Dubai: It has already got 3,883 likes on Facebook. And it hasn't even been launched. That's Uth Mag for you - a Dubai-based online youth magazine which will kick off in the first week of August.
The ‘For the students, by the students' magazine already boasts a 95-strong manpower, comprising only students from schools and universities across Dubai.
"UthMag.com is not a magazine or a portal or a website, it is an experience, a transition, for students [in the UAE] to realise their potential," says Gorav Gulati, 28, Founder and CEO of Uth Mag.
"As soon as you graduate from high school, you are expected to know exactly what you want to do in college. And when you are done with college, you are expected to get into the real world. But in reality, the students are lost due to a lack of ‘transition'. Uth Mag is the bridge that brings forth that transition," says Gulati.
The magazine currently carries out its pre-launch operations from a room in Global Youth Empowering Movement (GYEM) centre at Dubai Festival City. "Our first office was a coffee shop in Mirdif, where we had all our meetings, brainstorming sessions and the occasional debates, too," recalls Gulati.
He says the magazine will cover "anything and everything youth". "From articles, to videos, to sound bites, to poetry… you name it and it'll be there."
Slackers no more
He feels society often looks at youth as a de-motivated lot or ‘slackers' and one of the chief objectives of the venture is to change that perception by encouraging and helping students to realise their potential.
"There is no publication or website or media organisation [in the region] that only targets the youth, which leaves a void in the market and we are here to fill that void."
He is not daunted by the fact he is running an organisation devoid of seasoned professionals. "The youth have a lot of power and we are here to prove just that.
"We are in the conceptualisation stage of many ‘firsts', not only for Dubai or the Middle East, but for the world. Keep watching!"
Sharing the vision and also the load of bringing out the magazine is friend and co-founder Manjit Singh, 28. Both are former students of Our Own English High School Dubai.
"During school, Gorav and I always wanted to do something together but did not know which direction to go. Since we've been through the same thing of not knowing what to do, this platform seemed perfect for helping out other students. So I decided to go on board with Uth Mag."
Meanwhile, social networks are already abuzz with news of the site which Gulati describes as the "virtual chill spot" for the youth in the region.
Students at Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) are already excited about Uth Mag. Hardik Rathod, 20, third year BBA at Heriot-Watt University, is already a fan. "Yes, I'm excited. I've visited their workplace, and it's pretty amazing. People can walk in, play pool, table tennis, no charges; they organise different events and the promotion has been amazing. I've won like two-three movie tickets and an Xbox game."
The writer is an intern at XPRESS