That’s the successful theory behind the UAE’s favourite buy one, get one free voucher book and app as it releases the 2016 edition.
If you’re not, you’ve probably been spending a lot more on feeding yourself than is necessary.
That said, the app is just as useful and economically viable for a family visiting the UAE for a holiday. And – depending on which book/app you get – there’s a lot more than dining out deals up for grabs.
The range of products available in the UAE includes Entertainer Dubai, Entertainer Dubai Fine Dining, Entertainer Dubai Kids, Entertainer Dubai Body, Entertainer Abu Dhabi and Entertainer Abu Dhabi Body.
With more than 5,000 buy one, get one free offers for restaurants, cafés, nightspots, attractions, leisure activities, spas, fitness, hotel accommodation and more, the Entertainer delivers at least 2million AED in savings across the UAE.
“The best thing is that you don’t have to use all the offers to recover the cost of the product,” says founder and CEO Donna Benton.
“So even though the offers are valid for a whole year, tourists still find it a smart option to buy the Entertainer for short visits.”
But at the heart of the venture’s appeal is the expat audience – whatever the pay grade or nationality, everyone loves a deal.
You could easily save the cost of the Entertainer within a month of two of restaurant visits; and if you use the kids or travel versions, you’ll join the thousands of people who save millions of dirhams on their leisure pursuits each year.
“It is human nature to look for value for money, no matter how much you earn,” says Donna, who initially launched the Entertainer as an incentive for customers to visit merchants.
“Our customers’ positive response and our growth has shown us that everyone loves saving money irrespective of whether they need to or not. And I say, why not? It’s smart to save – you never know when a rainy day will come along.”
The Entertainer series – first launched in Dubai but now available as over numerous products in several countries – has made Donna one of the UAE’s most celebrated entrepreneurs.
What began as a one-woman venture in 2001 now employs more than 150 people worldwide with the Entertainer available across the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe, including Qatar, Hong Kong, Oman, Cape Town, London, Jeddah and Riyadh.
The enthusiastic Australian recalls being “in the right place at the right time” when the job she came over from Melbourne for didn’t work out.
And in Dubai, the Entertainer has evolved with the location as hundreds more businesses have appeared.
“It’s such a dynamic city. There’s always something new happening here – be it a new restaurant with a novel cuisine, a new experience or treatment – and people love experimenting. The success of the Entertainer shows that people in Dubai love keeping up with their city.”
2014 saw the introduction of the Entertainer in app form for iOS, Android, Windows and BlackBerry. The take-up was better than expected – saving a few trees in the process.
An interesting result has been the increase in use by visitors. “For tourists, the app is definitely a smart choice because it means they don’t have to carry around books when they’re sightseeing.
“They probably won’t have a car to leave the books in, and they’ll be out seeing the city the whole day. The app is definitely convenient.
The main market remains the resident, though, with the Entertainer proving a good incentive to find new activities and dining choices.
“One of the things we tell our customers the most is that with the Entertainer, they can become tourists in their own city.
“Dubai’s offering in terms of restaurants, entertainment, spa, and leisure activities is huge. A lot of our customers say they’ve found their favourite spots through the Entertainer.”
That’s important for the retailers too. “Our offers encourage customers to visit new places for the first time, take friends or family with them or to go back to their favourite outlet more than once, all of which generates more revenue for the merchant.”
Entertainer Dubai 2016 includes over 2,300 BOGOF offers for family favourites including Carluccio’s, Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, Noodle House, Chili’s and Butcher Shop & Grill, plus more in Dubai and the Northern Emirates. New merchants include Papa John’s, Crab Tavern, Galito’s, Johnny Rocket’s and Kidzania.
App: AED 395 | Book: AED 495
Entertainer Dubai Fine Dining 2016 showcases over 900 offers for fine dining restaurants and up market bars, including renowned names such Asia Asia, El Sur, The Meat Co. and The Ivy. Among new inclusions for 2016 are Zero Gravity, Nineteen, 360 and Abd El Wahab. App: AED 395 | Book: AED 495
Entertainer Dubai Kids 2016 features over 950 dining, entertainment and education offers for children including KidZania, Ski Dubai, Rainforest Café, Chuck E. Cheese’s, Wild Wadi, Burger King, and Fun City.
App: AED 225 | Book: AED 325
Entertainer Dubai Body 2016 features 950 plus beauty & fitness offers including massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, fitness classes, teeth whitening and beach passes. Brands include Heavenly Spa by Westin, ShuiQi Spa & Fitness at Atlantis, Tips and Toes, Anantara Spa, Mojo Pilates, Bab Al Shams and Fitness First. Offers can be redeemed with a friend, or you can buy one treatment and get the second free at a later date. App: AED 295 | Book: AED 395
Entertainer Abu Dhabi Body 2016 features over 400 offers for spas, beauty, fitness and more with savings up to 100,000AED. Heavenly Spa by Westin, Remede Spa, Tips & Toes, Saadiyat Beach Club and Talise Spa are included. App: AED 195 | Book: AED 295