"Hear no evil, see no evil": UAE Media Censorship
According to rumours, the UAE's press is swiftly becoming a bastion of free speech. Why then, is the UAE still ranked below Yemen on the Press Freedom Index?
Much has improved in the past 2 decades, but the UAE still ranks an astonishingly dismal 137th in the world on respected free-speech organisation Reporters Sans Frontiers' Press Freedom Index, sitting below such "havens of tolerance" as Yemen, Sudan & Egypt.
At the turn of the millennium, openly recommending anything other than a "hops-based beverage" or "bottle of grape beverage" brought unwanted attention from authorities.
In an online survey in 2005, over 80% of residents agreed:
Dubai's heavy censorship is a real cause for concern.
"The problem is restriction of access" a journalist explains. "There was a big accident at the dry docks and they didn't allow us in. We reported their statement but added our eyewitness saying how many people were in the body bags. We counted 3 times the bodies acknowledged by the government!"
Dubai's press still faces a subtle pressure to avoid highlighting the uglier side of life in the city. Journalists here are always afraid of writing something will get them in trouble, so they start ignoring facts because they're worried about upsetting someone high up, be it in the Information Ministry or a business tycoon.
UAE LAW Article 70:
"No criticism shall be made against the Head of State or Rulers of the Emirates."
UAE LAW Article 84:
"It is prohibited to malign a public official, or anybody occupying a post in the public prosecution, or assigned to perform a public job. The writer shall not be held responsible if he proves he did so in good faith."
BANNED BOOKS: One of the most notorious & desirable forbidden reads is Robin Moore's 1977 blockbuster "Dubai": "Dubai. The hot spot... Where adventurers play the world's most dangerous games; Gold, sex, oil... and war." Sadly "Dubai" has been out of print for decades. The rumour is that Sheikh Rashid was so appalled by its contents, and the accuracy of its portrayal of the Creek, gold smuggling, tribal politics and so on, that he bought the rights to it to prevent further publication.
After talking to editors & journalists it becomes clear that this view is driven by 2 main factors. 90% of media staff in the UAE are non-local & therefore need a visa to work - many professionals are cowed by the prospect of deportation...
Secondly, journalists walk a tightrope, both culturally & legally, of not really knowing what they can get away with.
Journalists shy away from the region's bigger stories that are always being ignored.
> Prostitution is happening everywhere, even in Saudi Arabia.
> What about human trafficking of house maids & construction workers?
> What about money laundering?
> And the real estate boom? Who's buying these villas, sometimes 50 at once?
Also, this is an Islamic country, which has endemic prostitution.
Sensitive things such as religion, prostitution, corruption & anything on the Royal family are not touched by the media.
The fact remains that the UAE is a largely appointed society dominated by tribes and powerful families; perhaps it's understandable that, in the medium term at least, it's who you know and not what you have to say which influences the stories making it onto the newsstands.
DUBAI RUGBY 7s: where the expats go wild...
This is a FUN-TASTIC weekend not to be missed! Even if you're not a rugby fan (like myself) the annual Dubai Rugby Sevens are a fun-filled weekend with a great atmosphere and superb crowds! Come and witness Dubai's expatriate society at its most uninhibited and its best!
"Featuring 16 of the best Sevens nations in the world, the Dubai Rugby Sevens has grown into a magical sporting event that attracts fans from around the globe."
>> Dates: Thursday, 29th Nov. - Saturday, 1st Dec. 2007.
>> Venue: Dubai Rugby Exiles Ground.
>> Entertainment on & off the pitch:
Cheerleaders (yes guys, there will be short skirts) and "ZU2" (U2 tribute band)
>> Tickets: Tickets for the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens usually go on sale 6 – 8 weeks before the event.
TICKETLINE: 800 4669.
INTERNATIONAL TICKETLINE: +971-4-210 8567.
VISIT THEIR WEBSITE FOR ONLINE TICKET PURCHASE & UPDATES! What to bring along: Comfortable shoes, a light jacket (the 2006 tournament was drenched in non-stop rain!) your country's flag and a fun attitude for the day!
the world's 1st shopping and leisure resort
Mall of the emirates is the most important shopping mall in dubai.it’s larger and more well-supplied than Deira City Centre containing more then 450 big-name stores,cafés,restaurants and others.enjoy shopping,beside skiing,watching a film in Cine Star cinema,dining and spending a pleasant time in magic planet(the largest indoor amusement park in the region)on the 1st floor and DUTAC(dibai community theatre and art’s centre) on the 2nd.
YOU DON’T MISS:
Next to the taxi drop-off area on the ground floor there is the world-famous indoor Ski Dubai. the Austrians are the contractors and provides it by evaporation & condensation via a specific technology.this makes possible skiing on the natural snow on the land of heats and deserts!!
In addition to the big-name fashions as Esprit,Oxygene,Guess,Lacoste, MNG,Next,Promod, Tommy Hilfiger,Zara,Bossini,Giordano,Hang Ten,Levi’s,Timberland,Clarks,Ecco…(on the ground floor),Benetton,Burberry,Dior,CK,Deisel,DNKY,Escada,Gucci,Olsen,Versace,Hugo Boss,…(on the 1st floor),on the ground floor you see Virgin mega store for musics,audio-visual productions& electronics,the big french hypermarket “Carrefour” and a fast food court include KFC,Mc Donald’s,and many others with numbers of spread cafés for rest.Aminian Persian Carpet, National Iranian Carpet,and Persian Carpet House are located on the 1st floor above the Carrefour.there is also a spacious food court where you can taste international food as Lebanese,japonese,Iranian,Chinese…
Furthermore you see many jewelry,watch,optical,lingerie and swimwear stores throughout the mall.
in this mall according to the law,you should wear shoulder & knee covered clothing,no kissing or overt displays of affection,no smoking and consumption alcohol.
sun-wed 10-22,thur-sat 10-24
CineStar cinema:10-1 AM
DUTAC:0097143414777 every thing you can imagine... the prices are different,suitable and amazing!
... JAMMIN' TILL THE NIGHT IS THROUGH
Wonderful, free-flowing live music. A gorgeous setting. And an unpretentious crowd made up of appreciative music lovers. When you've lived in Dubai long enough, you really begin to cherish little gems like Peanut Butter Jam. A Friday-night get-together that's a world away from stuffy, dressy clubland, PBJ honestly feels like an intimate jam session at your best friend's place. A talented roster of musicians strum and wail their way through an enjoyable set of acoustic rock and jazz on the rooftop at Wafi.
Highlight performers include Frankie and the Boys (with Frankie invigorating smatterings of Sade, Nina Simone and Ella Fitzgerald in her own imitable style) and The Blues Drivers, who lend their own stamp of inventiveness to timeless classics by The Police, Bob Marley, and the like.
There are food and alcohol stands on all sides of the make-shift "stadium". Bean bags are thrown all over the steps leading down to the stage, and in fact, surround most of the area close to the stage as well. Uber-casual and unrushed, you could even pop on over to Seville's for some sangria and return to the music between sets. I, for one, hope this jam is gonna' last... :-) Come as you are!
Best Sushi in town!
Here you find the best sushi in town!
If you would like to sit at a table you should make sure to have a reservation. If you don't mind sitting at the sushi bar, then you can risk, just to "walk-in" and find a free spot.
An absolute must to try! Their CrabMisoSoup Edamame
Sushi and Sashimi (everything is delicious!)