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18 June, 2003

Seven Star Journalism

Has the Burj Al Arab mounted its own private campaign against dire newspaper journalism in the UAE? What other reason could there be for its staff preventing five journalists - including Khaleej Times, Gulf News, and three Arab newspapers, from attending a recent press conference? Magazines and TV were ushered in with all ease and hospitality.

How heartening to see the Burj expect the same standard of quality from the journalists it admits as from its guests. Only... those would be the same guests frequently seen wearing tracksuits, hotpants, and other badly fitting and ill-advised clothing in the main lobby: clientele far more suited to a low-end trailer park than an ultra-high-end hotel.

No wonder the Burj has now banned photography in its atrium. If word - and picture - got round about its guests, at least two zeros would have to fall off the room rates to maintain even its usual five percent occupancy.

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