A TV series has started running in England called Dubai Dreams and the first instalment was a real eye-opener. A good insight into a country is often how the Press is allowed to operate and this programme focused on the Press in Dubai. It followed one of the Gulf News photographers, interviewing others along the way. Anyway the gist of it was that the Press has to operate with one hand tied behind its back. They daren't question those in power or do any kind of incisive reporting in the way they can in those countries with a truly free Press because they will face action if they do so. So they are forced to skirt round some of the major issues in fear of retribution. The cops were even on hand to keep a tight rein when he went to take some photos of training for camel racing (due it seems to the abuse of using tiny young kids who take part in it).
The Press seems to feel more comfortable and less in fear of action when they are 'encouraged' to use crappy old stunted pictures of Sheikh Whoever and his family doing nothing in particular.
The photog described how he had become disillusioned with the 'shallowness' of the place, the intensity of the 'have and have not' society which he sees and the difficulties in doing a proper job as a journalist with the restrictions on the media.
Next week.... the stampede for Jumeirah land and property.