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30 November, 2009

From Vision™ to nightmare

It was October 2003; the setting was the recently opened Madinat Jumeirah, its lobby strewn with even more rose-petals and incense-bearers than usual. For the weary Dubai hack pack, lured there by the anticipation of free Jumeirah International catering and yet another laser-etched paperweight or pleather business folder, it was clear that Sheikhliness was afoot.

Sharpened pencils and reporters' notebooks were readied as the crowds descended the elevator into the press conference room. It was packed to the rafters. As well as journalists there were endless VIP guests, businesspeople and white-robed members of the royal retinue.

This was an era of great works of Vision™ - from Dubai Internet City and Media City to Dubai International Financial Centre. The emirate was growing, it was the start of the boom. People were excited about Dubai, they were anticipating great things. So far everything made sense. The direction was clear. Trade, commerce, technology: all areas that Dubai already did or likely could excel at.

And then a lengthy video played, introducing Dubailand. Endless CGI scenes of housing developments were intercut with stock footage of theme parks and shots of Dubai. It was more bewildering than impressive. As it went on, it made progressively less sense. The accompanying speech was no more enlightening.

As the media shuffled out, and started swapping notes, one thing became clear. Everyone had been left with a strange, prevailing sensation of tackiness. (According to one source in a production company that didn't win the bid, the video was made on the cheap in Asia). Nonetheless, this was an era when everyone believed in Dubai, and when everyone - local or expat - wanted to believe in Dubai.

But no one understood Dubailand. Other than that it appeared to be connected to tourism, it didn't seem very well defined. And its history has been one of cancellations, cover-ups, shifting goalposts. There was this article by ITP (link goes to archived pdf): "Projects worth billions of dollars have been shelved on the massive Dubailand development" - it was hastily pulled from the web, despite containing quotes from a senior official. Its assertions were never corrected or denied. As one source says in the banned article: "Many [projects] were unfeasible and impractical - the numbers just didn’t work, and they were simply shrouded by the glitz of the idea."

Looking back, Dubailand is perhaps the defining moment when the Vision™ first faltered. Let us not forget what we were told that day, these are the words of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum:

"I would like to tell capitalists that Dubai does not need investors, investors need Dubai and I tell you that the risk lies not in using your money but in letting it pile up. It is dormant and dead if it is merely a figure in an account. I tell them not to hold onto it and kill it in safes, let it breathe and be active because money is like water - if you lock it up, it becomes stagnant and foul-smelling, but if you let it flow, it stays fresh. If it does not flow, it will become stagnant and its colour will change. When I encourage you to invest, I am not asking you to put your money into a fire - I guarantee that your money will be invested in carefully studied projects. I want to be frank with you - I have the courage to take decisions and to bear the responsibility for the consequences. Do you have the courage to be frank and decisive?"


Comments

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118 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good to see you really back on song SD, the point you make about where the solid early vision went off message is probably spot on.
I know that a lot of countries, banks and major companies caught a cold when the world economy went into meltdown.
But Dubai WOW, could not have been worse, mismanagement arrogance, lack of focus, maybe just pure greed caused this.
It is also interesting to note, that in the past when the Dubai PR machine spoke everybody listened. Now when the PR machine speaks everybody just sniggers and say, more spin, more lies.
Its not going to be easy for Dubai, without credibility PR just does not work and without PR Dubai has nothing left.
The party has been over for a while, now its public news, no more coverups after all they have really p---d off the people who once loved them, the worlds Banks, they will not forget that.

30 November, 2009 01:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i thought you were going to tell us something dramatic? tell us some big gossip! yallah!

30 November, 2009 03:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not surprised in anyway about the Dubai crash.
Property prices were higher than in Europe. It didn't have the necessary population to live in the million flats it built.
The villas are rubbish quality. Got to India,Pakistan,Iran look at the quality of housing, much better than a Dubai villa by Emaar/Nakheel.
Dubai or Abu Dhabi will still be the best destination in Middle East, its better than Saudi etc.
But they cant pretend they are on the same level as Europe. In Europe you are protected by laws and you can make a business without a emirati partner/sponsor. Who wants to buy property in Dubai and live there? Too hot, nothing to do, no real arab culture, just spend money in malls everyday. Leave Dubai to arab gulf people, every other nationality should focus on business in Europe or US.

30 November, 2009 03:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

having just read the comments of the leader, people are going to look back and say Dubai rulers had no idea what they were doing. credit to them of course for making something out of nothing, but end result is what matters. They denied world economic crash would ever effect dubai, and look now 50% of property value is gone. why did they focus on making biggest buildings/projects? waste of money, they should have focused on culture or development of beaches to attract long term foreigners. this is what too much easy money does, not thinking about loss and risk. in the west they have no oil and so have to work hard for money using long term ideas and services. rest of middle east should take a lesson never to put all hopes on building biggest buildings/projects.

30 November, 2009 03:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh well atleast my house in dubai is still worth 9 million dhs , purchased for 2.2, lucky me hey? and yes i am STILL getting offers, weird right...

30 November, 2009 05:34  
Blogger Kyle said...

Thanks for posting a snippet of that daring speech or for a lack of a better term -- a play with words especially that comparison between money & water.

Sadly, some people and organizations did take those words seriously and went with the flow but ended up being fcuked over eventually.

From where I stand, it was good to see Dubai experiment with dare & ambition. But somewhere along the way it lost its focus, became arrogant & greedy amongst other sins, which according to the rules of the universe don't go along too well.

Will anyone learn from this precedent? I certainly hope so, for the sake of our children, sanity prevails!

30 November, 2009 08:30  
Blogger Undercover Dragon said...

Hubris...

Anon - Just some unsolicited advice: take the offer of 9 mln (if it exists) and rent...

30 November, 2009 09:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never understood why people were suckered in by the Dubai 'vision' property con-job in the first place.
The world is full of so much lovelier places to live, with fresh air, gardens, temperate weather, fair, transparent and equitable treatment from governments, religious tolerace and accountable friendly citizens.

30 November, 2009 10:35  
Blogger Mita said...

Interesting post and even more interesting "anonymous" comments.

I really do not understand why you are still being blocked because nothing you say here is any different from what others say elsewhere for all the world to see. Except you have the advantage of being here.

30 November, 2009 11:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I have the courage to take decisions and to bear the responsibility for the consequences."

So why hasn't His Greatness made any media appearances. Why hasn't he taken responsibility?

Hollow words from a megalomaniac.

30 November, 2009 13:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, thanks for the link to the Ruler's official website. I have found further gems under "Quotes", like this one:

" Transparency and open dialogue are effective and vital elements in the structure of mature and civilized nations."

30 November, 2009 14:03  
Anonymous indy said...

Interesting links, keep those great articles coming SD. It was funny to see how they covered recent events in Gulf News and its likes. Talk about "having the courage to bear the responsibility for the consequences"...

30 November, 2009 14:14  
Blogger Nature Strikes Back said...

love the quotes! Haven't thought too much about Dubai / UAE since I left but have obviously got VERY interested again recently!! Great to see a post here again too :)

30 November, 2009 15:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good to see you back SD.

I am one of the many who was forced to leave my possessions and cars at the airport and leave. (no, i didnt over-extend or live the ex-prat lifestyle)

Even though Im no longer in Dubai i still contribute to the britishexpat website for the middle east and I genuinely miss some aspects of the UAE.

I was forced to leave due to the possibility of jail time or having my passport frozen, and i couldnt let my family and small child go through that.

I wonder if those in power will face jail or legal repercussions for defaulting on their payments the same way that everyone else does..........somehow I doubt it

rgds
JD

30 November, 2009 21:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

JD,

You'll be glad to know what I'm about to tell you.

They got a better deal. They had their wings clipped, which means they'll just be showcased for the heck of it.

Of course, the usual Phantom PR of Dubai will be pissed off dry to hear this but it's a fact.

So, do yourself a favour and fix yourself a stiff drink while you hail at the top of your voice 'I hope you enjoyed the ride, Your Un-excellency, but you got what you deserved when you chose to sideline the Middle-Income people in favour of all those that aren't worth the shit. Enjoy your showcased position before they crush you to bits'.

30 November, 2009 21:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

pitty the fools who believe those morons in white dresses with a god complex ha...

30 November, 2009 22:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

heads will roll soon! mark my words...

30 November, 2009 22:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sheikh MO(RRON) hahahaaaa !

30 November, 2009 22:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a Brit living in Dubai and am just loving seeing these clowns get their comeuppance. I'm a university educated professional who brought 20 years experience to this country only to have fools slotted in above me in the name of "emiratisation". My Lord there is so much more I could have achieved here for the country in the last 4 years but for the half educated idiots slotted above me who had a better idea. And what I experienced adversely affects every industry in this country

30 November, 2009 23:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Brit Anon

I am an MBA from a leading Bschool and had to work under a Brit who was "just" a University graduate with no relevant experience in the Industry. If I were given a choice to handle the business, I would have saved few hundred jobs :P . Dubai crashed not because of emiratisataion but because of Britainisation and Lebanonisation :P

01 December, 2009 01:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Anon:
Sheikh Mo(ron). Clever. Really apt.
Though next time remember it only has a single 'r'.


By the way SD, great to have you back, and your very unique perspective on things :).

01 December, 2009 04:19  
Anonymous DUBAI VISIT said...

Despite of the economy crisis,Dubai will come back stronger than ever!

01 December, 2009 06:02  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amusing to see all these Brits who are supposedly such high-quality pros actually living and working in Dubai.

If the place stinks, why don't you all- including the writer of this blog - bugger off back to your own country?

But given what I've seen of London, Dubai seems to be a much better spot.

01 December, 2009 06:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a Brit living in Dubai and am just loving seeing these clowns get their comeuppance.

There are more serious considerations than expressing glee at the Emirati's falling on their arse.

A large percentage of the $80 billion debt that Dubai has racked up comes from British banks.

Presumably, if worse comes to worse, and that looks likely, the British taxpayer and his grandchildren will be paying off Dubai's debts for a long time.

01 December, 2009 08:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol, makes me laugh how you all think dubai is screwed. Dubai has screwed the world, and so has sheik mo. Dubai worlds debt is going to have to be payed of by the banks and british tax payers, nothing to do with Dubai anymore. Its been made clear that Dubai world has nothing to do with government of dubai although clearly it is, ahh gota love sheikh mo, screwing the world over, clearly dubai isnt going anywher,far too many political interests involved, ie iran, money laundering, prostitution, russian mafia. He cheated everyone and now the world is going to have to pay its consequences

01 December, 2009 16:17  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@16:17
And that my friend is why no one will touch Dubai with a bargepole, let alone a dollar, for a very long time. I
nvestors and banks will no longer stump up for junk sukuk bonds which will not be repaid.
Abu Dhabi will not bail Dubai out, just cherry pick which assets to take over.
Dubai is in big big trouble, and rapidly needs to come out of a state of denial. You can only tackle a problem if you admit one exists.
Unfortunately Dubai still thinks it is everybody else's fault that they can't pay their debts.
Wake up before it's too late

01 December, 2009 16:40  
Anonymous Ali said...

Todays piece by Linda Heard where she claimed that people hate Dubai because its an utopia was nauseating. I dont get it it; Dubai residents can talk about how the US is in financial trouble, but when someone else says the same about Dubai, its because he/she is jealous of the tremendous progress made by Dubai.

Oppression of Red Indians 200 years back somehow justify any and all mistakes made by Dubai.

Arabian Business comment section has become a cheerleading team for Dubai, with tens of comments congratulating HH Shaikh Mohammad for his wise vision, and HE Maktoum Hasher for being a noble man for buying some Dubai bonds with his own money.

I just dont get it, why are people pretending to be so blind towards reality ; which is that while Dubai wont collapse anytime soon, it sure is in a bit of financial trouble.

01 December, 2009 18:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and to think how they rubbished any claim that the bubble might burst...for the last 3 years when it was clear to most. even now, there are western apologists penning dubai thoughts on how this is just bad news, and not really a disaster! try telling that to hundreds of people who have been ruined by this, and lost their jobs.

01 December, 2009 23:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Todays piece by Linda Heard where she claimed that people hate Dubai because its an utopia was nauseating.

You expect someone who writes for Arab News, which is published from the headquarters of Censorship Inc, Riyadh, to write anything closely approximating the truth?

In that case, you have more blinkers on than the rulers of Dubai.

02 December, 2009 05:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice comment here..
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/dec/02/bling-dubai-emirates-conservatism

02 December, 2009 12:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Living abroad (from Dubai,thanks God) I realized that once they all said great things about that piece of desert, and they flew to live their like little lambs, one behind the other... Now Dubai means SHIT. Dubai visit forget about Dubai coming back stronger, Abu Dhabi won't let it stand up. You are finished.

02 December, 2009 19:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmm vicky?

03 December, 2009 01:42  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Duabi still better off long term than many other regions worldwide: by Athar Mian: There just is too much doom and gloom about Dubai or MidEast finances in general. Just think- the Emirates alone have more than a trillion $ in reserves. Then compare it with the US debt load of about 120% of GDP, or about $17 trillion !

This is a repeat from last year when Western journalists had left Dubai for dead. Well, its demise was great exaggerated, to cite Mark Twain. It's deja vu all over again.

What such visionary pundits also have ignored is the smart rebound of Asian economies, these being increasingly decoupled from Western economies, despite major loss of exports to US/Europe.The Johann Haris of the (less than) Independent newspapers will be back with yellow journalism, but only briefly as before.

Surely there is a lot of pain, but with US unemployment at a real 17.5%, and both Europe/US talking of a double dip, Dubai hasn't fared that poorly. Over last year 400,000 additional folks came to the UAE, as opposed to the flight notions of hundreds of thousands leaving Dubai for good. Yes real estate will be bad for some years to come (where is it doing really well, anyway?), but there is good infrastructure spending.

This bond issue will be resolved in the usual way- some bondholders, especially the impatient fly-by-night ones (e.g. New York hedge funds) will take a haircut (losses), the portfolio will be restructured and business will resume, with additional liquidity pouring in. Dubai will be doing a wise thing to conserve its recent fundraising for local infrasatructure spending and local jobs.

Remember that emerging bonds have been the only consistent and highly profitable investments in this climate (100-200% annual returns.) It is thus going to be a smart move to invest in the restructured Dubai bonds to extend this emerging bond run in your portfolios.

By the time China and Eastern Europe too face similar real estate situations next year, Dubai will already be on the road to major investments recovery. Given governance issues we will see a change of guard with top officials and much better regulation.

Fundamentals matter. A growing youth demographic that is increasingly educated, oil receipts, small local populations and a 5-7x expat population that is a flexible cushion, with ample reserves, there really is no such thing as a long term fiscal crisis anywhere in the GCC. These short term episodes are reminders to be prudent, and big capital gains for those new investors. Try justifying the same for Western economies for the next 20 years.

03 December, 2009 03:58  
Anonymous Infidel said...

I am glad to leave UAE 6 months ago even without getting my gratuity. So what more lies James Piecowye has to say now? This Canadian is a shame to his country.

If UAE hs locked up a lot of expats for not being able to pay their debts, I think that Sheikh Mo-ron should be locked up in British jails as well.

03 December, 2009 05:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To appreciate Dubai better, you need to be living elsewhere in the GCC.. say a Kuwait or perhaps a Riyadh...

03 December, 2009 11:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'To appreciate Dubai better, you need to be living elsewhere in the GCC.. say a Kuwait or perhaps a Riyadh...'

or england

people who think dubai is bad have never been to my country, or those english people who think dubai is bad, go back to england for one year, then tell me where you would rather be

03 December, 2009 18:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that indeed is the problem with the guys here is it not. busy talking about life in london and US. get them out of your mind. they handle their own shit, and they are happy to accept that there is shit there. unlike you towelheads who first go out and oversell your country on pure bullshit, and then when it collapses, try to divert attention by blaming it as a western conspiracy.

i agree, like all the credit card debtors of dubai who are not given time to pay, and sent to jail, Sheikh Mo should go in too.

03 December, 2009 19:23  
OpenID easyclicks said...

The youth are the hope of the nation. Organizations must promote a sense of solidarity and understanding in today's kids.

For example this National Day, I heard that there is a major Walkathon event, attended by nearly 3000 school kids, to be held at Zabeel Park.
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stargate-UAE-National-Day-Walk-a-thon/189018563485

04 December, 2009 09:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All your money are belong to us

Bowahahahahahahahaha

04 December, 2009 14:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol, dubai REALLY HAS FUCKED EVERYONE! all the assets are owned by dubai royal family, so they can not be taken, not even by abu dhabi, and yet they do not even have to pay the debt! sheikh mo, i salute you, you really are smarter than you look!

04 December, 2009 15:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that's my boeyyy ... Shehk Mo'dof Maktoum

06 December, 2009 02:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

still getting offers for 9m huh?

offers means jack... close the deal then talk dipshit

06 December, 2009 02:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No with most of the overrated bullshitting Brits and Lebos gone Dubai will finally be the place to be

06 December, 2009 02:44  
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06 December, 2009 20:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0becd00a-e0f8-11de-af7a-00144feab49a.html?nclick_check=1

06 December, 2009 21:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/dubai-just-bit-misunderstood-thats-all

07 December, 2009 10:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

check this blog out to get an idea of what is in store for Dubai...

http://www.wallstwtf.com/2009/12/dubai-ledership-is-psychologically.html

08 December, 2009 10:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sheikh mo, i salute you

11 December, 2009 00:42  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so happy to be done with that god forsaken country!

11 December, 2009 09:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to all the bozos saluting sheik moron for his long con, wow! you are admitting its a con and you are raising your hats to him.... bunch of cowardly, sick, perverted people you emiratis... sheikh mo fucked everyone over, so "go mo go mo go mo"...fuck you you stupid SOBs!!!

12 December, 2009 19:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hahaha what makes you think were even local? I aint local, Dubai didnt fuck me over thats for sure, he fucked the chavs from england who came in the last three years and ruined the place, the greedy bankers, oh and those indian twats who inflated the price of housing up soo much by buying and reselling...thats who is fucked over the .

13 December, 2009 08:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

go mo! go mo! go mo!

I don't see what people are complaining about, they got to enjoy a top class city, if their adventure didn't work out it's because they tried to trick the system but were left out in the cold (the London cold!), those who followed the rules were informed of how to prtoect themselves,

ha ha ha.

14 December, 2009 23:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sheik Mo a visionary? What a joke, he's more of a con artist stealing money from little old ladies.

15 December, 2009 22:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dubai..top class city? with the heat, expense, lack of anything remotely natural, lack of democratic freedom for everyone there....what the hell are you smoking?

16 December, 2009 09:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

London, shit city, cold, rainy, dark, depressing, chavs, scallys, racist people, shootings every week, muggings, bitter people who dont understand that life does exist outside the UK, expensive, dirrty, corrupt, oh but wait we have some culture...gimme dubai ANYDAY, who cares if its fake, id rather be on my death bed thinking about the good life i had in dubai surrounded by fakeness, rather than in the UK thinking about what a depressing bleak miserable and broken country it is. Trust me, not everyone hates dubai. People who cant understand that are simply ignorant, and you can bullshit all you want about how there are labour camps and its just a city full of malls and fake people, but overall, where in this world is perfect

16 December, 2009 23:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"id rather be on my death bed thinking about the good life i had in dubai surrounded by fakeness....."

what a sad and miserable life it must have been for you my friend!!

17 December, 2009 07:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

can't wait to go back to my rat hole in the uk to renew my tv license, pay my gas bills, telephone bills and smell the taxi diesel *YUMMY*

17 December, 2009 16:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For anonymous and his "surrounded by fakeness"... No paradise in word, but to live in a fake place with no culture, no history, no good food or wine and all the rest... well friend, there is not only UK, the mediterranean has a great weather and it's certainly more interested... go to the mall and buy, buy ... what a wonderful placeeeee!

17 December, 2009 23:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCScNNrIWZ0&feature=PlayList&p=E23C3B23DFBB117A&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=13

19 December, 2009 08:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why are you so obssessed with doobuy

22 December, 2009 01:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey SD merry Xmas, glad to c u back. Im back in London for the holidays season and that why i didn't post earlier. Anyway i enjoyed this last blog, well written dude.

Wanted to put to rest some issues about who's gonna pay for sheik mo's tunnel vision. Its Abu Dhabi. The price is $25 billion so far and counting. Read this for perspective of how much money Abu Dhabi spent:

http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20091214-704239.html

And of course Abu Dhabi will pay all the banks what they are owed. So in reality Dubai really screwed Abu Dhabi over.

If i was a local right now i would be really upset and revolution would be in the air. If i was a local and i knew that this oil was all i had and my unelected rulers were throwing it away i would revolt. But then I'm not a local and will never understand their petty minds.

And lets not forget Issa The Torturer :

http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091215/NATIONAL/712149816/0/rss

What a lame excuse, i was drugged! Ha, lets see if sheik mo will use that as his defense too!

Keep it up SD

26 December, 2009 20:20  
Anonymous Mark said...

Interesting quote in that post!

28 December, 2009 01:11  
Anonymous Mike said...

Good to see you back. Speeches, like life, cannot be rewound it is just a shame that a few of the fearless journalists assembled did not express their doubts in print!

29 December, 2009 03:56  
Anonymous Mike said...

Good to see you back. Speeches' like life, cannotbe rewound. It is just a shame a few of the fearless journo's did not express their doubts at the time.

29 December, 2009 04:02  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've heard a few useful things about dubai, will tell after I've made use of them

30 December, 2009 09:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dubai is a shithole and it will remain that way. You cant buy culture and history.

30 December, 2009 22:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wise vision of the islamic law of dubai:

Sentence reduced for men who killed Pakistani driver

Marten Youssef,The National. Courts and Justice Reporter.January 3. 2010 7:10PM GMT

ABU DHABI // Three men who were found guilty of burning their Pakistani driver to death have been released from Al Wathba Prison after an appeals court reduced their three-year sentence to one year, which was in fact time served.

The men, two Emirati brothers and their Russian friend, settled with the family of the Pakistani driver, Mohammed Hassan, through the Islamic Sharia system known as “diyaa”, or blood money.

According to court documents, the incident took place in January 2009 at the home of the two Emirati men. Mr Hassan was hit on the head with a block of wood, knocking him unconscious. The cause of the argument was not revealed.

The three men then poured petrol over the victim and burnt him to death. The police discovered his remains after he was reported missing. The three men were arrested, charged with premeditated murder and denied bail. They pleaded guilty and asked to settle with the victim’s family through diyaa.

04 January, 2010 12:14  
Anonymous Dubai Job Seeker said...

I love reading your blog.

Its quite possibly the best.

So controversial! Good Job!

06 January, 2010 02:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I fucking hate you stupid muslim retards esp. Dubai!

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/2799483/Dubai-waiter-rapes-British-girl-then-SHE-and-fiance-are-held-for-illegal-sex.html

08 January, 2010 11:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

people who LIE about being rapped are the scum of the earth, they deserve to rot for there little lie

"MY DH works in this Hotel and was MOD that night.

The girl was NOT raped!!! and as a matter of fact there is CCTV footage to prove that. The waiter who escorted her to the toilet and then allegedly RAPED her NEVER entered the toilets he returned to the bar and that is on CAMERA. She fell asleep on a make up bench inside the Ladies room.
The two girls who were directing people to pool, bar, toilets, elevators (lack of signage) got worried when she didn't return and entered the ladies room to find her asleep. She was woken up, escorted back to bar where the F&B DIRECTOR had to cut her OFF.
It was the boyfriend who began the rape story in the morning as he was ****** off about her being cut off and 'ruining' the night. The girl said she couldn't remember and just went with the boyfriend's story.
There was a massive investigation on New Year's day with Hotel staff being held, statements of witnesses, the camera footage being investigated and the staff has been cleared.
That is when the police detained the couple for drinking and unlawfully sharing the room."

from a well known dubai website, expatwomen

so many negative stories about dubai, never beleive everything you read

08 January, 2010 22:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.uaepm.ae/en/media/e-sessions/Public-e-Session-en-010609.html

Mohammed Al Ghafly, UAE
Your Highness, I am a UAE national pursuing my studies in the UK. I have been filled with anger whenever I’ve seen examples of the campaign launched against the UAE, and against Dubai in particular, by the international press. Your response to the media questions through the media e-session page has been very relieving to me, as you have been able to comprehensively and accurately clarify the motives behind this campaign and disclose its purpose. However, it really strikes me as very surprising to see that the International press insists to attack the UAE, alternating its attacks between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, despite the recent developments and recovery from the financial crisis. It has been eight months now, and the UAE has successfully handled the implications of the financial crisis. Our banks have proved strong, our liquidity has been improving, our economy has been recovering overall, confirming your statement that we are already over the worst with regard to the financial crisis. What is even more astonishing is that the same international media tend to celebrate the smallest or weakest signals of recovery for Western economies, while constantly criticizing the behavior of UAE economies and digging through old books and slips.

Shiekh Mo:-
I appreciate your feelings Mohammed. I also congratulate you for your patriotism. Our citizens have always shown similar levels of enthusiasm and patriotism for their nation whenever and wherever they are, and we are proud of that.

We have become accustomed to such negative news. After all, it is the price we pay for our great success and for maintaining an open society. As you have said, one of the main reasons behind this organized attack against the UAE, and Dubai in particular, is to distorte the successful and prominent model of unity set by the UAE. To that I would add that some of the negative news has been fabricated under the supervision of certain people in positions of authority. They have done this in pursuing their personal interest and agendas. We are aware of the reasons, the sources, and the ways such actions are taken. Everything is clear to us.

As the English saying goes, such negative coverage has become more like “fish and chips” news. We take it in stride because we have self confidence in the UAE’s ability to continue to make economic and social progress.

09 January, 2010 06:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL. looks like the Sheikh is accusing the western media of an organized campaign against Dubai? What a load of childish crap !!

09 January, 2010 06:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Open society, unity? what is the sheik talking about? Its the opposite.

09 January, 2010 06:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

EVERYTHING IS CLEAR TO US? SO THAT YOU CAN HIDE YOUR DARK SECRETS OR RAPE AND TORTURE AND ABUSE? CAN YOU, AS RULER COME ONLINE AND MAKE A CLEAR STATEMENT THAT NO ABUSE OF MAIDS HAPPEN IN DUBAI? HE IS A LIAR AND A DIMWIT!!

09 January, 2010 15:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ 08 January, 2010 22:48 : I HAVE THE SAME TO SAY TO YOU, NEVER REPEAT WHAT YOU DONT KNOW TO BE TRUE. GULF NEWS, THE UPHOLDER OF EMIRATI VALUES SAYS THE HOTEL EMPLOYEE HAD SEX WITH THE GIRL. NOW YOUR SOURCE WOULD BE??

GULF NEWS :
The woman was given a blood test to prove she had been drinking. A rape exam was administered following an appeal from the British embassy, which is providing consular assistance to the couple.

The alleged attacker denied the rape charge, claiming the woman consented, but has been charged with illegal sex.

10 January, 2010 13:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WELCOME TO THE MOST MODERN MULTICULTURAL, OPEN CITY OF DUBAI. ALSO THE CAPITAL OF PURITANICAL RELIGIOUS HYPOCRISY :

Double room trouble
Sunday 10 Jan, 2010

Sex outside marriage is illegal in Dubai and across the UAE.

Expats and tourists are told they must be aware of the country’s strict rules on sex and that it is their duty before setting foot in the country to ensure they are clear on the dos and don’ts in a Muslim society.

So why is it that of the ten top hotels and chains in Dubai contacted by 7DAYS yesterday every single one said it was absolutely fine for unmarried couples to share a room?

The recently arrested British couple have been criticised in chat rooms and on news web sites for “ignoring the law” with some claiming tourists should “do their research” before holidaying in the Emirates.

But it seems when enquiries are made to tour operators and hotels, the law is sidelined.

7DAYS called the reservation departments of ten hotels and resorts in Dubai, one in Abu Dhabi and one in Sharjah saying we wanted to book a room for two friends who were an unmarried couple.

Only Sharjah’s Radisson SAS Hotel said unmarried couples were banned.

Each was asked the same question - are unmarried couples allowed to share a double room even though it is technically illegal?

At the Hilton Jumeirah, the answer was the same: “It’s fine. We can just put them down as a sharing room. No one will check,” said the reservations clerk.

While the customer services department at the Intercontinental and Crowne Plaza hotel chain said: “It’s illegal but nobody will ask them as long as they have a passport.

The police never come to check. As long as you don’t get into any trouble, there’s no problem.”

At the Sheraton Dubai Creek, the bookings receptionist said boyfriends and girlfriends were welcome but warned they should try to keep a low profile.

She said: “It’s certainly fine for them to come. We usually have a lot of couples and they are never checked unless they are going to be drunk and misbehaving, then they will be looked at.”

At the luxury Bab Al Shams and Al Maha desert resorts, again the response was the same.

A reservations assistant at Al Maha said: “There is no problem at the five-star hotels. It is not so strict in the UAE. If you show affect-ion in public then you can get in trouble.

“You are in a Middle Eastern country so you should know how to act.”

Guidelines on Dubai government’s web site for residents and visitors states that pre-marital sex is illegal as does the British Foreign Office and the British Embassy in Dubai, along with other embassies around the world.

However, there is no official guidance from any public or government body on tourist accommodation for unmarried couples in this country.

When 7DAYS contacted Thomas Cook, one of Britain’s biggest tour operators, to ask whether there was any guidance for couples heading to Dubai the response from a baffled sales advisor was: “It’s not some-thing I can advise you on to be honest.

I suppose it’s up to personal choice whether you want to take the risk. I can understand them [the authorities] coming down on you if you get all hot under the collar like that couple on the beach but if you’re just going with your boyfriend…I can’t advise you. It’s like asking me whether you should go to Jamaica or Cuba.”

7DAYS also tried to contact Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Comm-erce Marketing office in the UAE and its UK head office but neither were available. Perhaps finding out the facts before you fly is not as simple as you might assume.

10 January, 2010 14:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WHAT A JOKE THIS BANANA REPUBLIC COUNTRY AND ITS LEGAL SYSTEM IS!!!


UAE sheikh cleared in videoed torture case.BBC.

A member of the ruling family of the United Arab Emirates has been cleared of the torture of a business associate.

Lawyers for Sheikh Issa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the president's brother, said the court ruled he had been drugged and so was "unaware of his actions".

The incident came to light when a videotape was circulated showing the violent beating, said to have taken place in 2004.

"The court accepted our defence that the sheikh was under the influence of drugs that left him unaware of his actions," AFP news agency quoted him as saying.

The defence had previously claimed Sheikk Issa had been drugged by two men who then then recorded the beating in order to blackmail him. Mr al-Mulla said the fact the trial had taken place was "a sign that the UAE is showing that everyone in this country can be put in front of law and judged".

10 January, 2010 19:35  
Anonymous amexchou said...

great post,welcome to dubai :)

15 January, 2010 04:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

fucking hell, you guys are OBSESSED with dubai! its just another city like anywhere else in the world, some hate it some love it, there are places far worse places some may see as better, just get over it jesus christ! some of you guys have issues , you need pschiatric help!

21 January, 2010 03:18  
Anonymous Dubai Information Site said...

Islamic law, sharia law, though has the right intent, is often accompanied by a negative connotation because the poor application of it by many. it is like religious application. but what to do - oh well. that said, any thoughts on abu dhabi's plan 2030?

21 January, 2010 07:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ 21 jan 3:18

Psychiatric help? hehe!

Lots of countries are good, lots are bad. And free press and freedom of speech, and independent voices in those countries bring out what is good, and bad in each of those. As in US, UK, India, Australia etc.

Now here we have Dubai, where every outflow of information is controlled, only the right and positive news will be published, detractors and critics have no freedom to operate, and on top of all this, all the artifical positives are spun by PR companies day in, day out, across global media.

And then you go and expect people who know what is really happening in Dubai to keep quiet about how wrong things there are really? Honestly, you should'nt be obsessed with the criticism. Every country is criticised...and only Dubai seems to work itself into an agony over not being able to control the truth coming out. Now how's that for you?

and as for sharia law, it has the right intent? like preventing people form having any sort of individualism, preventing people from enjoying what they like in life like a decent drink of wone, some music, and some movies? come on man!

21 January, 2010 14:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why are you so o o obssessed with dubai?

tell us what they did to you, or some of what they did...

people's comments might help you find closure!

22 January, 2010 03:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

now the comment above could be a glimpse of the real issue. everyone is about..am i protected, then i am fine. am i making money, then i am fine. if bad things happen to poorer people, it is alright.

i think it is probably a waste of time trying to impress on you that sometimes it is not about what happened to you personally. it is about the hundreds of things on this blog itself, about what has happened bad to the thousands there. you only need to read previous blog posts here, and replies.

22 January, 2010 22:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dahling, try living in the real world and realise how fucked over you get by governments in other countries, seriously, UAE is like a pussy cat compared to everywhere else on the planet, the thousands of issues raised in this blog are comparable to any other country in the world!

you guys who constantly BITCH like girls about dubai and how fucking awful it is have serious issues, like MAJOR issues, take a look back and see what shit your chatting. Please save yourselves and go back to your own countries and have a fantastic life there PLEASE if dubai offends you THAT much then go! and rescue some housemaids and labourers too , but dont take them to england, or europe, because, you guys know as well as i do, even thought there treated like shit in dubai, atleast they have a job, cos no other country would take them, and they would be doing fuck all back home!

guys there are bigger issues in the world than dubai, like america, britain, iran, terrorism, the media, corrupt family values, etc, get a life and get a grip and PLEASE move on, this blog is pathetic, and secretdubai who ever you are, you are so obsessed

23 January, 2010 00:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wonder why the unobsessed keeps coming back to read and reply.. :-) mission from god above i presume. and no replies that have not been written here before...just the same old parroting of...how US and UK and Europe does it, instead of some sensible defense of Dubai.

24 January, 2010 14:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you shitheads....we live in dubai and write about the country we are living in!!! how difficult is that to get around your brains. if you live in US and hate what goes on there...please write about it.

24 January, 2010 14:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so, dubai discovered more oil...hmmmm

05 February, 2010 21:59  
Blogger Attractive said...

Very good share ~ message support
..................................

10 February, 2010 19:32  
Anonymous Escort said...

Days will become better soon. It is necessary to stick to the personal path and individual dream...not giving up and just surviving right now...

18 February, 2010 03:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

middle east money shows the way in Malaysia how to be holier than the rest:

Rights groups outraged over caning of Malaysian woman
By Sarah Stewart (AFP)

KUALA LUMPUR — The caning of three Muslim women for having illicit sex, the first time the penalty has been carried out under Islamic law in Malaysia, drew outrage from rights activists on Thursday.

The case has fuelled concerns over rising "Islamisation" in Malaysia, where religious courts have been clamping down on rarely enforced religious laws that ban alcohol and sex out of wedlock for Muslim Malays.

The women were caned earlier this month at a women's prison outside Kuala Lumpur, the home minister revealed Wednesday, saying they received the punishment while they were fully clothed and were not injured.

18 February, 2010 19:17  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and to think they want equal rights in all other countries:

Taliban kill 2 Sikhs, send heads to Pak gurdwara
Omer Farooq Khan, TNN, Feb 22,

PESHAWAR: The Taliban has reportedly beheaded two Sikhs in Pakistan's lawless tribal region bordering Afghanistan and sent the heads to a gurdwara.

Jaspal Singh and Mahan Singh, both businessmen, were kidnapped from Tira Valley, in Khyber agency, and Darra Adamkheil, in Orakzai agency, on January 19 and held for ransom. Sources in the area told TOI on Sunday that they were killed because they were paying `protection' money to a rival faction.

However, according to security sources in New Delhi, Jaspal and Mahan were reportedly told to convert to Islam or face death. When they refused, their heads were chopped off and sent to the Bhai Joga Singh gurdwara in Peshawar.

The miniscule Sikh community in NWFP and Afghanistan has been under pressure from the Taliban to embrace Islam, official sources said. The Taliban, during their reign in Afghanistan, had imposed jiziya -- a religious tax -- on all minorities, mostly Hindus and Sikhs. They were made to wear a piece of yellow cloth on their breast pocket to identify themselves.

22 February, 2010 12:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

THE WORLDS LARGEST,TALLEST, MOST BEAUTIFUL, 100 NATIONALITY, COSMOPOLITAN, MODERN , PROGRESSIVE, VISIONARY DUBAI WELCOMES UK CITIZENS:

A 78-year-old grandfather has spent nearly three months in a UAE prison after failing to pay a bill.

British expats Jack Hyndman and his wife Betty had dreamed of returning home to the UK to be closer to their children and grandchildren.

But this dream was shattered by the UAE’s strict debt laws.

Hyndman is serving a three-month sentence while his wife, also 78, waits alone in a Sharjah bedsit.

The Hyndmans, who have lived in the Gulf for 20 years, packed their life’s belongings into a container to be shipped to the UK but were shocked to receive a dhs26,500 quote for the move and decided to downsize.

But before they could, the firm sent their goods and left them with a bill they could not pay.

When attempts to settle the invoice in installments failed, Jack was jailed for a month on December 24, Christmas Eve.

But the couple’s finances worsened and on the day he was due to be freed, he was sentenced to another three months for outstanding rent.

Now the Hyndmans are facing another court case for a dhs9,000 rental car bill, which could see the pensioner spend a further three months behind bars.

24 February, 2010 15:01  
Anonymous a Loving bro said...

Could you and your followers please sign petition to close u-turns on E11 which killed my sister http://bit.ly/baMQjl 4 info visit www.ripsister.com

25 February, 2010 15:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AND NOW FOR SOUTH AFRICAN SLAVES TO DRIVE TAXIS IN DUBAI:

SA cabbies quit over ‘false promises’.
Matt Kwong.February 27. 2010

South African taxi drivers, enticed to come to the UAE with promises of big salaries and good accommodation, found themselves living in labour camps – and paying for the privilege. Courtesy Marc Futter

ABU DHABI // Emirates Taxi is planning to hire up to 700 drivers from South Africa, just weeks after settling with 20 of their compatriots who returned home after finding the working conditions not to their liking.

The last of the group left Abu Dhabi this month, many in debt and disappointed after failing to secure salaries and lifestyles that Emirates Taxi and its recruiter now agree were “unrealistic”.

The men arrived in November and ended up living in a labour camp and paying Dh750 (US$200) for the privilege.

In an e-mail last week, the South African ambassador, Abba Omar, said his embassy was not aware of the new call for drivers, but added that the previous incident was “resolved amicably”.

“We believe this was an unfortunate case which, in all likelihood, will not be repeated,” he said. He did not expect the negative press in South Africa to harm bilateral relations.

28 February, 2010 12:57  
Blogger craig said...

I think that there's a lot to be said for the issues that you raise here. I've just got back from Dubai myself and couldn't help but feel that the place has been a bit of a goldrush city in the last ten years. However, I still think that these are people who can afford to create insane projects that costs insane sums of money simply because the region itself is so wealthy. It would be terrible for the development of other UAE cities to see Dubai fail and for this reason I think that the wallet will continue to be opened however ridiculous the project!

02 March, 2010 16:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Male hairdressers banned from women's salons in Gaza

Hamas have been gradually tightening restrictions enforcing Islamic codes

The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas has said it is to ban male hairdressers from working in salons where women get their hair styled.

Women's underwear has been banned from display, and men must dress modestly when swimming in the sea.

Girls in school also have to wear long dresses.

The BBC's Jon Donnison in the Gaza Strip reports that human rights groups there are complaining that people's freedom is being restricted.

Hamas is coming under internal pressure to show their commitment to Islamic customs, it has been reported.

07 March, 2010 17:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dubai Court hands down jail term to British couple for public indecency at Jumeirah Beach Residence
* By Bassam Za'za',March 12, 2010 * Gulf News

Dubai: A couple who claimed they kissed on the cheek in a restaurant while under the influence of alcohol face one month in jail and deportation.

The Dubai Misdemeanours Court sentenced the Britons to one month in jail followed by deportation for kissing and touching at a restaurant in Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR).

Presiding Judge Ebrahim Khalil Abu Shamma, who handed out the primary verdict, also fined them Dh1,000 each for consuming alcohol.

Prosecutors charged the couple with kissing and drinking alcohol, after an Emirati mother claimed her children saw the man kiss the woman on her lips around 2am in the restaurant.

NOW OVER TO SOME FAMOUS WESTERN BLOG RUNNERS OF UAE DEFEND THIS AS LOYALTY TO MONEY RECEIVED. NORMAL ARGUMENTS RUN AS, OF COURSE, THIS IS THE LAW OF THE LAND AND YOU HAVE TO FOLLOW IT. WHAT KIND OF LAND IS THIS.

14 March, 2010 13:05  
Anonymous Well Said said...

Why Dubai Inc. failed?

http://dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/03/debt-crisis-tests-dubais-ruler/#comment-341649

15 March, 2010 14:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indian man, woman jailed in Dubai for steamy text messages
18 Mar 2010, IANS

DUBAI: An Indian man and woman, working as cabin crew for Emirates airlines, have received a jail sentence here for exchanging steamy text
messages, a media report said Thursday.

The conviction said the sexual content of the texts suggested the pair planned to "commit sin", which is a reference to an extramarital affair that is illegal in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a newspaper reported.

The man, 47, and the woman, 42, worked as cabin crew for Emirates airlines and were sentenced to three months in jail, said authorities.

WELCOME TO COSMOPOLITAN DUBAI WHERE 200 NATIONALITIES LOVE TO LIVE!

18 March, 2010 12:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Shaming' her in-laws costs 19 year old her nose, ears

"When they cut off my nose and ears, I passed out," 19-year-old Bibi Aisha of Afghanistan says with chilling candor.

Her beauty is still stunning and her confidence inspiring. It takes a moment for the barbaric act committed against her to register in your mind and sight.

Wearing her patterned scarf and with roughly painted nails she shares her story.

"It felt like there was cold water in my nose, I opened my eyes and I couldn't even see because of all the blood," she remembers.

It was an act of Taliban justice for the crime of shaming her husband's family.

This story began when Aisha was just 8 years old.

Her father had promised her hand in marriage, along with that of her baby sister's, to another family in a practice called "baad."

"Baad" in Pashtunwali, the law of the Pashtuns, is a way to settle a dispute between rival families.

THIS MUST BE THE GOOD TALIBAN PAKISTAN FUNDS AND WANTS U.S TO TALK TO. THE BAD TALIBAN ONLY GOES FOR NECKS.

18 March, 2010 17:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Woman's savings 'lost within seconds' to Abu Dhabi thief
* Gulf News
Abu Dhabi: "My money was snatched right out of my hand and my savings were lost within seconds. All the hard work and pain behind earning has gone waste," said Anri Meier, the victim of a theft that happened just minutes after she came out of a bank with money she had withdrawn.

The theft happened five days before Meier was set to leave the UAE for good to return to South Africa, her home country, after quitting her job.

However, almost three weeks after the incident, she is still in the country caught up with helping the authorities solve the crime.

"I am in a horrible situation; I am stuck in the UAE, with no cash."

Nevertheless, she is determined to put the criminal who landed her in this situation behind bars, she said.

The crime took place on January 25, around noon, after Meier withdrew Dh50,000 from a bank on Airport Road.

SHE BETTER TAKE THE NEXT BOAT HOME TO S.AFRICA BEFORE SHE IS PUT IN AL SLAMMER FOR ONE YEAR FOR DEFAULTING ON 100DHS SATELLITE TV PAYMENT OR SUPERMARKET FOOD BILL OR SUCH.

21 March, 2010 18:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HAHAH, so true!



http://www.theonion.com/articles/dubai-debt-crisis-halts-building-of-worlds-largest,2886/

21 March, 2010 22:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Niqab for Muslim women banned in Canadian province
Mar 25, 2010, 08.41am IST
TORONTO: After France, Muslim women have been banned from wearing niqab in Canada's French-speaking Quebec province.

A bill tabled Wednesday will not allow government services to women wearing the niqab.

The bill comes after protests triggered by an Egyptian immigrant's refusal to remove her niqab in her French languages classes in Montreal, forcing the school and the provincial government to throw her out.

The college says the Muslim woman was given the front seat in the class so that all male students sat behind her. She was even allowed to make presentations from the rear of the classroom with her back to the class which had three male and 17 female students.

However, students and the college authorities were shocked when one day the woman asked male students to move away from her and refused to sit with them around a U-table to converse and learn French pronunciation.

NOW OVER TO PEOPLE WHO WANT TO DEFEND NIQAB AS PERSONAL CHOICE AND FREEDOM. EVERYONE KNOWS THAT IT IS ONLY THE FIRST STEP AND IS INTENDED TO PUSHING OTHERS OUT OF SOCIAL LIFE AND CHANGING THEIR WAY OF LIFE, AS IS SEEN HERE. WHY DONT THEY STAY IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY. WHAT ABOUT THE PERSONAL FREEDOM OF NORMAL HUMANS AROUND HER, THEIR RIGHT TO BE TREATED AS HUMANS AND NOT AS ANIMALS WHO WANT TO RAPE HER.

25 March, 2010 13:01  
Blogger Justin said...

Secret Dubai, it's April Fools!!! Where are you? I was hoping and praying for a funny post from you. Have they finally caught you?

01 April, 2010 20:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

COMING TO YOUR SHARJAH AND DUBAI SOOOON!!

The day the music died: Somali Islamists ban songs (Associated Press, Tuesday April 13, 2010, Mogadishu, Somalia)

Somali radio stations have stopped broadcasting music following an order from Islamist insurgents who say songs are un-Islamic.

Somalia has a tradition of music and most residents greeted the ban with dismay. The edict is the latest unpopular order from Islamists, who have also banned bras, musical ringtones and movies.

Abdulahi Yasin Jama at Tusmo broadcasting says stations had no choice but to comply with the order, which came into force Tuesday. Only one government-controlled station is defying the ban.

The Islamists frequently assassinate those who defy them or carry out Shariah-based punishments like amputating limbs.

The ban on music echoes rules enforced by Afghanistan's hardline Taliban regime in the late 1990s.

13 April, 2010 18:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me if drugs and drug usage offcurs in Dubai? and if so? where? Just wondering because twenty years ago you could easily get drugs, now im not so sure

17 April, 2010 18:42  
Blogger SaQeR said...

locked up somewhere these days ?? are we ?

23 April, 2010 11:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indians on death row a mockery of justice: Amnesty International to UAE, PTI, Apr 24, 2010

DUBAI: Describing the death sentence awarded to 17 Indians in UAE as a "mockery of justice," leading rights watch Amnesty International has asked the country to probe allegations of torture and ensure a fair trial on appeal.

The Indian migrants, all from Punjab, were sentenced to death on March 29, three months after their arrest, after being convicted by a Sharjah Shariah court for killing a Pakistani national.

"This is a mockery of justice. These 17 men have been tortured, forced to confess, and sentenced to death based on a fake video," Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International's Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa said in a statement.

The convicts, aged between 21 and 25, have launched an appeal in an appellate court seeking a review of the death penalty. The case was regarding a fight, believed to be between rival gangs for control of an illegal alcohol business, in which a Pakistani died and three were injured.

The Indian government sought consular access to the Indians after the verdict was pronounced, following which the Indian embassy here assisted them in launching an appeal. Amnesty also said the men were held for months before the Indian government was notified of their arrest.

The Indians have alleged they were tortured and abused by police over nine days to make them 'confess' to the crime.

Amnesty cited the allegations of Indian NGO Lawyers For Human Rights International (LFHRI) that they were "beaten with clubs, subjected to electric shocks, deprived of sleep and forced to stand on one leg for prolonged periods".

"The authorities must investigate these reports of torture and ensure that the results are made public and those allegedly responsible are held to account," said Sahraoui.

The LFHRI has also alleged that the conviction was based on a "fake video" filmed one month after the arrest, after the men were taken to the scene of the crime and "forced to re-enact it," the statement said. The videotape was presented at the trial as genuine CCTV footage of the killing, the NGO has alleged.

Taking note of the allegations, Amnesty asked the UAE authorities to investigate the allegations of torture and ensure a fair trial on appeal.

"They must be protected from further torture and other ill-treatment, and any evidence obtained using such methods should not be used in court," it said.

27 April, 2010 15:17  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello,

Just wanted to advise that my US agency MindSmack.com has finalized the Dubai Mall interactive shopping directory map which is now available for free download in our FastMall iphone and ipod touch app.

http://www.fastmall.com/blog/?p=360

Please feel free to ask any questions or write about it for your users.

18 May, 2010 21:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SD your mission is far from over.

21 May, 2010 10:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SD your mission is not over yet.

21 May, 2010 10:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.al-emarati.com/2010/05/rip-plane-victims.html

This is how sick some of the locals are. I wonder how many of them think like this.

24 May, 2010 15:08  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Anonymous@24 May, 2010 15:08

Thank you for the link to that appalling content. It has inspired me to post again.

24 May, 2010 16:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SD thanks for posting that link on that ridiculous article by AL EMIRATI. As a former expat Indian who lived the UAE for several years, I am outraged. I think you should tweet the same too.

25 May, 2010 05:42  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it sad that you would be happy with the death of so many.I do pray that all you who don't want Indians would do some work like tend to your own gardens,clean the building windows,cut hair,sell vegetables,clean airport bathrooms,build your metro and such tasks.Why are you issuing more visas ? My suggestion is throw out all Indians.Clean and build your own city.

29 May, 2010 13:57  
Anonymous blue_mirror said...

whats this about nights and mares ? reading some undercurrents here. are you an "animal lover" ?

If it does not flow, it will become stagnant and its colour will change.

Thats a racist rant, wonder what color the he/she ( i am not sexist ) likes

Btw, whats this post all about ?

blue_mirror

15 October, 2010 01:55  
Anonymous mohammed said...

Lot of countries, banks and major companies caught a cold when the world economy went into meltdown.
But Dubai WOW, could not have been worse, mismanagement arrogance, lack of focus, maybe just pure greed caused this.
It is also interesting to note, that in the past when the Dubai PR machine spoke everybody listened. Now when the PR machine speaks everybody just sniggers and say, more spin, more lies.
Its not going to be easy for Dubai, without credibility PR just does not work and without PR Dubai has nothing left.

04 February, 2011 05:50  
Anonymous Dubai - The Truth said...

Dubai? Your dream paradise ?...This blog shows "from vision to nightmare", the title itself outlines what Dubai can actually be...such a true blog outlining real life scenarios. Lets hope everyone realizes the truth behind Dubai.

http://www.truthaboutdubai.blogspot.com

22 April, 2011 01:07  

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