Wednesday, April 08, 2009

"I agree" - so it must be balanced.

It fascinates me how people see the article in The Independent which I posted about yesterday, as did many bloggers.

Secret Dubai said it was: "Probably the best article ever written on Dubai. The word 'best' is such a vague, general word. Best in what way, I wonder?

That's just a thought in passing, my real point is that I'm intrigued that people see the article as balanced with all sides of the picture being covered by it.

For example, SD continues: " It covers everything from wexpats:...To indentured labourers:...To Emiratis: , with relevant quotes from the article.

Covers everything?

Then in the comments you'll find the following:

" Rupert Neil Bumfrey said...

"Probably the best article......" possibly the most objective, I would say.

The reporter has done a good job meeting all sides.

Kyle said...

One of the best & balanced writers in this day & age.

fynali iladijas said...

The article is well researched, well written, fair, objective, and whole.

Dubai=shit said...

This is a well balanced and well written article about Dubai.

You write only one side of a story, yet readers see it as presenting all sides, see it as objective and balanced.


PS: to Anons who plan to comment but will misrepresent what I've written. I'm not discussing the contents of the article, but the way people see a one-view story as objectively balancing all sides.


Rupert Neil Bumfrey said...

Were you not very selective with my quote?

Did I not mention "(with the exception of the professionals from the Sub-Continent, who play a vital role in Dubai)"?

In fairness to Johann he had cast his net further than most "Dubai Bashers", but he makes no mention of his interpreter!

Seabee said...

Indeed I was selective Rupert, because I was only highlighting the comments relevant to my post.

You did mention the professionals from the sub-continent. In fact the full quote is: The reporter has done a good job meeting all sides (with the exception of the professionals from the Sub-Continent, who play a vital role in Dubai).

That supports my original observation of course - he did not meet all sides other than the professionals from the sub-continent. Far from it.

Where were his reports from the likes of the European, American, African, Asian, Arab, Australasian expats, in addition to those from the sub-continent, who are not sleeping in their cars or falling down drunk? The vast majority, that is.

As you've thrown this comment into the debate, I must say that I find it odd that you should have excluded the tens of thousands of professionals playing a vital role in Dubai who are not from the sub-continent.

Mazhar Mohad said...

Is someone paying these media to write nonsense about Dubai? Totally unfair and illogical. This only shows how much of a jealousy prevails around. The problems that exist in Dubai are not isolated. You have Times reporting about rape cases and projecting the dark side of Dubai and toning as if it is because of Dubai Govt. My question is, if the writer can prove if rapes are worse than his home town, lets forget his country. Rubbish!

Samar said...

It just seems the 'best' and most 'objective' to people because they tend to agree with it.

Right now, Dubai bashing is what's selling.

My family is affected by the recession like most. Out of 3 earning members, one's already lost his job and the primary earner is looking at early retirement this year. That only leaves one earning member and 5 people dependent on one modest salary.

Yet you won't find us complaining about Dubai. My parents have spent 30+ of their best years here.

They knew what the rules were when they settled here all those years ago and those rules haven't changed.

Reality Check said...

I read the very long-winded article and quite frankly, it reeks of fiction. Are there really people assinine enough to give their full names and say those silly things? I don't buy Karen's story living in a Range Rover in a car park. I reckon it is mostly made up. Clearly written by an outsider here looking to stir the pot.

I write my fair share of "dark side of Dubai"articles, but I feel justified as I live here. I TRY to look at the positive as well. AFAIC, this article was just a chance to poo all over the City and make some talk. My 2 fils. RC

Seabee said...

RC, I found the bit on Karen Andrews more than a little iffy too.

Johan 'found' her in the car park. Found?

She's been living in the car park 'for months' and "now I'm illegal too"

Has she thought of contacting the Canadian Embassy I wonder?

She and her husband had no idea about Dubai before they came, nor after they arrived it seems, and they made no attempt to find out anything. And they don't sound as though they were very responsible - strange for a man in senior positions and a woman who'd run her own business. "When he said Dubai, I said – if you want me to wear black and quit booze, baby, you've got the wrong girl. But he asked me to give it a chance.

Life was fantastic..It seemed like everyone was a CEO. We were partying the whole time."

Her husband, Daniel, bought two properties. "We were drunk on Dubai"

So they can't get help from their Embassy, they have no family back home who can help, they can't rent out their two properties to get income, they still have the Range Rover.


And then there's the contradiction in timings: 'Daniel was sentenced to six months' imprisonment'..."I have to last nine months until he's out, somehow."

And at the end of the segment the astonishing claim by Johann: All over the city, there are maxed-out expats sleeping secretly in the sand-dunes or the airport or in their cars.

Very dodgy, very sloppy stuff.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I have read that bbc article and I admit many of it is true...

however, reading that Range Rover lady story made me start questioning the credibility of this article.

did you read the response made by Arabtec CEO over BBC's labour camp claims? link here

well it seems another cover up PR for Dubai... and while he makes it sound that the labor camps are 5 star hotels... yet most of what he said is true...

my dad works in this construction and contractors industry and he used to manage unskilled and skilled laborers... and he tells me all those stories about those indian labors... he tells me that there are cleaners, nurses, supervisors dedicated to keep those camps clean but the problem is with the Laborers themselves.. those Laborers are so NOT hygienic at all... and extremely difficult to educate them about keeping clean... and claims that there are no A/C's in the labor camps is just false or atleast at the place my dad used to work at...

there are both sides of the coin. I just want to share what I know :)

I salute people like you who don't keep quite when they see something wrong in Dubai and in the sametime stand up for Dubai and defend it against those anti-dubai reporters.

my two fils

Reality Check said...

@Naseem and Seabee.

Seabee, I'm glad you agree, some of the stories just don't add up. There is one side of the coin that seems to fulfill every Brit Expat stereo-type on the planet (interviews in bars). And what the author fails to point out that even IF these statements are true, they are a very minor minority.

Naseem, I'm not going to debate labourer conditions on this post. I am certain that there are classy employers who treat their staff well, but there are those who treat them like crap. Agreed. We've all seen the pics and know the stories. The contractors I work with treat their guys pretty well, and I have never heard one complain, but that is who I do business with. Companies with a dodgy record can beat it!

This post is more as it relates to the long winded news article. To me, it sounds like the observations of a first-time visitor who either made up the accounts to skew them towards overseas perception, or used a great deal of "poetic license" for this story.

There is no way people (Karen Andrews) would be giving names (the author never mentions changing the people's names)and their conditions. As Seabee said, obviously these are/were well-to-do people with a brain to get here in the first place, they can get out.

Just a thought...SELL THE RANGE ROVER, YOU DUMMY! Like Seabee says, timelines and arguments don't add up.

Seabee said...

Naseem, yes I had read the Arabian Business story, but thanks for the link anyway.

I guess that, as so often, the truth is somewhere in between the two stories. Maybe the investigation the Ministry of Labour is planning will get to the facts.

Anonymous said...

Very good response to the article - by torymoon -sums up things very well and reflects a lot of the comments here.