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OPINION: International Media LOVES Painting Dubai In A Bad Light

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This weekend, a fire erupted on a yacht just off the coast of Dubai.

It took one hour to extinguish, three people were rescued and Dubai Media Office quickly shared footage of the blaze and followed up with a detailed report.

Reuters, a highly regarded international news agency reported the fire and immediately linked it to recent rising tensions in the region, stating ‘concern that it could be coming from an oil tanker or a passenger ship, as tensions run high between Iran and the United States.’ The report is still there.

A wild connection to make, that could immediately incite panic.

International media are dishearteningly quick to report damaging information

And anutha’ one: A recent report accused the UAE of spying via a popular calling app

In the same week that the UAE was accused of using ToTok as a spying app, a phone data scam suggested 12 million American phones were targeted by seemingly innocuous apps. An investigation by the New York Times showed data mines hold over 50 million location pings, tracking users whereabouts without their conscious consent. A scary report which smartphone users worldwide should be aware of.

But from this side of the water, it felt like the report was eclipsed, just days later by the ToTok spying accusations, which have yet to be confirmed. (Google Play has even reinstated the app, after removing it for a short period amid the uproar.) It feels like the UAE continues to bear the brunt of negative media attention.

And the list goes on. A domino effect of international news outlets, which cash in on Dubai as a good ‘bad news story’. Like the numerous examples where the UAE is shamed by media for incarcerating people… who have broken UAE laws.

The negative slant is damaging to the UAE but the negativity isn’t welcomed here

via GIPHY

The Arab Youth Survey reveals Dubai as the top city for Arabs in the world to live

Hated by foreign media, yet young Arabs in the region still flock.

The 2019 Arab Youth survey provides evidence-based insights and for the eight-year running the UAE continues to surge as the Arab youth’s top country to live in and to emulate.

Dubai does not deserve to be the continuous butt of every bad press jibe.

The country is 50 years young and it continues to learn and grow. With regular small wins, like The World Bank recently reporting the UAE made the second-largest improvement in the gender-equality index since 2017 as just one tiny example of how the country exudes progress.

It may not be perfect but don’t take it from me, an expat who’s been living here for seven years…

Take it from the same youth survey which proves Dubai as the top city of choice over any other city in the world.

… And the same survey which shows Arab Youth deem social media more trustworthy than traditional news

And I can’t help but wonder why.

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