Episode 1: Reborn in Dubai powered by What’s On, with guest Ian Fairservice, founder of What’s On, managing partner and group editor-in-chief of Motivate Media Group

Welcome to Episode 1 of Reborn in Dubai. With What’s On turning 45 in 2024, it made perfect sense to launch this podcast with the man behind the phenomenon, a magazine beloved by expats, citizens, and tourists for almost half a century.

In June 1979, Dubai was a very different place. There was little in the way of soaring skyscrapers, no seven-lane Sheikh Zayed Road highway, no fleets of police supercars, and zero Balearic beach clubs. But one very familiar social landmark did emerge. In June of that year, Ian Fairservice put the very first issue of What’s On to press. The UAE’s original English language lifestyle magazine was born out of a drive to provide residents with the latest news and happenings from across the city. And now, nearly 45 years on, despite there being a few more titles, platforms and brands in the Motivate Media Group portfolio, those same aims remain at the centre of everything we do.

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