AnaZahra, 32-year-old Zahrat Al Khaleej gone online? Or is it a step in conversion?

| Jul 21, 2010 | comment 2 Comments

Abu Dhabi Media Company(ADMC) is “the” pioneer in the digital publishing space in the Middle East, hands down. New digital platform? They implement n’ use it before anyone else. A media company that techno-geeks love to love. Apart from owning some of the best performing titles in print they’ve been busy going digital as fast as they could and in full steam. - أنا زهرةAnaZahra is ADMC’s latest addition to their digital/online portfolio of titles. AnaZahra was introduced as Zahrat Al Khaleej’s branch online, or the Online version of the same magazine? It could get one confused as ADMC introduced a new business unit headed by celebrity Zoya Sakr. It was launched with Zahrat Al Khaleej’s brand used as an endorser and a sister brand, even AnaZahra’s branding borrows from Zahrat Al Khaleej, but then once you go online, print content and online are worlds of differences.

AnaZahra launched in a very interesting way, a very offline way of launching an Online venture. A traditional launch with no considerable online Ads or any Social Media involvement which worries me a little given the VERY corporate execution. Is such an online venture to survive in our Twitter generation executives?

First, the digital-savvy Women report

Before their launch they had a press release that everyone on Twitter n’ Facebook re-posted over & over that showed Women in Arabia are digital-savvy and are well versed with online magazines and social networks. Okay, so message reached to Advertisers–Advertise with us Online.

Then, bring in the accomplished & market influencers

In an exclusive event earlier before the launch ADMC hosted a preview event of to accomplished, successful, and sought after women in the UAE followed by artists, and celebrities that were treated & pampered with Dior beauty products.

So AnaZahra is not your average Online magazine. Is it? No, it’s not. But hey, it’s not run by Facebook generation executives. From staffing to launch and PR, there’s a smell of big plays being planned and with ADMC in the background, AnaZahra should be looking good on paper and perhaps on the floor.

Content, it’s very early to weight the content or even take a look at where and how it’s getting online, but in a very short time, the number of articles, gossip and News available on AnaZahra is impressive and from writers and bloggers across Arabia.

AnaZahra, jus’ like Zahrat Al Khaleej is all about Fashion, Family, Beauty, Kids, Health and lots of Arabic gossip on Celebrities and pop culture. Even though it shows Blogs on the website it might confuse you with members blogs which they’re not. Blogs on AnaZahra are nothin’ but special columns made for a selected few Celebrities such as Afaf Jnifan(Tunisian-Itallian super model) and others. The website also includes a Community section which looks like an after thought at this stage.

So how digital or online is AnaZahra?

For what it’s worth, it is real time, specially celebrity gossip and News. It doesn’t replicate content from its offline version of Zahrat Al Khaleej which adds great value content-wise.

Experience-wise, it really is nothing digital. Nothing near the expectation from a brand that launches out of ADMC. The section that holds videos & images is called Gallery(معرض). Exactly how it’s done on Forums.

The more you browse through the website the more you get the sense of individuality in content and how they cover it first, but at the same time you get back to thinking what does AnaZahra really have more than the competition? Say 7asnaa of d1g, or 7elwa by Yahoo-Maktoob, or Zeina at Jeeran? Or thousands of highly populated and visited Arabic forums that ADMC itself advertises on? But then when you get back to AnaZahra you figure out that the other websites had actually been of type that consumed content from the likes of Zahrat Al Khaleej offline and then posted them as second hand content and editorial. So content-wise AnaZahra has the edge over the rest having fresh first hand content produced by its journalists & reporters.

Content is king, fair & square AnaZahra wins, they are hard to beat, but the tough question to ask is, how is AnaZahra going to survive online apart from hiding behind the great Zahrat Al Khaleej brand & ADMC’s resources and presence? It’s early to say but if they don’t go Social and Open, Sharable and Interactive they have no chance in surviving given the big bucks being spent prior to launch and start up period.  But then the obvious answer might be just in front of us, 32 years of great relationship with Advertisers, Zahrat Al Khaleej can always feed AnaZahra with Ads, may be?

Now, all we gotta’ do is wait n’ see, personally as I grew up seeing Zahrat Al Khaleej around at home and every where n’ would like to see it prosper online,  looks good so far. This shall have a part two in a three months time to review and see what changed n’ what really has worked for’em.

  • Ghinwa77

    I just checked this website, I love it, so user friendly and entertaining!
    Good luck for the team!

  • emad

    the website is related to ADmedia.. by th way, I've visited very usefull tech mag website called check it out

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