Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Another misleading story

It does annoy me when the media gives misleading information.

The tabloid 7Days did it yesterday. Headline is "Dubai on the rise" and the large sub-heading screams "...has just been rated the third most expensive holiday destination". The same phrase is used in the story itself.

It simply isn't true.

If you read the whole story the truth is in there, alongside the misrepresentation.

The story eventually goes on to give the true findings of the research it's 'reporting' - the average room rate of hotels is the world's third most expensive. Hotel rates, not the whole destination. Not the whole holiday cost.

They are totally different things.

Doesn't the writer understand that? Or understand that there are conflicting statements in the one story? Doesn't the Editor bother to read what's submitted for publication?

As a visitor from the UK was quoted in the article as saying: "I thought meals, clothes and gifts were all very, very reasonable - it made me realise how ridiculous some of the prices we pay at home are."

Take everything into account and Dubai is not the third most expensive holiday destination.

There's no excuse for such sloppy reporting.

Read the story for yourself here.


SevenSummits said...

Misleading – yes of course. Isn’t almost everyone manipulating data in this way? Could give you numerous hilarous examples!:)
However lodging in Dubai is really, really expensive and while you can stay in a much cheaper pension almost anywhere in the world (they did not consider that either), Dubai most low budget places will still charge you (depending on season 80 to 100 USD per night / plus all inclusive roaches)
We actually stopped doing scientific events in Dubai, because participants from developing countries just cannot afford these prices. (But than those are not really welcome in the UAE anyhow :- ()

However I wish that someone would start to issue a list of how likely your vacation or business trip may end up in a traumatic experience with the authorities – from the incidences in 2006 alone, Dubai would easily get another “top of list place!”


i*maginate said...

sevensummits, nearly all the places I wish to comment, you are there. Shows how much free time you have ;)

Now I take you up on your "challenge" and I invite seabee to do so as well, if he wishes.

Could you please name some favourable global destinations that scientific events should be hosted at in terms of cheap hotels. Would love to know ;)


LDU said...


How's dubai compared to australia?

Seabee said...

Idu, you simply can't compare the two places they're so totally different.

We like living here, otherwise we'd be back in Oz.

i*maginate, I don't know what the 'scientific events' are exactly. But I assume they could be held in any place that has cheap hotel rates & the space to stage the event.

What is 'cheap' though depends on where you're from and what prices you're used to.

LDU said...

I would love to visit.

SevenSummits said...

Oh my favorite princess :- ),
to answer your first question: I am currently recovering from being very sick and am hence on an involuntary vacation (can’t even leave my house) – don’t worry, it will not last forever and you will have the floor entirely to yourself. :- )
Special hint: You will not find me at those girly blogs!

There are many “favorable global destinations” that scientific events can take place and that allow even those colleagues that are less fortunate to participate. All of Latin America for instance – in Sao Paulo you will get a fantastic hotel room, equivalent to the Dubai Hilton Executive floor for app. 35 / 40 USD. The States are usually quite cheap as well! Northern Africa will serve the purpose and if you do not want to go that far, Riyadh, Bahrain, Kuwait and Teheran have better offers.
Even in the UAE you can easily move to AD and that will be quite appreciated by the participants. :- )

Seabee – I love Australia!!! – it is just a little to far from Europe! We prefer to torture you guys to come to us – just joking, but still a little true.

i*maginate said...

seabee, what sevensummits probably refers to as "scientific events" I'd imagine refer to any kind of "event/exhibition/congress" related to the scientific community/medical etc.

I just realised something significant which I forgot to mention in my last comment:

The 2nd largest ever "event" to take place in the UAE will be staged this coming October: FDI World Dental Congress - that's surely the "scientific" community.

This is how many people will attend: approx 25,000 :)))

sevensummits, annual events for specific industries usually rotate around the world. I can't imagine any specific industry staging their event in one place alone!

You imply people from developing countries might consider only their home countries hotel rates to be reasonable; what a crazy argument. If you travel, you pay the rates in the country you travel. If you don't like the rates, don't come: simple as that.

25,000 dentists attending the next World Congress in Dubai: surely people are willing to pay those rates, yeah? ;)

AD has far fewer rooms than Dubai, and the room rates have also increased significantly due to increased demand and lack of supply. Even when the supply increases (more rooms are being created now), the demand is going to be proportionate to the rate of increased supply, as AD is out on a massive tourism expansion drive.

P.S. get well soon

P.P.S I just discovered Friesenbrot in Spinney's (local supermarket) only that it's manufactured in the US of A ;)

SevenSummits said...

i*maginate, oh help! you just didn’t understand what I said.

I did mean “scientific event” and not just “event/exhibition/congress".
A congress may include a scientific event, but it is usually business orientated. My definition did not include any “business” whatsoever and will therefore usually be having anything between 50 and 500 participants. If you take a closer look at your example you will see that it includes “dental professionals and companies”, so this has nothing even close to do with my terminology.

For a scientists a “scientific event” is when professors and maybe a few other stakeholders (e.g. Ministers, UN representatives, NGOs) will get together and discuss a certain topic. (usually it allows Ph.D. students) I hate to break it to you, but there are actually also professors from “poor countries” that would like to mingle with colleagues and show their expertise to the global scientific community. (besides the fact that we need their knowledge!) For instance a professor from Morocco or Burkina Faso can most likely not afford to stay in a hotel in Dubai. They may get a little help from their governments, but those funds are extremely limited and cannot cover the air-ticket and the lodging. (plus maybe the conference fees) But maybe these human beings are very far from your scope of imagination, so let me just use Germans as an example. :- ) The average post doctoral fellow or young professor in Germany will never earn enough to be able to afford a week in a hotel in Dubai !!! (that is a fact!) – simply impossible. (same goes for all other EU countries) Available funding in Germany just as almost everywhere else is extremely scarce, so scientists will have to pay out of their private savings, if they would like to participate in such an event. So conclusion – they will be able to afford the flight, but not the hotel! Even in the lucky rare case that someone will get funding from the university, government or some other foundation, this is extremely limited. To give you an example - there is a sponsorship option for those in agriculture that will give a scientist 500 € to attend an event – mhhhh, how far will that get you in Dubai, after paying for the flight???

My dear princess, how much do you actually know about the “real world” out there? Are you aware that the average German pays a monthly mortgage for maybe 25 years, if he/she was lucky enough to be able to buy a house? Are you aware that female students in Germany would never be able to afford those perfumes you have been chatting about? (maybe cheaper options)
Welcome to the real world my dear princess, please try and have a look beyond ….

Big hug from Germany :- )

i*maginate said...

sevensummits, we just have different areas of expertise; look at it that way ;)

When I choose my lifestyle and my job, I know what they involve. Scientists have traditionally had lack of funding, so if you're unlucky enough not to be able to afford trips abroad for the "events" you mention (which I still think are professional events - after all, they involve booking of a hotel meeting room of some kind, hotel rooms, food and beverage, flights etc, which all equate to an event in business and hospitality terms) then tough luck.

You'd need to campaign in your own industry on behalf of these poor scientists, if the nature of your industry does not allow for proper funding of the poorer ones. And the majority would have to select somewhere like Sao Paulo, as you suggest, to stage a meeting. Why do so many people come to Dubai, I wonder?!

Your logic is really questionable at times. Female students in Germany can't afford perfume? Many people can't afford it! Are you going to blame it on the environment or what?

sevensummits, one doesn't need to blog about the world's difficulties 24/7 to show one has a heart: you have this "holier than thou" attitude pinpointing so many cases of the poor and suffering and indirectly blaming every tom dick and harry who you you'd like to lecture either because a)they drink coke (oops, too much power being used in the factories, harmful for the environment) b)they have money (guilt complex! give some of your money away and stop being so greedy!) c)they wear rainers (children's exploitation!)

What is this guilt complex you are so desperate to impose on others?