17 April, 2008

New paper - the national

Today is the launch of The National, a new Abu Dhabi based newspaper;
Their website is up and running and is worth a look.


Anonymous said...

I hope this paper focuses on positive sides of the UAE rather than publishing rants on bad driving, high rents, TRA etc.

The paper should only contain positive reviews of Govt agencies like TRA, RTA, and should not publish anything that tarnishes the image of the country

Dubai Entrepreneur said...

@anon, heh..

It actually looks like a decent paper. It's a pity that they are keeping with the broadsheet size. Then again, Newland appears to be more of a conservative when it comes to these things.

the real nick said...

I fully agree with anonymous ^.

Newspapers in the UAE should be positive and eulogize the government rather than criticise. What's all this criticism anyway? It just gives you ulcers.
The journals should highlight the beautiful roads and bridges of the Emirates rather than always write about the cars on them, who wants to knwo about cars that stand still? I want to read about the excellent bus shelters which will provide hours of entertainment and comfort to thousands of Filipinas and Indian workers. I want to read about Sheikh Mohammed's horses, please, a lot. We don't care about inflation because as long as the locals get subsidies on fourteen food items we are happy and grateful to them for welcoming us to their country. We want to read about what locals do with the extra money saved by not paying utility bills. This would be a really interesting lifestyle article to see what cars they spend this money on.

See, there are so many good things to write about. Yes, we need more newspapers like Gulf News, and I am grateful and praise the powers that be for showering onto us this latest offering, in print no less, because there are always problems with the internet anyway.

19thfloordubai said...

from Kipp

DXBluey said...

the site looks good and i know they have the journos to make a decent paper...

would help if I could find an actual paper copy to buy though...

Seabee said...

I agree with dxbluey, months of lead-up to the big launch today - where the hell can I find a paper copy.

Anonymous said...


i*maginate said...

Can all u expats stop moaning please.

(thought I'd write that before someone else beats me to it)

Keefieboy said...

Anon @ 10.55: Toady 2? I don't think that's needed.
I~maginate: No.

Proud Emirati said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rosh said...

here we go again...

Proud Emirati said...

No no, this newspaper should focus on issues like:

How it is insulting not to know Arabic in an Arab country, how it is threatining to be a minority in ur country, how all those projects are actually worsening the demography of the county, Emirati political enrolement, Emirati concerns, Emirati freedom of speech, empowring Emiratis, how expatriates strip Emiratis from their beaches and shopping malls, how to reduce the number of expatriates, the discrimination against Emiratis in terms of pay, political corruption, how politicans exploit Emiratis, how politicans take advantages of the country resouces to their personal benefits, how the government abuse the national identity, etc.

Yea, those things "The National" should be discussing.

Proud Emirati said...

Also how to educate expatriates and tourists about the culture and values of this country.

How Emirati demand banning nighclubs and alcohol and how they demand a dress code.

Btw, I remember calling a radio station years ago about banning alcohol. They said that they cannot discuss such topics. Freedom of speech, my ar$e.

Proud Emirati said...

See, it is Emirati concenrs that are the most underrepresented in the media and Government ar$e licking news as the most overrepresented.

Proud Emirati said...

On a positive note, let the media bashing war between Abu Dhabi and Dubai begin.

Sorry for ranting !!

rosh said...

"How it is insulting not to know Arabic in an Arab country, how it is threatining to be a minority in ur country, how all those projects are actually worsening the demography of the county, Emirati political enrolement, Emirati concerns,"

In my opinion this sort of coverage, for the most part, has been spoon fed to readers over and over again - plus this is nothing new. That said, this issue didn't occur overnight. It's given the ways of life (or lack thereof) over the decades. Over the years, hardly anything constructive seems to be done to help bring about larger awareness of local culture, customs, language and so on. For instance, from correspondence with my local friends, who growing up, would speak to me in English, even though, I'd try and exchange a few local phrases.

Recently I'd requested my best local friend, who flew into NYC to bring with him a copy of Freej season one - he bought along a copy of some slimy Bollywood DVD for his own viewing bleasures :)

Jokes aside: I think the society need to understand WHY local culture/customs seem nonexistent or at best, ambiguous to most expats. Get back to the basics at schools across the UAE - make Arabic compulsory, and have a local teacher, not some Egyptian (no offense to Egyptians). In my days at high school, at the O & the A's, we had a choice of Arabic or French. I chose Arabic, and our teacher, pretty much sucked! She would spell out Arabic words in English - so that we could pronounce it correctly, go figure.

You wanna get people accustomed to your culture, you've got to take added initiatives. It takes two to tango!

"the discrimination against Emiratis in terms of pay, political corruption, how politicians exploit Emiratis, how politicans take advantages of the country resouces to their personal benefits, how the government abuse the national identity,"

Yup, I truly wanna read all about it! No kidding.

Proud Emirati said...

^^ rosh, seriously, if there was an enough coverage about the first points I mentioned u wouldn't see people coming with this stupid face protesting about the reasons why the demography of the country is a problem.

secretdubai said...

Here's my take (link goes to the comments page for those proxybloxified - just click "show original post" to read).

Basically I think it is as good as can be expected, which given the current situation of media (lack of) freedom, is not particularly good at all.

Proud Emirati said...

continuing my previous post

If what ur saying is true then you wouldn't see them telling us that English is a universal language so we should shutup and accept reality. They wouldn't come with their boring phrase "live and let live" when police arrest some people kissing in public, Emirati complain about tourists lack of clothes or when a movie is banned.

I don't know what can u say about (the fact that the majority of expatriates are not aware of those things_ if it wasn't for the non-existent media role in addressing Emirati concerns.

Now I really look like a troll :P is there a way to merge my posts. hehehe

DUBAI JAZZ said...

This goes out for Sam:

ABU DHABI // Inmates in Abu Dhabi prisons are being served “five-star hotel” quality meals, from menus designed by nutritionists, as a wider strategy to give prisoners dignity is introduced.
The food at the emirate’s three prisons is being provided by the Abu Dhabi National Hotels Company, which caters to leading hotels including the Hilton International and Sheraton hotels in Abu Dhabi.

....full article

samuraisam said...

dubai jazz: I've already read that.

Jayne said...

Nice comment Nick & ditto for Keef. I really am weary of the hypocrisy of many Emiratis I come across. If I had a dirham for every time I've been told "don't publish this" or "just cut out/blur us drinking alcohol", swiftly followed by "don't show that photo because my girlfriend's in it" (by married men) I'd be a wealthy woman by now.
I'm here, I abide by the rules of the country, I respect the religious aspects, especially during Ramadan, but what do I get in return? Very few Emiratis have shown me the respect I've shown them & one thing that I have learned during the past 3yrs is that if a local can make my life uncomfortable or difficult, he will, simply because he can.

Proud Emirati said...

^^ That is unfortunate to hear. Emiratis who drink are the worst in the society, I really wonder how do u stick with them? The number of Emiratis I know who drink are 2 only.

Last time I checked, the vast majority of Emiratis do not drink or have gf if they are married.

Lirun said...

proud emirati i think ur points are interesting..

perhaps they can be discussed more often in this blog..

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Sam, do you think the articles about Cat Lahoy and the concurrent uproar were the reasons behind such move to improve jail conditions? (that's assuming they have actually been improved..)

i*maginate said...

p.e., the locals I know of are @ the other end of the spectrum. A lot drink at nightclubs, go to bars in national dress (even during Ramadan), have multiple girlfriends, smoke shisha, bluetooth girls, chat girls up cruising on jumeirah beach road (lowered black tint windows, u know what I mean). Some even drink & drive.

I am in AD right now. Going down Musaffah Road, a guy in an Infiniti lowered his window - I don't think he was interested in my car.

Though you have some points, there's no need to bring expats into the equation. It's like blaming the actions listed above on expats. I know many expats who do *none* of the above, and many locals who do *all* of the above.

Your comments are *very* disrespectful towards expats and although you might be a *good guy* individually, your 'values' do not necessarily represent the majority, at least in my experience - as some bloggers here would agree with.

It's a sad state of affairs - but it's a reality you deny.

Emirates said...

^^ I think I am confident that what I say is what the majority would believe in. I mean I myself wouldn't rant about those stuff in the presence of expatriates because that would be offending so just because u didn't get to see that in reality doesn't mean it doesn't exist. The majority of Emiratis (like over 90%) don't go the extreme of drinking alcohol or going to night clubs. You know, the ones who u might not get to see in reality because they barely know English or work in the government. Chasing girls and smoking shisha (a new and annoying habit) is little different though :P

The fact that you know those guys is another indication to prove my point because the majority of the Emiratis only deal with expatriates, with a very low interactions, at work.

Let me make my point clear about expatriates.when I say expatriates I usually refer to western expatriates and western wannabe expatriates. The majority of them, at least from what I see are so disrespectful. The vast majority of expatriates are well behaved.

Expatriates are not the only one to blame, I said that earlier. The government and the Emiratis are first to blame for (1) allowing this to happen (2) not educating the Emiratis about it. Expatriates are only bringing their unwanted habits because this is how they live. Unfortunately we have many embarrassing Emiratis who took the bait.

My own conclusion is that those Emiratis who drink are either the very low class who have nothing to do or the very high class who can do everything they want to do. One of my close relatives drinks and I accidentally knew. No one knows about it because he try to keep it a secret. In my view, even those Emiratis will not object banning such stuff because they know, deep in their heart that what they are doing is wrong.

The only Emiratis who will object the ban are either the so called liberal Emiraits, who have a twisted understanding of Islam, they are very very few btw, or the Emirati businessmen who would do anything to earn money.

rosh said...

Thank you so much i* - I've been trying to type a response the past couple of hours, and didn't know how to put forth, without causing heartburn to some folks here.

Thank you for saying that - it's honest, nicely said.

Proud Emirati said...

^^ damn, I used my other ID again

Emirates said...

btw, I am very calm and peaceful in reality. The reason why my responses appear to be aggressive is the result of the annoying, irritating disrespectful post that usually come before.

No wonder cg use that language with u guys.

rosh said...

"The majority of Emiratis (like over 90%)"

There are bad apples in every basket. And just based on what I've seen/experienced, am having a rather difficult time with that %age.

That said - I think you shall agree, morality (given your definition of morality) has gone south, more so with the current generation. Many aspects of your culture the older generation valued, that made this place special, is missing. In fact, if you look, it's mostly about fast life, flashy cars and those i* pointed out - the culture you speak off is rotting inside out, in them. I agree, it is not so with the majority, however it isn't just 10% as you claim. Also, I just want to say I have local friends who enjoy a drink or two, they are lovely, respectful, hardworking folks with self made careers. Drinking does not automatically make someone *bad*.

Lastly, cultures evolve ya know. I wasn't trying to be critical, just trying to say, not everyone is holy everywhere.

Proud Emirati said...

^^ From an Emirati perspective, yeah drinking is very bad, one of the worst habit someone do actually. They are considered pathetic and hopeless by any Emirati standard. No one would accept their daughter to be married by such guys. It wouldn't be surprising if u didn't know that too.

I illustrated the reason why their number look high in my previous posts. Emiratis who u might came across in those places are no where part of the mainstream. Those you deal with are no where like the average typical Emirati simply because u as a non-UAE national wouldn't be dealing with the average typical Emirati in the first place.

Though I have couple of friends who go to clubs just to watch but they never drink or dance.

Cultures evolve, that's true but in my view, anything that is inconsistent with Islam in the UAE should never be accepted, anything else can be tolerated. Go to every Arabic Emirati forum and u'd see that 100% would agree with that.

I have a friend who is making a survey about Emirati view on alcohol and night clubs. The result so far is 78% who are against it I think. But if u take inconsideration that the questionnaire was in English and part of the target group were internet users then the result is understandable.

rosh said...

"Those you deal with are no where like the average typical Emirati simply because u as a non-UAE national wouldn't be dealing with the average typical Emirati in the first place"


Seriously, you need to see things for what they are. I was about to list the locals I know, but I really don't care clarify anymore, it's futile.

DUBAI JAZZ said...

I know local people either from work, the local mosque or the shisha place. Does that make all locals hard-working, devoted to Allah, shisha smoking folks?

Proud Emirati said...

^^ Don't get me wrong. All what am saying is that the majority of Emiratis don't even have Expatriate friends so u wouldn't even know if they are drinking in the first place. That is why am saying that the Emiratis u deal with are no were typical.

DUBAI JAZZ said...

I am asking you this here because I don't have other means of getting in touch with you: what do you think of the speech of Major Dhahi Khalfan in the national identity conference?

Proud Emirati said...

^^ that was for rosh and not dubai jazz

Proud Emirati said...

DUBAI JAZZ, am leaving now. The answer to ur question would need a new post. So, laters !!

Proud Emirati said...

DUBAI JAZZ, Dhahi have said many stuff so I don't know exactly what ur referring to. Did u watch the conference or only read about it in the media? In general what he said is what Emiratis say behind the closed doors.

I cannot believe that he said it without the approval of Sheikh Mohammed.

rosh said...

PE: I've always believed you are infact Major Tamim, 'cause you sure do sound like him :p

Proud Emirati said...

^^ u mean Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan ;)

rosh said...

Read between the lines PE, meaning you aren't The Lieutenant General (yet), though getting there :p

.... and what in the world is ^^ imply?

Proud Emirati said...

^^ means that am replying to the post above me.

I understood that, I was only saying that Dahi is a Lt. General and not a Major, that's all.

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Proud Emarati,
I read about Lieutenant Major Dhahi Khalfan's speech here.

The comments are super-interesting as well! I fully agree with you that he must've gotten the green light to say what he'd to say.
But the facts and the warnings he'd put forward to the leaders are quite sobering (if not controversial to some people…). But I think you'd know better than me...hence the question...

rosh said...

Hmmmm more than a few not too kind subcon sentiments and perhaps has "some" validity. I like comments 40 & 400 for saying it like it is - 419 for points raised. Nice to read a few crazies in the comments section. That said, the white elephant in the room cannot be ignored no mo, for DI is indeed a problemo.

Anonymous said...

The question is:

- How much does dahi khalfan have in his bank account ?

- Didn't he once say Israel is our friend/neighbour ? when will he say that alcohol must be served in every mall/supermarket/grocery/restaurant ?

- He always keeps on saying that satellite channels must be banned! so why not check Dubai/AD TV as a start during DSF and ramadhan and compare it to other channels and see which one shows more nudity and ass shaking ?

- When was the last time you saw him on the streets with other police men ?

- Do you really think all the crap published in the newspaper is true ? or are they just trying to calm down the emiratis for couple of weeks and they'll forget about it ?

- They always say speeding kills, and blame the seatbelts, but never mention anything about alcohol/drugs. (DXBPOL=MC3)

This is where we are at:

* Trustworthiness will be lost, i.e. when authority is given to those who do not deserve it.

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Hmmmmm, did you have a crash course in Arabic or something?

Anonymous said...

Did anyone see that Lev Leviev is being allowed to opened a diamond shop on the Palm?


For people who don't know, Leviev is an Israeli billionaire, whose other company - in construction - is responsible for building settler camps in the West Bank, including on the agricultural lands of Jayyous. His stores in New York have pickets every week from Friends of Palestine.

I'm really shocked he's coming to Dubai. Can money buy anything?

Anonymous said...

Sol Kerzner is a very well known prominent Jew. He's partnered with Isthimar (doing the Palm Atlantis).

Dubai world bought a huge part of MGM, Kerkorian yet another prominent Jew.

Just as a couple of examples - There are way more if we want to talk about KSA, but that's another story.

Moral of this story - At a certain financial level, religion and politics go away.

Lirun said...

i wish it wasnt just between rich people and conglomerates but also between armies and militias and just as importantly between individuals..

ColOman said...

When I am invited to someone's house I have to respect their rules..... I never go spitting in their house...if I dont like their rules I leave their house and thank them for having me over....

Get out of this region if you dont respect our ways.

Dubai Entrepreneur said...

proud emirati,

GROW UP, will you? People drink. Emirati or otherwise. Since when did drinking become a measure of 'goodness'?

Many Emirati's are spoiled and so naturally would act irresponsibly. Most of them are young and that only increases the level of recklessness. So, give me a break!

Expats are not in their country, so naturally would be more cautious.

I understand you're mr. no-drink-no-smoke.. but, seriously, that's not how most people measure the worth of a human.

// this message is typed while sipping on a Chivas glass on the rocks, thank you very much!


Proud Emirati said...

^^ I didn't consult u about "how to measure humans" did I?

Proud Emirati said...

and yea, drinking is a measure of goodness, in this society.

Proud Emirati said...

so save ur breath instead of making fool of urself because u obviously don't know what ur talking about.

rosh said...

Col - there is a significant difference in "being a guest" and that being in nation to make a living - as well as to help develop and contribute towards it's growth in the global arena. People need certain basic liberties, for the minds/bodies to function - and one amongst that is balanced/transparent journalism.

That said, the large majority do respect & appreciate ways of life in the UAE, not sure who've told you otherwise!

Anonymous said...

Proud Emarati,

I am Emarati and I do not drink or sleep with women outside of marriage. BUT, the majority of people I know are not exactly angels. alot of them drink and or have sex outside of marriage.
These people are not from a specific segments of our society.
I would say atleast 40% drink and atleast 50% have or had sex outside marriage.

This doesnt mean they are bad people cause I have met really religious emarati men who beat their wives and dont spend time with their children.
So my point is this is not how we should judge people and our men and women are not angels as you might think

i*maginate said...

*dubai_entrepreneur is a gent who does 'respect' the 'ways' of 'this region' as far as one can tell from his blog & comments.

For a highly-skilled entrepreneur who's set up a profitable company over the span of 2 years to be contemplating leaving the UAE says a lot.

B.D. said...

From an Emirati perspective, yeah drinking is very bad, one of the worst habit someone do actually. They are considered pathetic and hopeless by any Emirati standard. No one would accept their daughter to be married by such guys. It wouldn't be surprising if u didn't know that too.

For some reason, Proud Emirati, you've taken it upon yourself to be the arbiter of what a real Emirati is. This, from the start, is false logic. It simply reflects an intolerance--or more likely an inability--to hear the views of others. You have to understand, that there are a variety of viewpoints and attitudes among individuals regardless of what cultural group they belong to.

Anonymous said...

Don't let the comment sections at UAE Community blog become a surrogate place for "arguing" the likes at SD's blog.

It seems as though those who went there and b-llsh-tted have no place to go so come here to do it now.

Those in charge, don't let that happen! (That means you too, SD).

It's funny, the same topics that came up at her blog are coming up here in the same fashion. Blggers, don't fall for it.

It seems that whoever had a hand in letting things get out of hand over at SD are letting, or coming here and letting, it creep in here.

We want to keep this blog, don't we?

secretdubai said...

So my point is this is not how we should judge people and our men and women are not angels as you might think

No people are angels anywhere in the world, regardless of race, religion, or degree of civilisation/sophistication. Emiratis are no worse or better than any others. We are all humans, we are all equal to one another.

Regarding the argument moving from my blog to here, see my comment here. Ironically shifting the more heated discussions to here was actually my intention three years ago when I started UAE comm. But that was after getting unblocked. Now I'm permanently blocked it makes me more nervous for the future of this place.

But that is no excuse for people to be silent. If they block UAE comm and rip away the meagre freedom of speech that we have in the UAE, then we will have to find some way to get it back.

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