30 November, 2009

Media Council to the Rescue!

You can count on British newspapers: After the shock, the ridicule. An image accompanying an article in the Sunday Times which shows Sheikh Mohammed ‘floundering in a sea of debt’ is deemed so offensive to the nation’s frail and fickle sensitivities as to spur the National Media Council into action and order removal of the ‘The Sunday Times’ and ‘Times of London’ print editions from the shelves of local news stands, according to this report in ‘The Wall Street Journal’.

Never mind the matter at heart of the controversy. The fact that investors were kept in the dark about Dubai’s ability and intention to repay its debt on time. The fact that this inconvenient truth was released only weeks after Dubai’s ruler told critics to ‘shut up’ and repeatedly reconfirmed that Dubai would honour its obligations - which evidently it is not. That fact that this announcement was made just hours before the financial markets in the UAE shut down for several days of public holidays and the government went ‘incommunicado’.

No, these facts matter not! What really matters is that nobody in this country reads about it.

The National Media Council can be relied on to save the day, and face. Never mind the cock up – as long as people don’t see the photo or read the story, ‘nothing happened’. Thank you, NMC; we can sleep easy in this country, unbothered by troublesome news.

Since the NMC hasn’t heard of that newfangled invention called internet yet, you can see the “offending” article and image here:

60 comments:

hemlock said...

ease up on the haterade yo! what's a few billion here or there...


on a more serious note: there is nothing wrong with dubai's request to hold debt repayments / restructuring of debt. we've done that for so many of our corporate customers - especially those who were involved and stuck in real estate. it's the nature of business.
you expected revenues, you expected asset appreciation.
didnt go as projected in cashflows...
so you go back to the drawing board and reevaluate.

seabee has already talked about how the announcement was mishandled. so we wont go there.
we will point out the difference between seabee's rational analysis vs. your ehm... tone.

as for the MNC.
Diary of a london call girl is a more interesting and factual read than british tabloids. by cleaning up that trash, they are not doing anything wrong.

it might be a cultural thing, but i personally find the graphic extremely offensive and am glad measures were taken to remove it.

Rupert Neil Bumfrey said...

Recent cartoons in The National seemed to be mocking our neighbour Iran! (Noticeable that Saturday's is not available http://www.thenational.ae/section/opinion?profile=1034 )

He said...

Well said hemlock! this whole thing has been blown out of proportion.

A good article in Business 24-7 today by Vicky Kapur,

omer said...

to delay payments on fixed income instruments is not in the nature of that biz. Most consider it a default.

Lirun said...

do people feel the impact on a day to day basis yet?

are there less vistors? more for sale signs? layoffs?

Sheikh Shamal said...

Well spoken, RN! The rulers of this nation try to keep us floating in a sea of ignorance, but they haven't quite got to grips with modern technology yet.

Yet...

Anonymous said...

oh, the apologist strikes back.

The graphic is offensive. But it shows extreme weakness to have it removed instead of ignoring it with quiet dignity.

samuraisam said...

Nice post, but it is worth noting that Dubai hasn't actually defaulted.

As for the WSJ being yanked, this hasn't been proven by anyone locally yet. Will go to newsagents and check for it.

(PS: people from NMC read this blog)

Seabee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Lirun,

I'll tell you, just to tell you and mainly because you asked.

I've been told to take a six-month postponement on my paycheck because the firm where I'm at has no funds to pay me.

So unless someone chips in, I wonder who's gonna bail me out, what with bills & chow & booze, etc!

Any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

coincidentally on the top right of the linked article is this quote:

The internet is a monster over which we have no control. We can’t even turn it off

--Jeremy Clarkson

Not exactly the greatest thinker of the century but I thought it was funny.

Kyle said...

I fail to understand, how anybody could have concluded that Dubai would default. It won't. There's too much at stake here. Besides, 50+ Billion Dollars is loose change for Mubadala.

Seabee said...

Hemlock thanks for the plug, the money's in the mail.

Lirun, by coincidence I posted a little earlier on the questions you ask. Effect on the streets? Zero of course.

Nick, I detest this kind of censorship but to be fair I think it was because of they find the cartoon itself offensive rather than trying to keep the story away from us. Other highly critical stuff, such as pages of it in the Financial Times for the past few days, is still on the news stands.

the real nick said...

hemlock,

The simple issue here is about going back on one's word, as a result being lambasted and / or ridiculed for it, and then trying to hush it up.

the real nick said...

sam,

The Sunday Times was pulled, not the WSJ, and yes, I just drove to four outlets that normally stock the ST: nada.

the real nick said...

Kyle,

You are missing the point I'm afraid. See my reply to hemlock ^^

I too believe Dubai will pay up. At what cost to the family marbles we will never know, but default they won't. But we do know however is whose statements to trust in the future.

Dubai Jazz said...

I don't know, I think the illustration is pretty offensive and distasteful. Even from a professional journalistic point of view.

samuraisam said...

the real nick: I mixed up the names, just checked at local supermarket and it wasn't there.

Lirun said...

sorry to hear that "anonymous 15:40".. that would have to suck.. im wondering how this will also impact the hords of subcontinentals working in dubai as well as the palestinians and other groups that have varying degrees of resiliance.. its interesting to note how the indian FM brushed it off as trade issue rather than addressing the vulnerability of the dubaian indians (comprising over 40% of dubais population).. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/News/Economy/Indicators/No-need-for-panic-FM-on-Dubai-crisis/articleshow/5280629.cms

Anonymous said...

Hemlock and others may claim that this blog need not discuss what the world is, simply because the world is overreacting. But there are fallouts of that reaction in Dubai as well. Another poster has said that he has not been paid for so many months. And here is this news from India:

The festival holiday has quickly turned into a nightmare for dozens of workers who were employed in various tile production units in Dubai, when they were informed through SMSes that they were being sacked.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Home-from-Dubai-for-Eid-workers-axed-over-SMS/articleshow/5282539.cms

If you find a graphic offensive don't see it or bin the paper, hemlock. I think you insult you usual intelligence when you turn into this bending backwards apologist for your city of residence.

Dubai announced something. The world overeacted and crashed. Dubai is impacted. What I, as someone in the UAE community, would like to know is how.

But all I can see is apologetic self censorship or anger.

Kyle said...

Nick,

Maybe I was a bit hasty in highlighting the inevitable status of the bailout. I'll consider myself reprimanded.

With respect to your 'But we do know however is whose statements to trust in the future.', I think that shouldn't be too difficult considering the lack of transparency & secretive state of affairs in this part of the world.

Kyle said...

An interesting take by Max Keiser here.

Sulta said...

Unlike you westerners, we Arabs love our rulers and respect them. They are wise men of vision, and they will lead out to new heights after this crisis (which was caused by the USA/UK).

Its a shame that so many people who have been fed by Dubai are attacking it,why dont you return to where you came from?

Restructuring the debts was a very smart thing to do, and we fully trust our rulers

Mohammed said...

Hemlock & Dubai Jazz typify the expat Dubai apologist. The one who goes out of his way to defend Dubai not with facts, but with rhetoric, and "all is well" mentality. Ask them poignant questions, and they refuse to anwswer.

For e.g. I have been asking Dubai apologists that if Dubai World can delay its loan payments (and according to Hemlcok, its perfectly fine), why should Dubai police imprison those individuals who miss out on loan payments to banks? Isnt it hypocritical?

Khalood said...

LOL! Talk about insensitivity.
I would urge the commanders of the Emirates to get a grip and try not to flamboyantly react. Truth is never sweet ...

Khalood said...

@Sulta:

"Unlike you westerners, we Arabs love our rulers and respect them. They are wise men of vision, and they will lead out to new heights after this crisis (which was caused by the USA/UK).

Its a shame that so many people who have been fed by Dubai are attacking it,why dont you return to where you came from?

Restructuring the debts was a very smart thing to do, and we fully trust our rulers"


I'm very sorry, Sultan (I guess it is Sultan), but being an Emirati myself, I seriously doubt that the system in UAE was built to sustain such debt. Restructuring our debt surely isn't over by spilling oil and burning natural gas on it.

The rulers should listen to their advisers who are the ones that offer their professional advice. Sadly, Sheikh Mohammed has a reputation of taking risks upon risks. Certainly, it was rewarding within the short-term, but not for the long run.

Talking back against bad policies adopted by the authority is reformative, and not necessarily initiated out of spite or disrespect. That's how great countries have worked, from the time of the Romans and the Greeks, till this present day.

P.S: If you, or anyone for the matter of fact, think that I am slandering any figure, then you are sorely mistaken. Bear in mind that truth is not pink.

BuJ said...

I wonder what Gordon Brown thinks of this.

Dubai Jazz said...

Mohammed,

I'm not into economy or finance (although I'd love to be an apologist for Dubai--I'd be honored, actually), but my guess is that an expert would cringe upon hearing this stupid analogy of yours.

hemlock said...

seabee: hope you sent cash/DDs. im not accepting PDCs anymore. =D

nick: The simple issue here is about going back on one's word, as a result being lambasted and / or ridiculed for it, and then trying to hush it up.

first of all. default is *never* a simple issue. ask the people who've defaulted, ask those been defaulted against.

riddle me this: what do ridicule/mockery achieve, if anything? do you think crappy photoshop jobs can get dubai govt to pay up? or is the idea to embarrass them in international media?
but wait - hasnt that already been achieved, with no involvement of the british press?
what does a bad caricature do to improve a bad situation?

are you suggesting people should sit quietly and watch as their lawns get TPed? i dont think so. this isnt censorship, it's sanity.

anon 18:02: If you find a graphic offensive don't see it or bin the paper, hemlock.

Duh?!
isnt that exactly what NMC did? Q.E.D...

as for the india-sms story.
again.
your point of reference / source of data gathering is flawed.
media(newspapers, tv) + hype = advertising revenues + mass hysteria + dumbass arguments on the net by anonymous commentors.

I think you insult you(r) usual intelligence when you turn into this bending backwards apologist for your city of residence

im an equal opportunity apologizer. so i will bend-over backwards to apologize for your usual stupidity too, my anon friend.

it's not me, it's you. really.

(oh. and the apologist in me is asking you to not take this personally. since you are totally anonymous, you havent REALLY been insulted - and this is your queue to exit gracefully)

mohammed: Ask them poignant questions, and they refuse to anwswer.

actually no mohammed, i was unable to rescue my profile from being virtually tarnished because... oh guess what, i have a life.
hanging out with anonymous non-entities is a great way to kill time 9am-5pm, sundays-thursdays.

coming to your poignant question

why should Dubai police imprison those individuals who miss out on loan payments to banks? Isnt it hypocritical?

as far as arrest on bounced cheques is concerned, from what i understand that only happens when an official complaint is filed by the affected party. the police dont magically appear at your doorstep; someone you owe money to has to not like you enough to complain.

additionally, if read the standard loan documentation fr most banks(consumer), provisions for one or two missed / delayed / deferred installment payments are built in. in cases of property mortgage, a substantive change in the financial condition of the borrower leads to restructuring of leans, NOT arrests.

this is in the interest of the banks. when people go to jail and banks have to take over assets, it's years before they can get to the money.

to draw a parallel, see this: in kuwait you cannot travel outside the country if you have a bill outstanding.

and no, none of this is hypocritical. security and pricing structures for corporate vs. consumer loans are completely different. which means risks, rewards and recourse routes associated with them are different too.

id be happy to have you logically deconstruct anything ive said. if you can.
or you could call me names and win the argument... in which case i will be happy to clap for you and arrange for helium balloons.

Anonymous said...

Let me repeat my point. the world's reaction to Dubai's "deferred installments" was OTT. Agreed. But it is serious in terms of real cost and not just in bad PR. It has also impacted Dubai and it's businesses

In a community blog I'd like to see how it has impacted people, along with amusing snits about feelings being hurt because of some silly graphic.


@hemlock
I'm never going to not be anonymous. So you can stop beating yourself over it.

as for the india-sms story. again.
your point of reference / source of data gathering is flawed.
media(newspapers, tv) + hype = advertising revenues + mass hysteria + dumbass arguments on the net by anonymous commentors.



The Indian SMS story is valid. It is published by a reliable newspaper which quotes a real worker, who was employed with a real UAE company - both have been named. You are welcome to verify this. I did.

Oh and neither advertise in the paper. In fact, Dubai does.

You sound like you'd dispute the sunrise if a newspaper reported it.

And, no one has said that the graphic was not daft. But you cannot seriously believe a govt body removing the paper from the stands is the same as a reader or 10 binning it. That is the difference between a censor board and a remote control.

Dana said...

This is the most exciting thing that's ever happened, since like, 2005!

Carry on!

Seabee said...

Anon@2.39 said "In a community blog I'd like to see how it has impacted people"

The "it" is the DW announcement that it wanted a delay in its payments. The question is how has that impacted on people.

The problem is that, here and in many other forums, people are confusing this with the impact of the general year-long slump.

For example, the earlier Anon@15.40 - his bad situation isn't a result of last week's DW's debt restructuring announcement, it's a result of the overall problems we've been having in the economy.

The same applies to the tile workers Anon@18.02 refers to.

I'd also be interested to hear from anyone who has (already) been impacted by this specific event - but please don't confuse it with the slump that was already with us.

Anonymous said...

Buj,

I was hoping you'd do better than simply post a cynical comment. But since you asked, I assure you that Gordon Brown' gonna be okay.

If I were you, I'd worry about your own in town. I understand tribal pride is really taken seriously in this part of the world and that it can really force a person or a group to seriously consider extremities of the highest order.

Well, best of luck moreso to you than them!

hemlock said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hemlock said...

anon 2:39: hemlock, I'm never going to not be anonymous. So you can stop beating yourself over it.

I didn’t realise we'd been introduced before. All you anonymice/anonymii (?) look alike.

The Indian SMS story is valid. It is published by a reliable newspaper which quotes a real worker, who was employed with a real UAE company - both have been named. You are welcome to verify this. I did.

I don't doubt the authenticity of the story for a second. Nor the people affected. So you think it's 67 people affected by the global recession over the last two years (since the first domino fell)?
Or should we care more because it is happening all over again? (Rise of the Recession-II).
You've already said it earlier:
“But there are fallouts of that reaction in Dubai as well...”
Because (and i quote you again)...
“The world is overreacting.”

Panic is a very real thing. People hear news they construe it to be bad, they panic, there's mass hysteria, redundancies yada yada yada… what part of this haven't you seen already or want to specifically discuss?

My suggestion is, look at the bigger picture: “global recession”. What is happening in Dubai is linked to the “global economy”.
Fear causes demand to decline world over, causing production to decline and guess what, trade declines too.
So if you were running a shipping and ports company, revenues for that will fall, automagically. As will revenues for every industry in this entire chain. And suppliers/producers will continue to panic and lay-off staff and as people are laid off, they will cut down spending - further curtailing demand and the cycle continues.

What part of this is not common sense? why would you rather hear “it's all dubai's fault” than an argument to the contrary?
Rationality doesn't make me an apologist. But lacking rationality can make one lots of things =)

In a community blog I'd like to see how it has impacted people

Considering if it's time to bring out your superman costume? Or do just relish recounting real life horror stories?
Ask people how it's impacted them. I've spent the last two days preparing excel sheets for a seriously panicked management.

You sound like you'd dispute the sunrise if a newspaper reported it.

Technically, the sun doesn't actually “rise” and if a newspaper reported it, i'd smile.

Anonymous said...

Thanks seabee. I get that point.

My sense is that while the global recession was affecting people and someone who's not been paid for six months cannot pin it on Dubai's announcement, there are many others who may have been affected.

When the (original) slump had not hit Dubai people were already cutting costs and sacking people in panic. Just now when the economy was picking up after the ruler saying that there are signs of recovery and international data supporting that, companies would and have responded in panic to this news. I think some who were planning to start hiring people after a long gap may have gone into austerity.

I'm not sure the Indian tile workers being sacked is not a panic response to Dubai's announcement. It is not unlikely scenario for a company already hit by recession to conclude that things are going to get worse and get rid of its staff when its away.

Even then while the rumours flew everywhere I found real anecdotal evidence missing. I did not come across a single abandoned car though I heard that there were some in the building next to mine. But I did see an ex-colleague's salary get cut by AED2000 to pre-raise levels. In Dubai, real information is hard to come by because offcially everyone is pretending nothing is happening, while companies scramble to take measures to protect themselves and individuals pay the price.

Hemlock mentions preparing excel sheets for a panicked management.

It would be great if one could access responsible information on a forum such as this one.

anon@2.39.

Rupert Neil Bumfrey said...

Gosh, so much vitriol coming through!

The reality of the situation is that Dubai is a very small part of the global credit crisis, hence nobody should be surprised if the Dubai debt moratorium grabs the headlines, as Dubai is the first quasi Sovereign, since Iceland, to find themselves in this situation.

I receive, via "RSS", stories covering the GCC, since last Thursday the numbers have shot up from a daily input of about 250, to over 1,000 a day! These additional stories relate to the Dubai situation, not because the reporters have a personal anti-Dubai agenda, but because it is news.

I still sense a feeling of denial, with yesterday's news that Istithmar, using one example, is to be excluded from the restructuring. Yet International papers are discussing Barney's and Almatis debt being purchased by hedge funds, with a view to being foreclosed on, which would mean Istithmar foregoes ownership!

The local situation in Dubai is causing many Asset Managers to review their investment policies with regards other markets, so this has been a wake up call for the world, not only Dubai.

Hopefully for Dubai this alarm call will result in more transparency, which Dubai expected of the companies they acquired over the past few years!

(BTW do read the article http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/2009/dec/01/horse-racing-greg-wood in today's Guardian UK regarding the massive contribution of the Maktoum's to British horse racing. No doubt somebody will interpret it as critical!)

Proud Emirati said...

Yep, Dubai is sinking, hurry and go out, we don't want you to sink

Steve said...

I cant understand why people are taking this so seriously...I mean, its just a request to delay payments...its not like its never been done before by other countries.

Dubai is one country that has invited people to invest in they country and give them the freedome to live here and enhoy life...

If you can handle the rules and regulations of Dubai, then why invest...leave the emaraties alone. This country has done good for all walks of like and all nationalities...I don't know why people would bring Dubai down.

I am one person that will stand by Dubai no matter what...It still is a beautiful country and an excellent place to do business.

I pray that God may guide the rules of the UAE to walk through this and come out on top...Like they always do.

God Bless the UAE and Happy National Day to everyone.

Volmod said...

Proud Emirati,

How about posting a sensible comment that actually makes sense, once in a while instead of arrogant one-liners. Seriously, I'll tell you, even though your title is Proud Emirati, but you sound like one of those stateless immigrants out to make an impression by kissing a$$.

Now, you may think that expats need the UAE but you're wrong, dead wrong. It's the other way around in spite of what Sheikh Mohamed said when launching Dubailand about not wanting investors. How right was he taking into consideration his recent request for a payback postponement?

Might I remind you, What Dubai is today is because of expats and investors including the sympathetic Phantom PR that post here in defense. Without us (expats and investors), Dubai is nothing but a tiny dot on the world map.

So tone down your ignorant bow-wow-woof-woof senseless rhetoric by actually contributing or adding to the discussion. Maybe then, you'll earn some respect by posting as a Proud Emirati!

Anonymous said...

Is Sheikh Moe going to be put in debtors jail?

BuJ said...

Anon (01 December, 2009 09:54)

I don't usually reply to Anons, coz I believe if you have something good to say, then you should start at least with your screen-name.

I am not tribal and do not belong to a tribe.

Really, the situation has been blown out of proportion and there was nothing I could add, which is why I mentioned Gordon Brown. The media can and has torn up past Prime Ministers, but business continues as usual.

Am not a big fan of censorship. I feel that it is only for the dumb.

Anonymous said...

BuJ,

I appreciate you taking the time to post a reply to an (my) anonymous comment.

Kindly not that over-the-wire, we are all anonymous. Some choose to have an identity, some, including I, don't. I have my own reasons for not doing so.

What situation are you talking about?

As far as I can see, none of the UAE newspapers have actually reported in the manner the worldwide media has done. And please do not say that the situation has been blown out of proportion. When you say that, you simply accept what your Government is feeding you with their usual everything is fine rhetoric. You simply echo your Government's line of, everyone is wrong and we are right.

To your Government I would say, at least have an ounce of courtesy or decency to let everyone know, yes there is a tacky situation we are in right now and we are trying to work with all parties concerned to resolve it. But instead, we get the usual everything is fine and the Union is stronger than before. Say what? But I never wanted to know about the strength of your Union in the first place. All I was interested in knowing was, is it true what the worldwide media is saying about Dubai? Why the hell should I, as a longtime law-abiding expat resident of this country subscribe to feeds to understand the depth of the situation Dubai is in right now? Look face up, the Government displays a macho image but when you look face down, it resembles a helpless child trying to put on a brave face after getting caught in an act of wrongdoing. But my question is, for how long before owning up?

I realize that the UAE is your country and that you're free to do as you please. But if you want to be someone to be reckoned with, then you'd have to open the floodgates to allow criticism. You never know when one of those critical messages would be beneficial for your country's real success.

Please try and not be offended by what I have written above. I didn't have any pleasure writing it but it signifies how I feel about the current state of affairs in town.

I end this note with my best wishes to you and your family on the occasion of the UAE National Day.

Sincerely posted by Anonymous (1 December, 09:54)

Anonymous said...

http://www.economist.com/world/middleeast-africa/displayStory.cfm?story_id=15006764&source=hptextfeature

Al-ain Rose said...

Blah blah blah ..
Have a rest for a short while, it's the national day and no one even bothered to post about it on the 'UAE' CB..

Abu Dhabi/UAE Daily Photo said...

I think the media (and the markets) reacted out of fear that this would not be limited to just the UAE; that other markets would follow. I don't think, however, that the western media went OTT in hopes of defaming Dubai. What a lot of people in this country (citizens and residents) forget is that most of the world really aren't Dubai-haters. The western media doesn't see Dubai as some success story to be decontructed. Not enough of their readers actually care whether Dubai succeeds or fails. If you walked down the streets of NYC and asked 20 people what they thought of Dubai, I can guarantee that they wouldn't have strong opinions one way or the other.

BuJ said...

Anon,

The main reason I don't like Anon nicks is because I can get you confused with the rest of the many Anons out there! It just doesn't make sense, and it's not very transparent (if I'm allowed to use that overused word!).

I see your point of view, but your comment shows that you know very little about me. For one, I do not trust what is told to me by anyone, be it an individual or an organisation. I like to make my own mind up on things based on the facts.

Back to the so crisis in Dubai, of course there is a crisis, but how bad is it? The only bad thing is a lack of information regarding the problem. I haven't seen concrete evidence of systematic failure.

I have to stress that my professional background is engineering rather than finance, so I am not pretending at all to be an expert on all matters fiscal.

I'm also keeping a very open mind about this, but until I see some facts, I will continue to be a sceptic.

BuJ said...

Al Ain Rose.. it's sad, but most people come here to say negative things about the UAE, so I'm not surprised that no one posted anything about the national day.

If you want a National Day post, come to my blog :-)

http://bujassem.blogspot.com/2009/12/uae-national-day-2009.html

Anonymous said...

I Love the UAE!!!!

Moaners stay out, this country has made you what you are and now you act thankless
Shame on you!

Anonymous said...

Al Ain Rose & Buj, I beg to differ with your views. But it's your job to put up a post here commemorating the UAE National Day, not an Expats'.

And just so you know, as an Expat, I can think of 'n' # of ways to signify my loyalty to the UAE, a beautiful country that hosts me & my family but putting up a post here today is the least of it.

samuraisam said...

buj/al-ain rose:
As I've said more times than I care to remember, this isn't some organized collaboration blog. It's comprised of 300 random people who blog about what they want when they want. Moaning about people in this circumstance not writing about something when you haven't is pretty ludicrous.

For what its worth, although you may not see any post on the front page that is related to national day, there are thousands of posts in this blogs archive.
A post from 2006 about the UAE's 35th national day has received 3 times more direct views than this post has in the past 10 days.

all:
As I have also said many hundreds of times, this blog allows anonymous commenting. There are many very good reasons for having anonymous commenting. If you can't handle it then join a blog that doesn't have anonymous commenting and only has about 2 comments on each post.

Al-ain Rose said...

"But it's your job to put up a post here"

Dear, I'm not a member in this blog so I can't post materials, I have to wait for my comments to appear, just as you.

Sam, for the millions time, I understand, just don't jump in every now and then to post your frequent seromn.
Thank you.

BuJ said...

yawn... quality over quantity..

Dana said...

Sam says; in simple English- take things with a pinch of salt. Will take you very far in life.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a member in this blog so I can't post materials, I have to wait for my comments to appear, just as you.

Al-ain Rose,

So, apply for membership. Problem solved. Good Luck.

Kyle said...

Hello Buj:

Let me begin by wishing you and all Emiratis here a belated Happy UAE National Day.

On the topic of quality versus quantity, I believe this can be argued both ways.

What if Admin disabled Anonymous commenting & moderation here? Do you think such a measure would solve the problem people have with Anonymous comments here? Any technically proficient person here knows that there is a workaround, which is signing-in with their Google account and voila, we are back to square one.

As a counter measure, I would rather have Anonymous commenting and moderation enabled instead of reading a troll's ('Profile Not Available') comment in lieu of vice-versa.

I also believe that Admin & Moderators here are doing a good job by thoroughly screening comments by allowing those that add to the discussion. After all, we are all having a discussion, aren't we?

Anyway, for what it's worth, I have always enjoyed reading your (Emirati) comments along with Dana and Khalood and I hope all of you will continue adding to the balance we so need here.

Thank you.

Have a great weekend :)

samuraisam said...

To put things about anonymous/pseudonyms in perspective:
There was once a blog in the UAE with about 15 or so members and everyone had chosen the name anonymous.

Anonymous users could just do that if they wanted.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for allowing anonymous posts.

Here is the view from one conscious, non troll anon.

I post anonymously on this blog, because:

1. I don't want a virtual identity in which you form an opinion on my comment based on what I may have said in some other post or who I may be (eg. Lirun's posts are judged often, slotting him as an outsider even if he makes sense). Though I do appreciate the colour that comes from that identity to the discussion and the blog.

In a discussion where I need to reference my older comments, I do.

2. I know some people don't mind being tracked. I do. Internet is more or less forever.

3. I like this blog and I try to contribute responsibly to the life it has. Sometimes by commenting, sometimes by visiting.

4. To me, it is weird to watch a few posters get involved in discussions which flaunt that they know each other on other blogs or socially. A UAE community blog is open to the vast populace that calls/called it home and is grappling with the idea. Reducing it to a community of 'you read my blog and say nice things, I read yours' seems actually limiting.

4. And, of course, commenting anonymously is such fun when some regulars keep tying themselves into knots over it! :P

Anonymous said...

buj,

I agree with you. There is a lack of information.

And I find more people giving opinions than actually trying to fill that gap with some on-ground information.

We have arm chair economists who want to educate everyone and pontificate. Then there are either Dubai bashers or apologists, who think this is a moral issue - to defend or be against Dubai.

A blog with users as many as this one seems to have can actually bridge the information gap by observing what is happening and sharing what they know.

HR meetings, sudden sackings, a stay on recruitments, gist of internal emails, cabbies talking, events being postponed... are all signs that your life is being affected. Reporting those would have allowed the blog to be a record of a time which is covered in misinformation.

But posters want to pretend this is part of some global bust up rather than a fallout of Dubai's annoucement!

Even if you miss a movie because it is not being released in panic, it is an impact:

From today's newspaper, Hindustan Times:
For Bollywood, Dubai and the Middle-East are the biggest overseas markets generating nearly 50 per cent of international revenues. “The crisis will definitely take a beating on the recent releases and those that are lined up,” says trade analyst Taran Adarsh. “For an A-grade film, over 40 per cent of the collection comes from overseas and Dubai contributes a major 10-15 per cent. Dubai is one of the few overseas markets where Hindi films release on Thursdays. A bad audience response there, in the wake of the crisis, would affect the business here in India. So producers might skip releasing their films in Dubai for a while,” says trade analyst Komal Nahata.

Things have already started looking grim. Amitabh Bachchan-starrer Paa’s grand premiere in Dubai this week was called off by Reliance Big Pictures sighting ‘logistic constraints’. Not just films, concerts and entertainment shows have also been hit.

Says singer Shibani Kashyap, who was scheduled to perform in Dubai next month, “The event managers are [now] telling me we don’t know when it can happen.”



http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-Feed/cinemascope/Dubai-crisis-has-Bollywood-on-tenterhooks/Article1-481927.aspx

davidbaer said...

Experts have talked about this before. How many times have you read about the importance of ‘adding value’ for your audience? How many times have you read about ‘building trust’ with your readers/prospects?
Many, many times. You know it well. Every marketing guru has spoken about this topic. I’m sick of hearing it. But it STILL bears repeating.

www.onlineuniversalwork.com

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