History of Nicholas Publishing International (NPI)
Established in 1997 by Robert Alan Nicholas and Robert Stephen Nicholas (father and son) in Dubai Media City, Nicholas Publishing International FZ LLC (NPI) specializes in the publication of niche magazines, particularly in the field of travel and tourism.
Robert Alan Nicholas had a highly successful publishing business in the United Kingdom from 1976 to 1986, producing the magazine What’s On as well as a number of tourism related titles for the Heart of England Tourism Board. He sold this business to his former employer, The Birmingham Post and Mail Group and moved with the family to Dubai in April, 1986.
Having worked with several of Dubai’s key publishing groups in the following decade, Robert Alan Nicholas decided to set-up his own business again in 1997 along with his son, Robert Stephen Nicholas.
Nicholas Publishing International’s (NPI) meetings publications
Nicholas Publishing International (NPI) was one of the first organizations to recognize the potential of the MICE industry (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) and launched Dubai’s first dedicated guide for planners of meetings, incentives, conferences and events in the form of the Dubai MICE Guide in 1997.
As the Gulf countries all have a similar tourism product and ambitions to target high-end tourism, the Dubai MICE Guide was soon accompanied by sister titles that included Abu Dhabi MICE, Oman MICE, Qatar MICE, Egypt MICE, Bahrain MICE, Jordan MICE and Morocco MICE.
Nicholas Publishing International (NPI) also saw the opportunity to have a more regular publication providing updates and features for all of the destinations it was working with in the region and beyond. This came in the form of MICE International – a bi-monthly magazine that was introduced in 2000.
All of Nicholas Publishing International’s (NPI) meeting publications are distributed to corporate and agency planners of meetings, incentives and events, as well as key DMCs. They are distributed at up to eight international travel trade shows where Nicholas Publishing International (NPI) is a media partner.
As this sector of tourism matured and destinations began migrating to a universal terminology to describe the activities covered within MICE, Nicholas Publishing International (NPI) followed the UNWTO call to adopt the description of ‘meetings industry’.
The UNWTO definition of the meetings industry is: a gathering of 10 or more participants for a minimum of four hours in a contracted venue. Meetings include conventions, conferences, congresses, trade shows and exhibitions, incentive events, corporate/business meetings, and other meetings. They exclude social activities and established formal educational or recreational activities purely recreational activities.
This came at a time when Paul Kennedy who headed up Reed Travel Exhibitions’ portfolio of meeting industry events – EIBTM, GIBTM and CIBTM, also recommended this course of action.
Nicholas Publishing International is the Global Media Partner for Reed Travel Exhibitions’ portfolio of international meeting industry events and produces show dailies at GIBTM, the show catalogue and coincides the production of several of its annual guides to be launched at the show, while others are introduced at EIBTM in Barcelona.
In 2010, Nicholas Publishing International (NPI) also won the contract to produce the Arabian Travel Market Show Dailies – a newspaper that is distributed throughout the show on each day of the event.
Following the adoption of the term ‘meetings industry’ to describe all activities under MICE, Nicholas Publishing International (NPI) rebranded its publications. MICE International, the bi-monthly magazine, became meetme (Meet Middle East) and its guides became meetdubai, meetabudhabi, meetoman meetqatar, meetegypt, meetbahrain, meetjordan and meetmorocco.
Nicholas Publishing International’s (NPI) Concierge publications
In 2004, Nicholas Publishing International identified the opportunity to introduce a more mainstream tourism publication particularly for inbound visitors to Dubai.
Tourism was on the rise in Dubai and the whole economy was gearing up for it.
Following consultation with leading hotel groups that Nicholas Publishing International (NPI) had close relations with from producing the meetdubai guide for seven years and meetme for four years, they decided to launch a high-end visitor publication for guests staying in Dubai.
Concierge magazine was born and was introduced by Nicholas Publishing International (NPI) as a luxury in-room visitor magazine distributed in-room at Dubai’s five-star and four-star hotel properties.
Concierge Dubai was initially distributed in around 25 hotels with a circulation of just under 10,000 copies and by 2010, the publication had grown to partner with 86 hotels and an audited BPA circulation of over 25,000 copies making it one of the highest circulating niche magazines in the market, and certainly the highest circulating dedicated visitor magazine.
In 2006, Nicholas Publishing International (NPI) also recognized the potential of Abu Dhabi’s tourism industry and in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), launched Concierge Abu Dhabi in the capital. This was extremely successful and Concierge Abu Dhabi is now present in every five and four-star hotel in the capital – 55 hotels in total, with a monthly BPA audited circulation of over 15,000 copies.
The growth in Russian visitors also led Nicholas Publishing International (NPI) to launch a specific in-language version of Concierge for this audience. Russians have very different priorities and interests when they come to Dubai than other visitors and focus primarily on luxury shopping when they are away from the beach. Concierge Russian language was introduced in 2007.
Nicholas Publishing International’s (NPI) other publications
Aside from the Concierge and meetings portfolio of titles, Nicholas Publishing International (NPI) also undertakes contract publishing for selected clients. This has included Cityscape magazine, Cityscape Show Dailies (newspapers), Wafi Collection Magazine and publications and marketing materials for Bridgestone Middle East.