Time Out Beirut on verge of relaunch

Tony Elliott, the founder of the Time Out brand, stopped off in Dubai last week to celebrate the fifth birthday of the city's franchised edition.

The Brit, who launched the London edition of the listings magazine in 1968, said Time Out Dubai's publisher ITP was now his most successful franchisee by turnover.

"Dubai is an interesting case. What is available to consumers doesn't fit the conventional Time Out model at all - there is hardly any theatre, there is no live music - which is kind of weird given the number of expats here," he said.

"Dubai has shown that you can adapt the format."

Elliott attributed much of the magazine's success to the decision to change the magazine's format from monthly to weekly last year.

He also revealed that the Beirut edition of Time Out, which was forced to suspend publication after the outbreak of conflict in Lebanon, was on the verge of relaunching.

Time Out Beirut is expected to re-appear in print format in December, with an online edition going live next month.

"The business was obviously wiped out and I think their offices were more or less destroyed. But they are absolutely dedicated to relaunching. They want to rebuild the magazine from scratch," said Elliott. "It's genuinely tragic. So many people were beginning to go there. Without this war, this would have gone on to become a really significant magazine.

"They have got a problem in a city that is as devastated as that, there obviously isn't a huge amount of activity. But Lebanon and Beirut has a remarkable ability to rebuild really fast. What they will do is bring out a digital online version to keep the presence going and then move into print form as soon as they can."

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