12 March 2004

Local Newspapers

We were apprehensive when we first arrived as to what quality the local news media would be. We need not have been.

First we thought we'd get a subscription to the Guardian or Independent, to keep up with European and UK news, but then we discovered Gulf News (we also tried the Khaleej Times, but were put off by its Daily Mirror-style reporting, a bit too sensationalist for our sensibilities). Gulf News is a UAE daily that has an amazing coverage of World News as well as really good local items. It has a definite Middle East perspective, which means more detailed stories about Israel's, Iraq's and Iran's political situation, with little of the knee-jerk reactions the Western newspapers often display. It's good to get a more varied view on these issues.

There is a varied section of opinion and analysis regarding Arab politics and the - sometimes - clash with the West, which often includes pieces bought in from UK and US newspapers.

A few pages every day cover Indian, Pakistani and Filipino issues due to the large ex-pat population from those areas of the World. It definitely makes us feel that we are in another part of the World, where Europe and the US are not the be-all and end-all. Gulf News also has a lovely parochial feel with articles on how to avoid overheating if the temperatures go beyond 40C (which they expect next week) and arguments on the letter page regarding a dangerous dog at the local dog show. We can also get a good feel for local concerns, with traffic chaos (because of the fast expansion of Dubai) and rights for labourers (who are sometimes deprived of wages while dependent on their employers for their work visas) being covered almost every day. Oh, and a Daily Dilbert!

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