Mini Press Review from Dubai. Part 1

(articles in English)

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Here are some articles gleaned mainly from the dailies 7Days and The Gulf News, between the months of April to September 2006.

This selection does not pretend in any way to render a complete or exact picture of the local press and even less so of local life styles. We simply chose to point out what seemed unusual to us and what could whet our readers' curiosity. Enjoy!

1-a) National telco company Etisalat received an award for "best operator" and for "best customer care" during a ceremony organized by the magazine Comms MEA. Having regularly published letters from readers venting their frustration, 7DAYS wanted to know on which criteria judges based their vote.
"Correspondence regarding the awards will not be entered into."
1-b) "Hundreds petition for cheap calls"
Etisalat declared that it is up to TRA to allow or ban VOIP, which allows international cheap calls through a PC to phone services such as Skype.
To read the article click here

1-c) "Opinion: the real reasons why Skype is being blocked"
1-d) An Etisalat announcement: "The filtering of websites is not an individual decision of the corporation. It is based on the religious, cultural, political or moral values of the UAE based upon norms laid by the authorities and dating websites come under such a category."
Our comment: We were unable to access the international hospitality network Couchsurfing because it falls under the category of dating websites...
To read the article click here

2-a) "We need crossings". One pedestrian is killed every four days in Dubai, accounting for 43% of road deaths. Road Transport Authority is considering building crossing bridges on main road Sheikh Zayed but for the moment focuses on promoting safer pedestrian behavior.
Our comment: picture a highway with 4 lanes on each side without any crossing bridges, underway or zebra crossings. We wonder whether next safety campaign from RTA will promote levitation. For the record, SZ Road holds the record of the highest casualty rate per kilometer in the world.
To read the article click here

2-b) "Is it really any wonder that the driving in the UAE is so dangerous when some of our driving survey answers are like this?"
To read the article click here

2-c) "We must share responsibility to name and shame bad drivers" Dubai police provides toll free number.
2-d) "Police pull over more than 400 for not wearing seatbelts - every day"
To read the article click here

2-e) "Bus lanes promised by Road and Transport Administration"
To read the article click here

3-a) "Genies in the clear over fires"
Forensic investigation confirms that a series of fires at a Ras Al Khaimah house were started intentionally by humans.
3-b) "Two held in Aladdin con". A policeman was conned into paying a small fortune in exchange for ability to control magical genie.
To read the article click here

3-c) Following advert publication of the Daily Planet promoting new movie "Superman returns", 7DAYS had to publish a clarification the next day...
To read the article click here

4-a) "Robbed to save girl's honour". A teenager was beaten and robbed by the young brother of a girl he had arranged to meet, after she had sent him a Bluetooth message in a shopping mall.
4-b) "Jail for naked picture blackmail". The victim had been promised to be introduced to girls if he sent naked pictures of himself.
To read the article click here

4-c) "Dubai police rescues three abducted workers" from their employer, a construction company.
4-d) "Police tells companies to get tough" with their striking employees.
To read the article click here

4-e) "Adulterer sentenced to death by stoning likely to be jailed"
4-f) "Dubai police commander on how UAE stays out of trouble" and avoids religious and political extremism among its youth.
4-g) "Awareness campaign spreads" Police sends SMSs regarding AIDS via Bluetooth in public places such as shopping malls.
To read the article click here

5- "Illegal medicine seizures set to exceed 2005 figure". 14 entry points manned by customs are fighting organized crime.
To read the article click here

6- "Building positive neighborhoods, better communities, which is why Islam asks believers to respect their neighbors' rights"
To read the article click here

7-a) and b) "Every week, Abdul Salam answers your questions on all aspects of Islam" Inter-religious marriages etc...
To read the article click here

7-c) and d) "Holy fish is saved"
"Million dirhams offered for holy fish" by Emirati businessman to obtain fish believed to carry holy inscription.
To read the article click here
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