Telling the stories of inspirational expats…

The curtains are about to raise on a brand new chapter of the What’s On saga, with the launch of our first podcast series – Reborn in Dubai. The first episode will drop on Friday, December 8, 2023, and will be available to watch and listen to, via Spotify, Apple Podcasts and YouTube, and we look forward to you joining us as we hurl ourselves into this exciting new high-fidelity frontier.

Reborn in Dubai, powered by What’s On is a series that shares the genesis stories from some of the region’s brightest expat entrepreneurs, thought leaders, community champions, and innovators. Uncovering how the city has provided them with opportunities and the tools to reinvent themselves, what mechanics have contributed to their success, and why nobody does it quite like Dubai. We’ll also be investigating what brought these luminaries here, and what’s still to come.

It’s hosted by Deputy Editor Miles Buckeridge and cohosted by a roving cabinet of What’s On team members. And with What’s On turning 45 in 2024, it made perfect sense to start with the man behind the phenomenon, a magazine beloved by expats, citizens and tourists for almost half a century now. In episode one, we sit down with the founder, managing partner and group editor, Ian Fairservice, to chart his rise from humble beginnings as a hotelier, to the man at the helm of a multi-dimensional media house.

In June 1979, Dubai was a very different place. There were no soaring skyscrapers, no seven-lane Sheikh Zayed Road highway, no fleets of police supercars, zero Balearic-boho beach clubs and the world’s tallest building was still just a twinkle in its architect’s eye. But there was one very familiar social landmark already in place. In June 1979, the very first issue of What’s On was printed. The UAE’s first English language lifestyle magazine was born out of a drive to provide residents with the latest news and happenings from across the city. In the 44 years that have followed, What’s On has expanded into events, digital and social media, it’s grown to cover Abu Dhabi, and launched in Saudi Arabia. But fundamentally, it remains the same: an essential, boredom-busting part of everyday life for residents. What’s On serves up the inside story on the city’s big events, the food and drink scene, music, arts, fitness, well-being and much, much more.

Episode One of Reborn in Dubai, powered by What’s On will be available to listen and watch via Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and YouTube from Friday, December 8, 2023.

Images: What’s On archive