This Emirati columnist just gave the perfect response to a New Yorker journalist who bashed Dubai
A journalist for The New Yorker recently wrote a Dubai-bashing article which (cliché alert) is called “Dubai, the World’s Vegas”.
As the headline gives away, it’s yet another article written by someone who spent a layover of less than 24-hours in the city, visited the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall, and decided to tell the world what they thought of the place. All together now… *sigh*.
To give you a taste of the best bits (sense the sarcasm), the writer says that he and his wife visited the Burj Khalifa “where we paid to see the view we’d just seen from the plane.”
He adds: “The skyline, if that’s the right word for it, was garishly, unapologetically artificial.” Which kind of comes with the territory of being in a city…
But now to the good stuff. Sultan Al Qassemi, a columnist, art and architecture enthusiast, decided to share a very well-constructed response to his 502,000 followers. (You should follow him on Twitter by the way).
“Pity that Western publications are so readily willing to publish any trashy article that bashes Dubai. It’s not the city’s fault that this person chose to visit two malls and a skyscraper in his multi-hour layover. Why didn’t he and his wife go to Al Serkal to see the art galleries, go to Al Fahidi Fort area for turn of the century Gulf architecture, Shindagha for the numerous small museums, the many beaches, December 2nd Street (Dhiyafa) for the large public murals, the many exhibitions at the World Trade Centre (there was bound to have been something depending on which date they were in town), take an abra across the creek, visit the gold, spice and rug markets, see the centry old Hindu temple, walk around the bustling streets of Deira and see some superb modern architecture and the many parks including Mushrif to see the indigenous Ghaf tree woodland. He visited two malls and a skyscraper.
“This is like me visiting Chicago for the first time ever and for ONE day and going to West Monroe and Garfield Park and then writing about what a violent, homicidal, dangerous city it is. Will the New Yorker allow me to publish that?”
Many people have responded to Sultan Al Qassemi’s tweet in agreement.
And being as ShortList is a weekly magazine and website that manages to write dozens of articles per day about Dubai – all of them different and offering people an insight into the city’s diverse entertainment scene – we can vouch for the fact that he’s right.