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20 September, 2005

Emirates Today arrives

Dubai's latest daily tabloid, Emirates Today, is on the newstands, and despite some sniping in the market the first couple of issues have been agreeably impressive. On the upside:

1. Large amount of content
2. Good features content - both in quantity and quality
3. Solid, if unsparkling, news writing, with properly written first lines/intros
4. Good "magazine" feel - important in the internet age

On the downside:

1. Over-long, unexciting headlines
2. Front page article (Tuesday) was mis-handled*
3. Second page article ("Dubai the new Monaco..." - Tuesday) was (a) not news and (b) possibly an unwise topic choice so early on, given the paper needs to be allaying an (albeit unfair) suspicion that it will be hyping the property market.

Certainly, it holds a lot of promise and should be a good daily read.

*Tuesday's headline was: "Workers' protest causes rush-hour traffic chaos." This was the situation at 8am on Monday, but the story had moved on several times since then. Traffic chaos was also not the point of the story: non-payment of workers was. A far more punchy, recent, relevant headline would have been along the lines of: "Ka'abi backs workers" or "Ka'abi takes action"with the story then beginning with the Labour minister's strong actions and strong words to sort out the crisis.



Blogger black feline said...


20 September, 2005 19:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The headline should have been more like "labor protest forces kaabi to act"

20 September, 2005 21:19  
Blogger black feline said...

i like the headline..implying two potential time bombs that relevant authorities have to address eventually..kaabi to act is a bit cliche..i prefer man bites dog..

20 September, 2005 21:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the point is that it's just another govt mouthpiece. "Oh Look! How great we are!! Come and spend your hard-earned money here and keep making us rich"

20 September, 2005 21:34  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

looks attractive, but doesn’t really live up to all the hype in terms of content….don’t understand the idea of having a tabloid format when the stories are all so lengthy and the headlines never ending… not any different from the existing broadsheets for all the tall claims they made…if the idea is a compact paper, then the stories definitely need to be kept short with some crisp editing. however, the features section seems impressive….
and if u want to take a peek at the online edition ( , be prepared to wait for a good half hour…

20 September, 2005 23:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, it is a wiff of fresh air. But I still think that it needs work, and I dont think that it's too impressive, though they must have really worked hard on it.
I, however, could not locate the "editorial"!! Could someone tell me which page its on ?

I hope they actually step up from here. I'm craving for some quality "in your face" kinda journalism. Something akin to the "Thehelka" fortnightly in India.
But then again, This is UAE...

21 September, 2005 09:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just had a look online edition . Its good if you have high bandwidth, else you never go there again. Its really a stupid idea to show only images on the front page. I disabled downloading image in my browser and it shows nothing.
It would have been far better if they made news as html pages and images seperate links with thumbnails. Large Images would make you irritated if bandwidth is low.
They don't have a "news headline" or "today's stories" section. That makes it a bad choice for news updates.

21 September, 2005 09:34  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What was headlines yesterday "Ministry cracks the whip" is today on the fourth page "Disgruntled labourers win the first round". Guess what Al Hamed will not pay the over 5 million AED due within 24 hours and after discussion with the Ministry of Labour agreed on a deferred payment mode. It is a revelation for the Labour authorities that they did not expect 5 million in dues.

Quoting Gulf News article "A senior official said more than 6000 workers had not been paid" "under the terms, 1000 workers will be paid their May and June salaries every day. The company expects these payments to end on September 26. Between September 27 to September 30, all workers will be paid their July salaries. The campany officials said the August salaries would be paid late November."

Isn't it the most amazing news coverage ever. The fact is that these workers who earn as little as 500 AED a month building the luxurious apartments for the wealthy to live in get the worst part of the deal.

Sometimes wonder if I am living in an under developed country rather malformed country.

21 September, 2005 09:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is no longer I am the Master and you are my Slave! But now you must also work for FREE!!!!

21 September, 2005 10:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the "editorial" on day 1 (Monday) was on page 22 ("welcome to the revolution")....

p.s. I commented with my reactions to this paper in the thread "what will the papers say?"....see if u agree.

21 September, 2005 10:16  
Blogger Razaldo said...

I went through the website, seems decent enough. It is some what similar to The Times of India's attempt to publish their paper online. I guess anyone interested should give a look at it, the layout is impressive, you can click on any article you want to, and it opens up seperately in another window. To top it off, it loads pretty fast as well, and also allows you to download the whole paper, but that would be around 300 mb !

The Times of India online:


21 September, 2005 12:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How come when I go to their website via Media City it just says: Comming Soon...(their misspelling, not mine)?

21 September, 2005 17:24  
Blogger pixelsonic said...

like the online version better than the printed one, they need to change that beige nav bar to any other colour though...would break some interesting ground if they allowed viewers to post comments on each article (sort of like a blog).

22 September, 2005 01:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The wholepackage is not quite there yet but a good solid effort all in all, great potential if they can establish some credibility through good old fashioned quality jounalism (Dubai is the New Moncaco? Come on, Please Make it Stop!).

Their promotional activities around the Dubai Media City are ambitious but kind of dry (people staging read-ins wearing colour coded fast food-like uniforms plus some skydivers). I think they should spend their money on hiring good reporters instead.

22 September, 2005 01:09  
Blogger secretdubai said...

would break some interesting ground if they allowed viewers to post comments on each article

AFAIK, 7Days already does that.

22 September, 2005 01:49  
Blogger Saudi_Friar_Mo said...

e headline reminds me of a piece in the gulf news where home-owners were complaining about a new directive by the labour ministry. It gave workers an hour’s break during the hottest part of the day... they’re grievance? – The thought of workers invading there gardens in search of shade….

Frankly it might my stomach churn nothing epitomises what’s wrong with our societies attitude to manual labourers more then that

22 September, 2005 07:48  
Blogger black feline said...

hope to win the 10,000Dhm prize..

22 September, 2005 11:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, what a daring, dynamic, marvellous, pathbreaking paper ET is! We're all sooooooo taken up. Mebbe I wuz completely wrong when I posted this comment on Sept. 20....sorry for takin space by re-posting, but no-one seems ta be reading the original one.

El Condo said...

At last! Something to line the birdcage with...slim and sexy, eh? My bare hairy bottom! Oh dear, oh dear, where do I begin?

First off, if I hadn't been reading all the hype I would of thought it wuz the Gulf Today tabloid supplement from a year least their body (text) type would be of a readable size...not 8 point Plantin...

Can you believe it took 53 people to bring out this paragon of journalistic excellence? 7DAYS could probably do it with less than 10...(I'm assuming)...
More observations on yesterday's launch issue:
(Read in tandem with their bold claims on page 22)
Neither fresh, dynamic nor stylish. Appallingly dated and boring standards of design and layout...the copy I have is mostly printed out-of-register, leaving all the colour pics looking blurry and washed out...(what would you expect from Al Bayan Press?)
Certainly not an incentive to change from the mainline far as "real news" is concerned, it's no better than 7DAYS; but then 7DAYS never claimed or pretended to be an alternative to the least their type and layout, tho no great shakes, looks slightly more clean and appealing...and it's far more compact than ET..."according to our research," says ET, "broadsheets are dying..." Not if you bring out newspapers like this one, mate...that'll be a long time coming...

I won't talk about the choice of headline story since I've already referred to "real news"...but overall the glazed newsprint and uninspired masthead seem to top off the "ultimate publishing disaster"...

...and they have the unmitigated gall to say "Welcome to the revolution..." We ain neva seen no revolutions in this part of the world, mes cheries...not just yet...

22 September, 2005 12:45  
Blogger black feline said...

Gee...el condo..u must hve really hate the papers to the core to repeat your war cry. What u want us to do? go on hunger strike? LOL

22 September, 2005 21:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Earlier this week the paper chose to dig up some old story about UAE students being beaten up by Austrian 'secret'police. it seems it's OK to disparage other nations but not publish news closer to home such as the story about the Two British businessmen who suffered "10 days of hell" after being arrested in Dubai on the mistaken suspicion of involvement with the London suicide bombings.
Of course such a story would never appear in any of the papers here. Real journalism has a long way to go here.......

23 September, 2005 09:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said..., no, Black Feline, I don hate nobuddy.

I just reposted cuz I felt that it wuzzn't gettin read since the earlier thread kinda got pushed down tha line...

....ain no war cry....just some practical observations, which I thought some folks may have missed in the excitement of gettin sumthin "new"....

(p.s.: note to all concerned....hav ya guyz read my brillunt observationz under "bare-faced cheek" which you'll find in the archives....SD especially must reely check it out fer a dose of "cultural understanding"....)

24 September, 2005 18:08  
Blogger black feline said...

el condom,

u are simply impossible..what a nag..LOL

24 September, 2005 22:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said... didn't call me that........island girl........

25 September, 2005 18:25  

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