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UAE-Bashing from British Press is Unfair: Gulf News
A leading UAE daily newspaper snubbed on Oct. 10, articles published recently by a section of the British press lashing out at life in the UAE as a 'reminiscent of an ignorant bygone colonial era and that some seem to be still entrapped in the old mentality of discriminatory bias between East and West."

Commenting on criticism levelled by The Guardian and The Observer against certain conditions in the UAE, the Dubai-based Gulf News said: 'It is naive to claim that all is rosy in the UAE. It is also foolish to assume that it is a flawless utopia where everything is perfect."

Gulf News continued in its editorial: .'After all, it is a developing nation - young, ambitious, rich as much as diversified on so many scales. It is also unrealistic, if not childish, to argue that the country has never stood for or offered anything positive."

Two articles published three days apart from each other in leading British newspapers lashed out at how expatriates live and work in the UAE. The list of criticism included: the state of thousands of labourers, the status of the �rich' and �pampered' Emiratis, lack of accountability and transparency and the demographic imbalance.

'It is no secret that the UAE has gone through massive changes over a relatively short period of time, one that has affected the fabric of its structure to a great extent. It is no secret also that rapid change has brought about its own set of challenges and problems."

'After all, the country happens to thrive during a critical time when the forces of globalisation could not be ignored or abated. In its attempt to juxtaposition itself within this changing world, the UAE has over time taken many measures admitting that some were slow and perhaps at times ineffective."

'It is greatly disappointing when major publishing houses with titles such as The Guardian and The Observer still judge matters in a distinctive black and white dichotomy or a good and evil divide.

'Simplifying the situation in the UAE dilutes issues. Descriptions then become judgments. Highlights minus objectivity become sensational. Reaching conclusions without having the right or all the facts becomes prejudicial', the paper noted.

'Of course, the easiest means of building a hollow case is to base it on artificial and on-the-surface arguments. And unfortunately, even leading newspapers at times fall into this trap as the dictionary in usage is expressed in words of: "exploitation, slaves, treated little better than cattle, slave market, racism, made a pact with the devil," the paper remarked.

'The UAE has a very long way to go to achieve the standards it strives for. Introducing principles of transparency, the rule of law, accountability, governance and political participation have been actively debated by Emiratis who are striving to empower themselves as much as their country.

'Hence, when such articles of criticism appear, they come across as a reminiscent of an ignorant bygone colonial era. Unfortunately, and much so disappointedly, some seem to be still entrapped in the old mentality of discriminatory bias between East and West', the Gulf News concluded..(Emirates News Agency, WAM)






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