A partnership between the UAE government, the Galadari Brothers and the Dawn Group of Companies began publishing the daily on 16 April, 1978, making it the first English daily in the UAE. The founding team consisted to Mr. Muzammil Ahmed, Director, Mr M.J. Zahedi, Acting Editor, and Mr. Iqbal Noorie in charge of circulation. They were soon joined by Mr. Malcolm Payne, Editor.
The Editorial staff of the paper includes multiple nationalities, mostly from the Indian subcontinent (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka), but also local Emiratis, other Arabs (notably Egyptians, Syrians and Jordanians), Lebanese, Mexicans, British, Americans and Filipinos. The broadsheet comprises the general news section, City Times (lifestyle and entertainment), an accomplished Business section, a lively Sport section, the WKND magazine, and a Classifieds section (Buzzon). Khaleej Times is not audited and it is believed to print around 150,000 copies, making it one of the most popular English language newspapers in the Persian Gulf area. Additionally, it covers Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia through a dedicated distribution network. The newspaper also consists of Special Reports and Supplements which allow for community advertisements and other services. Its main competitors are 7DAYS (Please note 7DAYS officially closed from 22-Dec-16), The National and Gulf News.
The Ipsos data in 2009 showed that the paper had a readership of 78.8%. The paper has an extremely strong digital footprint, and khaleejtimes.com ranked as No. 16th most popular website in the UAE on January 4, 2018 (Alexa data), ahead of its competitors (none of which was ranked in Top 20 as of January 4, 2018). The online version was the 21st mostly visited website for 2010 in the MENA region.
As part of a restructuring process, Khaleej Times laid off up to 30 staff in restructure in late 2016 and now is on an aggressive growth plan. As part of the plan, senior media professional Ravi Raman was appointed as Senior Vice-President in April 2017. Shishir Kapadia was elevated to the position of Senior Vice-President - Finance & Operations in the first week of 2018. Executive Editor Vicky Kapur is currently in-charge of the Editorial operations.
Young Times, which Khaleej Times stopped publishing in 2008, was aimed at children and was a hugely popular magazine among the target age-group. The publishing house relaunched Young Times on January 10, 2018, after a break of over 9 years. The magazine targets 9-14 year-old school kids.