Geevarghese Philip Malayil Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: An Indian expatriate was on the verge of calling the police to report what he thought was a phone scam only to realise later on that he indeed had won at Gulf News’ ‘It All Adds Up’ mega subscription promotion.

Geevarghese Philip Malayil, 43, has been a subscriber of Gulf News for the past 13 years and has read countless news stories warning people against phone scams in the UAE.

So when he got a call on Sunday morning that he was the first winner of the 250,000 Etihad Guest Miles from Gulf News, he immediately hung up.

“Since there were Gulf News reports about the telephone call scams before and the Etihad Miles draw was newly introduced, at first I was hesitant to believe this news of winning. I told him [Gulf News Promotions officer] that I would believe it only when the winner’s name would be published in the online or print edition and I hung up immediately,” Malayil, who works in Dubai Customs, told Gulf News.

Ten minutes later, Gulf News contacted him again but Malayil got even more suspicious. Despite assurances that an official from Dubai Economy witnessed the draw and was there to speak to him, he politely declined.

Gulf News tried once again to tell Malayil that the newspaper delivery man would call him to confirm the news.

But he responded: “Being a responsible resident, I told him that I would inform the police if it is wrong information and I hung up again.”

It took a while before the vigilant Gulf News subscriber realised that the call was genuine. He called Gulf News back.

A voracious reader of daily news since he was a young boy of eight, Malayil said he enjoys reading the paper first thing in the morning before leaving his residence in Ajman to go to work in Dubai every day.

This unexpected win, his first in any raffle, will give him and his family a chance to fly to Paris for free, he said.

“My wife and I with our two daughters will be flying for the first time to Europe this summer. I consider it as Gulf News’ gift to our family,” Malayil, who is also a blogger, said.

‘It All Adds Up’

Gulf News has given away three brand new Audi A4 to three lucky subscribers as part of this year’s subscription campaign.

Three more subscribers, new and those renewing their subscription, may win 250,000 Etihad Guest Miles each in the remaining three weekly draws on March 10, 17 and 24.

One lucky subscriber will get a chance to win a fully-furnished, brand-new one-bedroom apartment by Damac on the Grand Draw on April 10.

Huge savings

Apart from the winnings, Gulf News subscribers also get savings worth Dh500 in vouchers or discounts, including two vouchers (worth Dh50 each) for Nando’s; Dh200 voucher for VLCC; Dh100 off on selected products of Omron; and Dh100 off on Zomato Gold Membership.

To Subscribe: Visit, call 600 587234, or email