Maktoob Upgrades its Business Portal

29 Apr, 2009

Since its inspection in around 1997, Maktoob The world’s largest Arab online community, has been focusing in Arabic content. To this date there are few English services within or Maktoob Group.’s relaunched and upgraded English business portal, now called Maktoob Business would be Maktoob’s biggest English service to date.

Maktoob Business focuses on regional and international business related content. The Portal is very rich with content and is divided into 7 channels: BUSINESS, NEWS, MAKTOOBfn, SPORT, PHOTOS, and RESOURCES.

Each Channel has videos from bloombarg and discussion forums. Also a nice feature called News in Numbers: the top mentioned stories in the last 7 days in companies, sector, people and tags.

The news source seems to be the top wires such as Reuters and AFP. However users can comment on each news story and Google map widget will show you the location where the story happened or main effect is. 

Here is a break down into what each channel has:

  • BUSINESS Channel has sub categories such as Economy, Real Estate Energy, Banking & Investment, Transportation, Industry, Consumer, Culture & Leisure. Etc.
  • The MAKTOOBFN includes: Companies, Markets, Commodities. This channel includes market data for FROEX and the regional stock exchanges
  • Sports: sports news, I do not know how it is related to business?
  • RESOURCES channel includes Polls, recent Events in the region, Company Announcements and jobs.
  • NEWS includes: Gulf, Middle East, and South Asia.
  • PHOTOS: related to the latest business news in the region.

The design of the site is very nice and much better than before. However one thing I think they need to improve is the search, I tried to find an article that was posted last year but could not find.

Maktoob Business competes with other business regional portals such as Zawya  and AmeInfo . From them I see Zawya being in top, as it is easier to navigate and find what you want and has richer content, though many features of Zawya requires paid subscriptions.

Maktoob Business has evolved over time, it was based on Maktoob’s acquisition  of a regional business portal (Unfortunately I forgot its name) that used to syndicate companies’ press releases, and used to be run by 2 men. 

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  1. David  |  April 29th, 2009 at 8:54 PM #

    Many thanks for your review of the Web site – it is greatly appreciated.

    We have really just got going, so you can expect many more features over the next few months.

    However already I think you will find news breaking on the site much more quickly than anywhere else.

    The key difference with Zawya – and I would agree it is a great site – is that they do not have any journalists – their content is syndicated copy from other media outlets.

    We have a team of journalists in Dubai – and a Night Editor in the US so we can keep the site running 24/7 with breaking stories – both original and from the wires.

    Many thanks once again for your review. It was very interesting to read – and we shall work on the search…

  2. Mita  |  April 30th, 2009 at 8:23 AM #

    Thanks for this article – discovered your blog by chance and am subscribing to it now.

    As a PR agency – blogs like yours is very useful.

    Thank you for the service.

  3. Maktoob Upgrades its Business Portal | ArabCrunch « euraktiva  |  April 30th, 2009 at 2:45 PM #

    […] via Maktoob Upgrades its Business Portal | ArabCrunch. […]

  4. Gaith Saqer  |  April 30th, 2009 at 4:55 PM #

    @David you are welcomed. True Zawya ‘s content is a syndicated copy from others, but there is nothing wrong with that. Though it would be better if it is mixed with original content. what they have done well for example is that it is easy to find news related to a specific company specially the public ones. I think you should look into that feature. Divide news based on a stock market and based on each company. So it would be easier for investors to spot the news of their investments. Wish you all the best.

    @mita Thank you, comments like this keep us going 🙂

  5. Samer  |  May 9th, 2009 at 2:03 PM #

    The site bears a strong resemblance to The Guardian… the navigation and the color thematic approach.

  6. David  |  May 9th, 2009 at 2:24 PM #

    Yes Samer, we liked the Guardian’s approach. What we liked about is that after we refined it, we could use to allow the user through the same top nav bar to get to vertical homepages that would be of particular interest to them.

    So you can go to Business, and the options of the sub nav bar will change. Click on Media, for example, and the options again will change – to Publishing, online etc.

    It is an elegant menu system – used by more than just the Guardian – but not by anyone else in the Middle East as far as we know – and perfect for our needs.

  7. Samer  |  May 10th, 2009 at 2:59 AM #

    Thanks for this elaboration. I would have thought there was some sort of partnership because of the resemblance.

    There’s no shame is learning from the best…it’s actually smart 🙂

    It definitely is effective. I can see it being adopted by many mobile apps as well simply because it is so space efficient.

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