1978 saw the launch of two English dailies in the Gulf. While its competitor carved a special niche for itself in the market and built up a loyal readership, Gulf News remained erratic, barely surviving with a circulation of 3000. Problems were compounded with ownership changes and with no investors willing to take a risk, it was on the verge of closure.

Then, in one dramatic move the fate of Gulf News changed. In 1984, three visionary, leading businessmen of Dubai bought it over. And Gulf News was relaunched on December 10, 1985 by Al Nisr Publishing LLC. Within a few months Gulf News had new premises, new printing technology, revitalised editorial, marketing, circulation teams and production professionals to harness the new technology.

A multi-pronged marketing strategy hit the target, advertising revenues soared by over 40% in the first three months, and subscriptions took a gigantic leap. The phenomenal success of the Gulf News re-launch was so remarkable that it justifiably earned the distinction of being referred to as "a unique record in print media within the GCC".

Since then, it has established itself as the leading English language newspaper of the region - a position it has occupied for many years. This fact is validated by the latest IPSOS MediaCT – NRS-UAE 2011 survey, and the BPA Worldwide audit for the six month period ending in December 2012, confirming an average daily circulation of 107,403 from Saturdays to Thursdays, and 107,994 on Fridays. In fact, Gulf News reaches more readers than all the other English dailies, combined. In addition, the Arab  Media Outlook 2011-2015, the independent survey of Arab media published by the Dubai Press Club, rated Gulf News as “the most read newspaper” of the UAE, ahead of all other English and Arabic newspapers.