Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Same story, very different slant

I read two papers over coffee this morning, both of which carried the same story.

But what a difference in presentation.

The story is, in my opinion, the biggest of the day, of massive importance. It's no less than the replacement of the Director General of Dubai's Department of Finance.

GN only had it as the second lead, treating the arrival of FlyDubai's first aircraft as more important.

I've since looked at EmBiz247 and they do no more than run the WAM basic facts, buried on Page 4. I can't find it at all in Khaleej Times online.

The story I think is of massive importance is the change of Director General at the Dubai Department of Finance.

That's a hugely important position, especially in the current economic situation, one of the most important in the emirate in my opinion.

The way the two papers have treated it is interesting, to say the least.

Gulf News headline the story: "Mohammed makes appointment to key government offices" and they quote the new DG.

The Middle East edition of the Financial Times headline their report: "Dubai demotes finance director." They give it more space and include relevant comment.

The previous DG was Nasser Al Shaikh who's been moved to become Deputy Director of Foreign Affairs at the Dubai Ruler's Court.

Naturally no reason was given for the decision.

In the FT, Simeon Kerr suggests that the decision to remove Mr Al Shaikh "will prompt concern among the region’s business elite and the bankers helping to steer Dubai out of the current downturn.

The highly regarded young official, who joined the department of finance only last year, was seen as one of the few who had grasped the scope of the economic problems facing Dubai.

Mr Shaikh had been championing a more transparent approach to the emirate’s finances as a means to help restore the city’s credibility. He oversaw publication of the emirate’s most detailed ever budget in January and was leading efforts to launch a sovereign rating for Dubai."

From all I've read and heard I have to agree. My perception was that he was doing an excellent job, under very difficult circumstances.

Boy, I'd love to know what the real story behind it is.

You can compare the way the two papers have slanted the story here:

Gulf News.

Financial Times.


Anonymous said...

2 days back Mr Naser was quoted at the WEF saying that visa rules may be liberalized, he also denied that Dubai was in a "state of denial" over its problems. Maybe he was too frank, and wouldnt have been removed had he just said "Dubai is in great shape and is the best city in the world"

Anonymous said...

It's very easy and normal to happen, the guy is too loud to have in this post, so why not keep him quite and bring another face who will still continue to do the job.
Gulf News will always write it this way and Financial Times will always word it this way, but both are at tow diffrent path of presenting themselves due to there diffrence in intrest, one shikhdom supervices and the other westren widley accepted and read!

Anonymous said...

your wish is granted!

Dubai minister removed on internal differences


Seabee said...

Anon@5.16, yes I saw that - the best guess was always that Mr Al Shaikh had upset someone or that a more powerful figure saw him as a growing threat.