Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Media City Dubai

Although Dubai is popping up more and more in the news these days, it is mercifully quite seperate from what one usually imagines when thinking about the Middle East. (Dubai is usually right next to "Paris Milan New York" in the Fendi adverts between actual stories).

When I was there a couple of summers ago, I visited Dubai Internet City, which was the government's attempt to ride some of the Internet wave that had crested a year earlier. I'm not sure how it's doing now (maybe fine), but I neglected to visit Dubai Media City, which is right next door. Slate has a good article about how Al-Aribiya is developing a reputation for more realistic news, and how this is valued in the region. I'm skeptical about how much people really value news that isn't a frothy, but if there is one Arab country that has embraced Mammon, it would be Dubai. (Technically, Dubai is merely one of seven Kingdoms within the country of the United Arab Emirates, but the other five Emirates are puny and Abu Dhabi, the capital, mostly just funds Dubai these days). I'm going back in Feb -- and am looking forward to it.

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