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Founder returns to Dubai lifestyle app The Entertainer

Dubai The Entertainer The Entertainer
Donna Benton launched The Entertainer in 2001 and has now returned to revive its GCC sales after previously departing in 2018
  • Discount app launched in 2013
  • Provided $110m in savings in 2021
  • Works with 10,000 merchants

The founder of The Entertainer, a Dubai tech business that offers thousands of lifestyle product discounts, has returned as CEO to steer the company through a shake-up as it seeks to revive sales.

Donna Benton launched the Entertainer in 2001 and played a pivotal role in its success before her departure in 2018. 

Now she is back and says she is excited to “reinvigorate and steer the company towards a new phase of growth” by focusing on the ‘buy one, get one free’ deals that defined the brand during her first tenure. 

Previous CEO Ahmed Gaber stepped down less than a year after his appointment when he was tasked to lead expansion plans into Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

A “comprehensive re-evaluation” of the company’s strategic direction has now led to Benton’s return. Her priority is consolidating its position in the GCC.

Benton said: “We are confident in our ability to further strengthen our position as a leading player in the industry.”

The Entertainer, which operates in the UAE, GCC countries and Singapore, offers millions of members access to more than 10,000 merchants. They provide buy one, get one free offers to restaurants, cafes, night spots, attractions, beauty, fitness and hotel accommodation.

Although Benton declined to give specific figures, she admitted the company had been through a “dip due to different factors”.

“I am excited about the journey ahead and look forward to making a positive impact once again,” she added.

Five years after leaving the Entertainer, Benton said the GCC market had undergone “significant transformations”.

She added that In the midst of the ongoing cost of living challenges, the demand for buy one, get one free offers remains “robust”. 

Asked whether she had any reservations about rejoining the brand she founded, Benton told AGBI it was “an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up”.

Hisham Alrayes, chairman of The Entertainer, added: “We are pleased to have Donna back as a shareholder and as our new CEO. With her broad and unique expertise, we believe will be extremely valuable for the company.”

According to latest figures available, The Entertainer app, which launched in 2013, had four million views per month. It provided $110 million in customer savings in 2021 alone through six million redemptions.