05 October, 2008

The Dark Side?

'We've made a pact with the devil to be here. But if you're a silly girl who gets into trouble, forget it' As two Britons face a six-year sentence for indecent behaviour on a beach Carole Cadwalladr explores the dark side of Dubai....

Full story here:

55 comments:

Seabee said...

The usual mix of fact and fiction. I do wish they'd spend longer here and talk to more people so they get the full story with the true facts.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Abu Dhabi Blogger said...

Not the best written article, exaggerated, based on heresy and biased accounts of a handful of people and finally unnecessarily lengthy. YES transparency is an issue here and there is no accountability because it is a monarchy. So? Is that news to us? To anyone? As far as the issue of the British girl is concerned, YES the public should be informed of the details. However if indeed she was having sex on the beach, well then she needs to get a room. If not, then it's really sad and I seriously wonder what triggered it. I have never thought once before kissing/hugging/snuggling my partner in public here in Abu Dhabi. If we want to get laid though, we have a house. The place is evolving, has its share of issues just like London's knife crimes and Beirut's bombings. Why not go back if life is so hard?
Cheers.

samuraisam said...

anonymous: don't be an idiot.

Kyle said...

Ridiculously lengthy article, and to a certain extent out of whack.

That apart, with SD & the Underground around, it doesn't tell us something we don't already know about!

Bridget Jones said...

Erm. "Palmer's 'Bridget Jones' lifestyle endlessly examined"

How offensive!

I totally resent the parallel drawn between the lifestyle of that Palmer chick and my namesake ha!

Bridget Jones was in love with Daniel Cleaver, she wasn't sluting© around with him duh!

Love it Or LEAVE it said...

two Jumairah Jaines discussing Dubai...such a deep analysis..
WoW..


Get a life will you...

Bridget Jones said...

And so bothered to comment on the depth of the analysis eh LILI?

That makes it three of us who need to get a life ha! ;)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
DUBAI JAZZ said...

split the expat community between those who feel sympathy and those who think she deserves nothing less than a stoning.

Thanks for the link but....
...the article is seriously lacking in professionalism and is full of stereotypes, mistakes, and to some extint; sexism.

Stained said...

"and Davidson's recently published book Dubai: The Vulnerability of Success was, like Harry Potter, banned..."

Harry potter...banned!!!
Oh no...I should burn the ones I have before they throw me in jail...pathetic!!!

Talking to people who have been here for only 15years or so....also that female lives in the meadows, what she complaining about...!!!!
Talk to the expatriates who have been here for 30 years living in those old buildings in Quasis/Satwa/Karama...they'll tell you the real story of hardship...

There are many things that happen in Dubai that are not right in my opinion especially the labourers rights violation...but atleast I can step out of my house without worrying about getting stabbed unlike a few of my friends who have moved to the UK for further studies...

Proud Emirati said...

What a hypocrite, working here and still demand stuff !

I like the exaggerated part where it says that u cannot drink or eat during Ramadan. I've seen many people ordering food namely Times Square and I didn't see them getting arrested. I would've called the police to arrest them but then again, the food shouldn't be served there in the first place.

samuraisam said...

proud emirati: No you cannot eat in public during ramadan, it's a punishable offence, I went to times square during ramadan and had a rumbling stomach, I went to the food outlets and asked if there was an area I could eat in, they said no and that I could only get food takeaway--which is great in terms of convenience, just after I've arrived I could get some food, get a taxi back home, eat, get a taxi back to times square.

So, no, unless you want to break the law, you cannot eat in public.

samuraisam said...

oh wait, you didn't say they were eating food, they merely ordered it.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
DUBAI JAZZ said...

This Carole dude's article reminds me of a British journalist who was once tasked with reporting from Pakistan. And she kept mentioning how people were cautious not to offend her 'western sensibilities'. She of course failed to realize that the people's attempt to be considerate to her itself was something her own 'western sensibilities' lacked in abundance.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Proud Emirati said...

I didn't go to check if they were eating or not but it would be a relief if they can only have it for takeaway.

Having said that, still, many cannot care less about the law. My sister had an appointment in a place where they were celebrating someones birthday, now this was really offending.

Oh and I wouldnt call any place private unless its ur private home !

Mars said...

holding hands isn't illegal here. what crap.i agree with abu dhabi blogger - very biased piece which discredits even the true facts. i can't take this seriously. unfortunately, many will take it seriously.

Mars said...

PE: private spaces are private spaces, and being considerate to those not fasting is as virtuous as the non-fasters being considerate to those fasting. what were you doing at the enclosed spaces anyway if you were fasting?

Love it or Leave it (LILI) said...

Bridget,
Love the way you call me LILI, I think I will use it in the future.

I am on a vacation, and I am guilty of spending an hour brousing the net...otherwise, I have a full life, believe me ;)

hemlock said...

DJ, i wonder if yer talking about Emma Duncan :)

Kyle said...

Admin:

Is it possible to place an RSS/Feedburner on the Community Blog? This would enable readers/commenters to bookmark the site & be ready for a new label debate?

Good move with the comm-mod :)

Food for thought:

'Use your anger in a wise manner - who knows you'd end up being a genius' - Unknown :)

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Hi Hemlock, I looked up the particular piece that made me feel a bit disconcerted at the time. The dude's name is Owen Bennett Jones, nothing less than the revered BBC. Here's what she said:

"Her minders, who had obviously been mingling in the crowd for just such an eventuality, wrestled him to the ground, grabbed his camera, ripped out the film and hurled him out of the door into the courtyard.
I looked at her surprised, shocked.
"I am sorry," she said, solicitous of my western sensibilities.

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Oh yeah, turned out Owen is a HE not a she :)

CG said...

PE & Samuraisam

Watching people eat when you are fasting does not make you hungry, only sick (open mouths, food swirling....ugh). But the smell of food cooking....that's another thing entirely. I found it quite hard to take my youngest child out during Ramadan as he was fasting and still does not have the inner strength to fight these desires, and he moaned about the smell of food.

As for the Jumeirah Janes having their discussion regarding the Palmer chick, well I can hardly imagine a housewife from the Meadows being the authority on life in Dubai. And if the sex-on-the-beach story does turn out to be true, I will not be at all surprised.

Abu Dhabi Blogger said...

The Ramadan issue:
I personally feel that it is part of the month that the person fasting not be bothered by anyone sneaking a meal. Fine, it is not right to eat publicly. However I have personally seen labourers sitting in a window and sipping tea and munching on chips. Why should I be bothered? The guy's had a hard day and is taking a break. Plus, being associated with the IB industry, I have seen people smoking in public at the DIFC. Honestly, I really don't mind. If they are breaking the law, then so are those who park their Hummers on the pavement. No one stops them, why get upset at the odd muncher? Let's try and keep our religous beliefs to ourselves. The UAE is a tolerant society where I have not encountered any religious intolerance. Let's try and keep it that way.

samuraisam said...

Kyle: Do you mean an RSS feed of new posts or comments?

Not sure what you mean by a label debate?

In any case there are 2 feeds:

RSS: http://uaecommunity.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

ATOM: http://www.blogger.com/feeds/15456688/posts/default

As far as I'm aware the feeds are already embedded on the page, and when using a compatible browser they should automagically be discovered.
If you (or anyone else) thinks its a good idea I could provide a button on one of the sidebars for the RSS feed.

Proud Emirati said...

cg, actually it doesn't hurt me a bit the fact that they are eating. What annoys me is the fact that they do it when the law says otherwise which shows how they couldn't care less about the country laws !

Abu dhabi blogger, what you/I believe in is irrelevant whether they are personal or religious beleifs. Drinking/eating is banned in public in Ramadan by law so u only have the choice of abiding to it.

Questioning the legitimaty of those laws is an Emirati concern !

Kyle said...

Samuraisam:

Thanks for the prompt feedback.

Must have written my comment with a sleepy head! Anyways, I meant the first one (RSS) – Already bookmarked it. Thanks :)

I think it’d be a good idea if you'd set up a button on the sidebar for the RSS feed for newcomers.

samuraisam said...

proud emirati:

You need to be clearer in your wording to distinguish between two things;

eating
or
ordering food

These are two different things entirely; if they merely ordered food and took it with them home/somewhere private then they did not break the law AFAIK; if I'm wrong and it is illegal to merely order food then shouldn't all supermarkets be shut until after iftar too?

Abu Dhabi Blogger said...

@Proud Emirati: I agree that it is a matter of law and not personal beliefs however I was making a slightly different point. Which is why I did mention in my post that if the law forbids it, then it is wrong... BUT I am convinced that ordering food has nothing to do with its public consumption.
Cheers!

Anonymous said...

The person eating out of ignorance in Ramadan is breaking the law, as is the person driving through hard shoulder, or at 180 kph before Iftar, or jumping red signals because he has to be home for Iftar. However, many somehow think the latter cases are justified, while the person eating in daytime is a much more vile criminal......

samuraisam said...

kyle: Just set one up on the right bar, I added a few buttons for RSS/google feedreader/yahoo reader etc, anything else anyone thinks I should add to it?

Proud Emirati said...

^^ Eating in Ramadan in public lead u to court immediately, can't say the same thing about car driving offenses !

i*maginate said...

*muppet alert*

hemlock said...

DJ: thanks for the link. it wasnt half as bad as the one in the post :-)

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Since nobody asked me where did i spot the obvious and outrageous sexism in the article; i am going to volunteer and put it up myself:

But if you're a silly girl who gets into trouble, forget it

okay, what about guys? everybody is sympathizing with Michelle, but what about Vince?

in Dubai, if you are a silly guy who gets in trouble, you'd get in more trouble than a silly girl who likes to get in trouble.

Ataturk said...

What's wrong with eating in public in Ramadan? If I am not a Muslim, why should I be forced to behave like one?

Eating in front of fasting people is NOT an affront to them or their religion. The idea of not submitting to temptation is very relevant to Islam, so each individual is expected to do that - resist temptation. Of course, if you remove the temptation by making it illegal to eat during Ramadan, you remove the whole concept of it, and make it very easy. Maybe that's why it appeals to Emiratis.

When I lived in Turkey many people were fasting, but not everybody was forced to do so. Why is it so different here? What's the problem?

samuraisam said...

I still call shenanigans on the whole sex on the beach 'story'; namely because of this:

"Witnesses statements submitted to the court told how the couple canoodled on the public beach close to Dubai's landmark the Burj Al Arab hotel for around ten minutes until police arrived at around 1am."

I'm not sure which beach they're referring too; either the public beach on one side of the burj al arab, or what is now the strip of hotels on the beach. I've been to both, and at 1 AM it is near impossible to see anything.

i*maginate said...

Nope Sam. Everything is visible around that area with the city lights an' all.

Why is this story still so interesting? Shagging or not (which is the "line" this "debate" is taking), whatever happened was clearly not in line with the norm, so their fate will be decided by the courts according to the law.

Clear and simple.

This topic is quite boring now, unless new developments occur. I'd rather enjoy the traffic.

the real nick said...

A few factual errors aside, I think this is a pretty concise lowdown on Dubai (which is surprising really, being the Guardian)- but only from a Brit's perspective.

What the British and their media fail to understand is that they are a small minority themselves, compared to Indians, Lebanese, other Arabs, Iranians...and quite a few Continential European expats these days who don't binge drink, shag on the beaches play golf and drive Cayennes.
There is a lot more to expat life in Dubai that this journalist can even begin to understand. But the few valid points remain, about lack of accountability, inequality before the law, whores, tourism etc.

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Hello Nick, welcome back :)

Elizabeth said...

I agree entirely with the Real Nick. All the bad stuff in the article is absolutely true, AND it isn't the whole picture. The thing is, Dubai is complicit in that it cloaks itself in a mantle of "western-ness", but honestly, before going to any country it makes sense to do about five minutes of research, which would have revealed that public drunkenness and making out can get you into trouble. I hope this serves as a wake up call for anyone traveling to Dubai - at the end of the day it is the EMIRATIS country; they get to make the rules, fair and consistent or not, and you don't have to come or stay. I chose to leave, but just because Dubai wasn't my cup of tea doesn't mean I have to vilify it.

Foreigner at home said...

After reading this article I do understand that these comments can only be from a person who rents a house in the posh area of Dubai and drives nothing less than a SUV...

Some of it is fact and some is fiction or prediction of what might be happening. The problem I believe is the hypocrisy in Dubai... As an example; You serve alcohol but punish who drink? That's unfair. Saudi in this regards is a little justified in its punishments (I don't agree with them as well).

Gautam said...

A very one sided story. Why only look at it from the view of a handful of Brit's..what about the rest.??

The article seems to be based on a journalist holiday trip with no actual research or homework done.

Nature Strikes Back said...

Dubai is so hot at the moment (no pun intended) that i'm sure you could write any old tosh about the place and get it published somewhere. Especially in the UK press which loves sticking the knife in to serve its own assumption of superiority anyway!

But this article is a great contrast with the excellent story a week or so back about the young egyptians here. The difference in attitudes coudln't be more different!

Love It or Leave It said...

Elizabith, how come the rest of the people here can't seem to think like you...if only the expats who live here start to realize it is a foreign land they live in with foreign culture, law and tradition to them, they would not be so uhappy.

You are clearly a level headed person, you know what you want in life.
Well done


LILI

Abu Dhabi Blogger said...

Umm can we move on now? Did you guys see the clone wars?

Anonymous said...

There's another one in The Guardian today regarding the serf bonded labour here. It is of course as someone said a foreign country. Foreigners in the majority and the Emiratis thinning out their gene pool and too foolish and lazy to do anything about it.

One generation makes the money the next loses it. If the current financial chickens coming home to roost don't affect this place something else more sinister than that will - too wit too much money and not enough brains to get hands dirty, it will all go tits up within a generation.

LILI said...

LOL, true anon...

Post a Comment

NOTE: By making a post/comment on this blog you agree that you are solely responsible for its content and that you are up to date on the laws of the country you are posting from and that your post/comment abides by them.

To read the rules click here

If you would like to post content on this blog click here