content back to print. The quarterly Tea Before Noon magazine will reflect a reluctance among businesswomen to seek information online, says its editor and publisher Hala al Gergawi.

The magazine will cater for what Ms al Gergawi has identified as a lack of time for internet-surfing among the magazine's target readership. "The magazine is aimed at fashionable, up-to-date woman who don't have the time to be updated online," she said. "They don't have the time to open a laptop - it's much easier for them to grab a magazine and read it. I'm bringing online to print." The bilingual magazine, with sections in Arabic and English, will cover topics including fashion, health, food, art and lifestyle.

"In every section there's a story to inspire others, to encourage them to go into business and to update them on the latest trends," said Ms al Gergawi. "It is aimed at all women in the UAE, of all nationalities. We're promoting women's businesses. We're women and we know what women want." Ms al Gergawi said the magazine would be a platform for discussion among women of all generations. "My mum is fashionable but she doesn't have a Facebook account," she said.

A pilot copy of the magazine was released yesterday and the first full issue will be available in a week. About 10,000 copies will be printed each quarter, distributed by the wholesale group Jashanmal and sold at bookshops and other retail outlets, at a cover price of Dh10 (US$2.72). Business customers who advertise in the magazine will be offered free copies. The magazine will employ an all-female staff of 10, including designers and production staff. It will be published by Excelencia Publishing and Events, of which Ms al Gergawi is the chief executive.

But the title hits newsstands at a gloomy time in the market, with Middle East magazines faring badly in the economic crisis. One fifth of all print publications in the GCC have closed since the worst of the downturn at the start of last year. Since then, 171 Gulf-based magazines and 11 newspapers have been suspended or discontinued, according to figures from the data supplier MediaSource. Titles such as Viva Girl, published by ITP, and Insider, published by ENG Media, were among them.

@Email:bflanagan@thenational.ae