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10 September, 2005

Dark side of RAK

The northern-frontier emirate of Ras Al Khaimah is unhappy with the media's negative portrayal of it:

"Interviewed by Khaleej Times, a cross-section of the emirate's local people voiced their almost unanimous agreement that the local media turn a blind eye to the different ongoing huge economic and social development projects. As an example, they cite the stories that have been published recently by almost all the local newspapers of a baby that has sustained a rat bite, an indication of the deteriorating environment and unhygienic living conditions in the emirate."

Time for a flick back through the archives for RAK coverage here:

9th April 2003 - a mosque shoe thief in RAK
2nd Jan 2004 - a dispute over pork-flavoured crisps in RAK shops
24th May 2004 - an explosion of massage parlours in RAK
21st March 2005 - a dispute over a young RAK lady's virginity
12th May 2005 - RAK teens steal from their father's safe for a holiday
27th May 2005 - RAK ladies beat a up shopping mall perv

So, no. It doesn't appear that the greatness and glory of Ras Al Khaimah is receiving due attention. To remedy this, here is something superb about the rocky frontier:

It is planning to build a ski resort.

Labels:

24 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

what about russians prostitution deals !

10 September, 2005 16:52  
Anonymous Mohamed Elzubeir said...

Well, I've never been to RAK -- so I have no idea what to expect there.. but if it's anything as poor as Ajman, I probably won't be making a visit there any time soon.

It is obviously doesn't have Dubai's glamor nor does it have Abu Dhabi's authority. Besides, really, instead of whining about the negative coverage, learn from Dubai, it's not such a far off place to learn from. Dubai has perfected the game or PR and advertising. Cause, really, complaining about it itself is bad coverage.

10 September, 2005 17:19  
Blogger clayfuture said...

Ras Al Khaimah is a good place for camping with big rocky mountains and valleys and ... that's about it. The city center is almost as good as not being there and the beach is ok. Very dull and boring.

Al Ain sounds like a great place to live compared to RAK!!

10 September, 2005 18:28  
Anonymous Balushi said...

maybe Secy works for the Media in RAK!!! Hmmmm....

10 September, 2005 18:30  
Blogger desertblog said...

SD, lets not forget RAK government schools only talk to students' mums not dads!

Parents are protesting after a school in Ras Al Khaimah ruled that it will only deal with students’ mothers, according to Al Bayan. The government school, which was not named, believes that only dealing with mothers will improve education standards. But some fathers are worried they will be cut out of their kids’ education.

http://www.7days.ae/local-news/mum-s-the-word.html

10 September, 2005 20:47  
Blogger secretdubai said...

That was bizarre. I honestly don't understand it, except if it's some weird thing where all the teachers are local women and don't like talking to local men.

10 September, 2005 21:11  
Blogger pixelsonic said...

RAK in fact seems to have a lot more going for it naturally than Dubai has (natural mangroves, mountains, beach). There is also a very high ratio of locals to expats which makes it alot more authentic feeling.

Things are about 15 years behind (as much to do with complicated local politics as well as a huge difference in the amount of money lying around for mega projects vs DXB and AUH), but it IS developing faster than the other smaller emirates (for what that's worth).

Anyhow, no doubt there will be more wacky news stories in the not too distant future.

10 September, 2005 21:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, I thought the thing about the shopping mall perv reflected rather well on them.

11 September, 2005 03:27  
Blogger marwan said...

I lived in RAK twenty years ago..would be interested to return now and see if things have changed...
The small emirates must always live in the shadow of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Sharjah lives off the scraps from the table of Dubai.

11 September, 2005 07:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/11/international/middleeast/11media.html?ex=1127102400&en=436cd7fd68196bcb&ei=5099&partner=TOPIXNEWS

11 September, 2005 10:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've seen a documentary on Discovery Channel about UAE and a good part of it was taking place in various wadis and mountains around RAK. I was astonished to see the beauty of nature that in some parts looked like Switzerland in full bloom with vast green meadows covered by yellow daisies and butterflies, rich flora and fauna and plenty of crystal clear water springs and miniature lakes...it was incredible!

11 September, 2005 11:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a misplaced importance on tall building (most of them without adequate parking facilities) and tarmac roads (that lead you no where for quite sometime). Dubai with it's soaring rents, lack of affordable parking facilities, undisciplined drivers and expatriates mostsly from third world countries who behave in a sub-human manner half of the time is nothing to be celebrated. RAK with it's natural wonders and rugged landscapes should be celebrated and appreciated. It's up to the RAK authories to build an identity the strategic location and the natural wonder that surrounds them. When I think of RAK, I think of BANFF National Park in Canada, or the Yosemite national park in the USA. RAK you deserve better than whatever is portrayed. I wish you rise above the pens of some bored journalists who probably hold fake degrees from third world countries they crawled out of to judge you.

11 September, 2005 12:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most emirates other than Dubai and Abu Dhabi are not that modern. No surprises given they have not made any mission statement for themselves. Abu Dhabi has oil and Dubai aimed for, and has achieved, becoming a regional trade and re-export hub. The people of Dubai are pro-active, rather than sitting around majlises all day. This is why they are growing so phenomenally. It also helps that they realised that modernisation is not limited to fancy buildings and freshly paved roads, but also to streamlining their socio-economic infrastructure. The poorer emirates have made no such initiative for change. Crying about press coverage is not going to help.

P.S. To anonymous who spoke of "expatriates mostsly from third world countries who behave in a sub-human manner half of the time", the uae as whole has a long way to go before it can be called first-world. Attitudes like this prevent it happening.

11 September, 2005 13:32  
Blogger Riddle Of The Sand said...

It is important that the other emirates pull up their socks and start attracting economic activities.
There is no point cribbing about "negative" coverage by the media. The onus is on the RAK authorities to pursue initiatives which will attract the media to make positive coverage.
Also, there was a comment by an anonymous user, "expatriates mostsly from third world countries who behave in a sub-human manner". Well...all I have to say is that it sounded a bit offensive. But I guess people are entitled to have their own opinion.

11 September, 2005 14:19  
Blogger 1Desi said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11 September, 2005 14:43  
Blogger 1Desi said...

RAK's freezone (www.rakftz.com) has become quite attractive to the smaller investors in town - land and licensing is apparently dead cheap (aed 5,000 for a trade license for a max of 7 product lines and AED15,000 for a general trade license). They're also providing office space at the Deira Twin towers in Dubai (prob at a daily rate) and the new RAK highway's made driving to RAK a breeze.

With little or no availability of land in JAFZA and the high expense of incorporating (and rent/land) at the other FZA's (Investment park, AFZ, SAIF), RAK's pulling in a number of entrepreneurs.

I wonder if the RAK authorities have the capability to maintain the kind of service and infrastructure that investors would need to maintain growth in their free zone. If so, it may provide an excellent alternative to the spiraling costs in our neck of the woods.

11 September, 2005 14:49  
Blogger pixelsonic said...

I just cannot resist mentioning that I was the one who designed the RAK Free Zone website :)

And as I said before, there is alot of positive development going on in RAK which is impressive considering that they don't have nearly as much money to throw away at a whim as do the larger emirates.

11 September, 2005 22:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Years ago, when we had nothing else to do in Dubai besides Al Nasr Leisureland and Lucifers Disco, we used to drive up to RAK for a bit of rain or to see some grass fields for a change.
Man, those were the days.
I would do it all again except it takes me the same amount of time to get out of Dubai's traffic as it used to in years gone by to get to RAK itself.
Take me back......I hate the 'new' UAE.....

11 September, 2005 22:38  
Blogger Cokey said...

I think RAK will not take off like Dubai..it might just crash even before it starts..So investers BEWARE!

12 September, 2005 01:39  
Blogger moryarti said...

Some of the major UAE companies are based in RAK. Jalfar, RAK CERAMICS and RAK Cement are only to mention a few.

RAKBank is imposing a considerable threat to other major consumer banks in the UAE.

I know garment/ready-to-wear factories that are commissioned to manufacture for Sears and Walmart in the US. They are based in RAK.

The owners of major malls in Abu Dhabi and Sharja (Sahara Mall) are originally from RAK.

The only problem with RAK is its lack of a proper communications strategy... Unless its bad news, masses don't really know enough about what happens in that tiny emirate .. RAKs should do something about that image problem..

12 September, 2005 10:33  
Anonymous Sporadic Supernova said...

SD, ...

Can't beleive that you didnt comment about that "third world country" talk. It's dripping with racism !!!

To accuse Journlists to hold "fake degrees" which they got from "third world countries" they "crawled" out of.... Expatriates mostsly from "third world countries" who behave in a "sub-human manner" half of the time

Methinks anonymous is just a frustrated under acheiver (racist too). No one else would make comments like so.

12 September, 2005 13:48  
Blogger secretdubai said...

I was kind of bemused by it, and also I am getting sick of the endless racist slanging.

That said I also hate censoring, so unless someone really steps out of line and uses the equivalent of the N-word or defames Islam, I don't like to cut stuff.

I also think the bitchy stuff in newspapers here is as equally likely (if not more likely) to be done by western/non-"third-world" hacks.

So the person is frustrated and misinformed, most probably.

12 September, 2005 14:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.gulfnews.com/Articles/NationNF.asp?ArticleID=181417

We do great protein drinks here in RAK

13 September, 2005 14:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think rak is a brillliant retreat with all very nice people. In my opnion i dont think it should change,... I will be going back there.

01 November, 2005 22:34  

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