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29 November, 2006

"British Trash"

What would the reaction be if British-owned newspaper 7Days had reviewed an Arabic restaurant, and used the term "Arab trash" to describe local diners?

But of course it's fine for Dubai government-owned newspaper Emirates Today to review (or slag off for several hundred ignorant words) Gordon Ramsay's restaurant Verre and insult British people.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

"So, one would expect the environs of a much-lauded Dubai eatery would provide Salma with a welcome break from the catastrophes, starvation and suffering she has witnessed in many parts of the Middle East and Asia. "

Yeah there's nothing like eating at a 5 star restaurant to get rid of those awful memories of starving children!

30 November, 2006 16:07  
Blogger SIN said...

I see by popular demand you have opened the comment section.

SD, given the fact that she is British and touts her verbal BS about her own background is the supposed reasoning Emirates Toady uses to get away with it...i know, i asked them when i read this trash 2 days ago.

But rather than my British friends being offended by Salma's nonsense, what really pissed them off was the appaling style of writing, which is offensive and dergatory rather than the comment.

Neither Salma or the Toady Twat who wrote this little gem of gibberish should call themselves journalists!

30 November, 2006 16:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Outstanding review. Not sure what's the worst thing about it. Is it the idea of a UN media dog, sorry, hound, viewing Dubai's restaurant -- sorry, eateries -- as a nice refuge from the hells of the world? The rather bizarre view that said eateries are actually showpieces for decorators and not chefs? The amazingly poor writing taht sets a new low even by Today's woeful standards? The most insulting and out of place use of the word Nazi I've seen in a piece for a while? The ignorance regarding British eating habits? Or that classic 'British trash' comment. (Who is Emirates Today aimed at, I wonder. Obviously not Brits, as insulting readership is generally considered a Bad Thing in media circles.)

No, it's none of those. It's the fact that the reviewer managed to write a 700 word review on what's widely considered one of the best in the whole GCC region without once mentioning the food. Truly outstanding.

After this, I'd say that Today isn't worth writing about at all. Time to let it die on the vine.

30 November, 2006 16:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What complete trash. Its not even a restaurant review - food isn't even mentioned until the penultimate word. Salma obviously has an inferiority complex the size of Antarctica if she was intimidated by the waiters at Verre.
Very sad that rubbush like this is published, and even sadder that some morons will take it seriously.

30 November, 2006 16:28  
Blogger Jassim said...

Theres a fish and chips shop on Shk Zayed Rd and everyone here is complaining about what was written in Emirates Today.

I miss Dubai :-(

30 November, 2006 16:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Think Emirates Today will act a la 7Days and sack journo in question for offending so many people? No, I didn't think so either ...

30 November, 2006 16:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Utter drivel like the rest of the paper - ET is driving the standards of journalism in the UAE to a new low.
Run by an Emirati former DJ with his minions as managament acting like little puppy dogs - pathetic.

30 November, 2006 17:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10 out of 10 to Emirates Today, they have left the offending article online. Is it really that offensive, bearing in mind Salma was scraping her caramel souffle as she pronounced "British Trash"?

No doubt Salma wears a Burberry Baseball cap to qualify her knowledge of Harvester dining in Essex!

30 November, 2006 17:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a joke of a review. The writer is obviously fairly ignorant and stupid so perfectly suited for the newspaper.
The paper and this writer are a joke

30 November, 2006 17:38  
Blogger tobasco said...

I understand were your coming from SD. Us (Muslims in Britain) get this treatment daily. Believe me everyday a newspaper would have more gossip/columns creating this "us" and "them" attitude.

Suffice to say that Muslim bashing in English papers is fast becoming a national sport.

30 November, 2006 19:41  
Blogger Insipid Chagrin said...

Juvenille, and utterly delinquet. There's the careful use of "ethos" in building up the argument - salma the saviour trying to forget the perils of the world- she obviously has the moral authority to pass supercilious judgement. Gratuitous mention of how she works with children, etc, etc.

If this was meant to be amusing, i'm afraid that it's miles wide of its mark, and is downright offensive.

30 November, 2006 22:30  
Blogger Photograph Abu Dhabi said...

"If you don't like it, leave"

:D :D :D

30 November, 2006 22:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What crap?

This is an unprofessional and a sad article for Emirates today. They just shot themselves in the foot.

What the hell is a UN humanitarian doing "tasting" and "recommending" eateries to the public, I mean is this woman even a qualified critic? or more importantly can she cook to save her life?

Emirates today practices exactly the opposite of what it preaches, we do not need any more ugly divides in the UAE between expats & locals. Hence I wish they would do away with such kissing the backside write ups.

30 November, 2006 23:08  
Blogger LocalExpat said...

HAHAHAHAAHHAHh...this is one of the most juvenile attempts i have ever seen at ridiculing and insulting people.
It is so lame, amateur , ridiculous and down right pathetic that it make me laugh...

What is the bloody point though??? hahahahahhahaha

01 December, 2006 02:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to write my drivel, but the story is still on-line, surely a record for the country that now has claim to the second largest wrap around building photo/advert!Check out celebratory stamp on WTC, for the 10 month ruler of Dubai, but this will not guarantee delivery!

FT, a British publication had the largest wrap around in Hong Kong, so the Brits are still ahead, & surely the late Sheikh Makhtoum should be credited for his hands off approach, even when VAT was going to be levied on racing in UK!

01 December, 2006 04:35  
Blogger Wobblydangly said...

There is some truth in what Salma says- these hotel restaurants are all about style over substance. Food is average, small (nouvelle) portions and quite often populated by former Sharons and Darrens from the home counties.

01 December, 2006 09:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh yeah that review is so bad, that they should censor it...oh wait, that is what we are against here...

01 December, 2006 10:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it really that offensive, bearing in mind Salma was scraping her caramel souffle as she pronounced "British Trash"?

Uh uh, don't forget the "out".

"British trash at its best," giggles Salma, as she scrapes out her caramel souffle.

Out of what I ask you? Sounds awfully like a belly-button-jam dig.

01 December, 2006 10:53  
Blogger al-republican said...

Salma Zulfiqar's racism aside, did any of us miss the obvious racist and brash attitude of the European waiter??

On a similar note, did anyone catch Michael Richards outbursts against some African-Americans at the Laugh Factory?? Isn't he Jewish?? If he is, isnt his act diabolical??

We live in interesting times!

02 December, 2006 01:27  
Blogger secretdubai said...

did any of us miss the obvious racist and brash attitude of the European waiter??

Unless you were dining at the restaurant the same evening and know something we don't, then yes, I'm afraid I missed it.

Other than various aspersions that appear to derive more from the interviewer's and interviewee's respective inferiority complexes, I see not one iota of evidence that the waiter was racist or brash. Nor do they refer to one specific incidence where he insulted them.

"implicitly suggests with a flare of the nostrils"

Yeah, right. I can just see them trying to pin that one on him in court. "M'lud, the defendant made a racist gesture to my client via his nostrils".

02 December, 2006 02:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Secret - normally agree with your posts- but most restaurants in five star hotels in Dubai including Gordon Ramsay's wouldn't stand a chance when it comes to service standards and food quality when compared to the equivalent stateside Europe or Australia

02 December, 2006 09:58  
Blogger Al Ain Taxi said...

With the pound/dirham exchange rate being so bad, I think many Brit expats will be eating at Automatic rather than Verre..

02 December, 2006 11:17  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon @ 02 December, 2006 09:58

I don't know where in Europe you have been, but I find the service in restaurants here to be generally better. Having said that, I have yet to dine at the restaurant in question.

One thing is for sure, if bitches like Salma don't like it, it sure sounds like a good place for me to dine.

Seriously though, who is this racist bitch?

02 December, 2006 11:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think people are missing the point here.

The issue is not about the quality of the food or the restaurant.

The issue is that an organisation that is run by locals is so openly racist and insulting. But at the same time a non-local organisation/person can face serious penalty for any percieved racism or criticism.

Now look around the world and you will see similar instances. Where this demographic of people are imposing their will on the majority there.

They are insulting and threatening to their host and try to get their host to change. Yet, they refuse to change or accept any criticism (In UAE, they will deport you, in the west, they will murder you).

they expect you to follow (which is equated to respect) their customs and traditions but they will not respect the traditions, customs and laws of your country when they are there.

Our liberal way is going to our undoing.

Sad isn't it.


02 December, 2006 12:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know my comment is gonna cause a huge stir, sd, but I think it needs to be posted. Our silence only makes them stronger and is destroying all we fought for back home.

- DD

02 December, 2006 12:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Off topic but

02 December, 2006 13:13  
Blogger truedebbie menon said...

off topic...good un

That is on the Road To Dubai? C'mon! It never rains in Dubai.... or San Diego County, Right?

02 December, 2006 18:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Service good in Dubai? It varies between fake fawning and clueless. The again you pay peanuts and you get monkeys. As for racist most of those working at Emirates Today wouldn't even know what the word trash meant....

02 December, 2006 19:39  
Blogger Balushi said...

Its Ok If a British Trashs other!!


Its Not Ok if others Trahs the British.

Nah well, i guess thats the way of nature.

02 December, 2006 22:20  
Blogger dontfearfreedom said...

I guess Salma would prefer to eat rotting goat flesh and dried fish. Mmmm...finger licking good.

To be honest I have not seen anything as 'Chav' as a dish-dash and a baseball cap, a thousand Leboghini Gallardo's racing the streets on a Friday night and can someone please tell me; who the f**k needs a gold phone? Nissan Patrol is the new XR3i.

They should relocate Dubai next to Southend-on-Sea 'cos the standard of Middle Eastern local is getting really bad.

03 December, 2006 09:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i disagree with 90% of the comments on this entry. in the same way that i defend the right of all these bloggers to express their opinions, i defend the right of sallma to express hers. if she doesn't like a restaurant/waiter or the people in it - why can't she say so? everyone else seems pretty free about publishing their own opinions. truth be told, i was quite pleased to read it. emirates today is usually such a pile of colourless dross, that it was nice to have something funny for a change.

03 December, 2006 18:40  
Blogger secretdubai said...

To some of the Anons whose comments haven't been published: the point of this post is hypocrisy in the media. It isn't about whether it is right or not to bash British people or bash anyone else.

So I deliberately haven't posted those comments because I wanted to keep discussion as on-topic as possible. I understand that not everyone may be aware of the background, which is the controversy over 7Days, and perhaps those that weren't aware of the background were those that missed the point.

03 December, 2006 21:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

me again (last post). if that's your point, secret, i don't think it stands up. how can you compare a newspaper misquoting a dictator to a rival publication printing comments in which one briton criticises others? there is no parallel. one is sloppy/unwise reporting, the other is fair comment.

04 December, 2006 21:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice blog, i wish u good luck
Dubai is so lovely :)

05 December, 2006 18:18  
Blogger hannibal said...

I was out of the country..

so whats the 'controversy over 7 days' eh??

could someone kindly enlighten me


06 December, 2006 09:46  
Blogger littlejimmy said...

I have coined a word to describe those wearing the dish-dash/baseball cap combo.

It is...


07 December, 2006 14:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charab yourself.

If you had any integrity or self esteem you woudn't come to a country to earn a decent living and then start attacking the locals (Dishdasha wearing charab quote)

Instead you would stay at home where you wouldn't meet dishdasha wearers and keep your self respect and personal integrity. The only reason you got a job here is because your employer thinks that people like you are more intelligent than dishdasha wearers, which is obviously a very mistaken attitude by them.

Wake up boy. Or leave the country if you don't like us dishdasha wearers. Stop the hypocrisy and be a man . I repeat if you don't like it then leave with whatever self esteem you still have.

You cannot get a decent job in your own country and yet you come here drivelling and dribbling and salivating at the prospect of a fat check for doing nothing then you start attacking the kandoorah wearers?

wake up boy and face yourself before the world faces you with reality.

Boy grow up for heavens sake!!!!!!!!!!!

25 March, 2007 00:42  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just stumbled on this - amazing. i was at the paper at the time and i know both the writer and ms zulfiqar are british

28 August, 2007 23:43  

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