& Company (BCCL) will foray into a market outside India soon. In a few months, the Times Group plans to roll out a broadsheet in Dubai. As per speculations, this broadsheet will be called The Times of Dubai. This marks BCCL's interest in expanding to markets outside India, having consolidated its position in various markets in the country.
The Times Group has been working towards the Dubai launch since early this year. In March 2008, it entered into a negotiation for a launch with a local player in Dubai. It is certain that BCCL will launch its broadsheet in Dubai through a joint venture with a local newspaper. "Right now, we are waiting for a confirmation on the deal from the other party and once that is through, we will be ready for the launch," says a source familiar with the development.
The print industry in Dubai is bound by rigid rules and it may take a while for the deal to come through as there are clearances and permissions to be sought. According to the deal, the Times Group will seek printing and distribution aid from the local player. There will be an editorial team set up by the group in Dubai.
In Dubai, the major English dailies are the Khaleej Times, published by Galadari Printing and Publishing and Gulf News, published by Al Nisr Publishing. Khaleej Times was the first English daily to be launched in the UAE. There is also The Gulf Today, which is published by Dar Al Khaleej Printing and Publishing. The National, is a new entrant, launched by the Abu Dhabi Media Company.
Watch this space for further developments!