The story ‘The Dark Side of Dubai’ apparently wasn’t the parody I had hoped it to be, however, while I was disappointed to see The Independent (a paper I have written for before – on Dubai) print such an appalling piece, I’m pleased to see that in an effort to provide some balance they have printed Emirati columnist Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi’s ‘If you think Dubai is bad, just look at your own country’ (although Dubai of course is not a country, it’s a city-state or emirate). Also see the reprint of the story at The Huffington Post just to read the articulate comment from SAS. You might also want to read Al Qassemi’s piece ‘Looking at the bright side of Dubai’ in Arabian Business. The British government’s response to Hari’s piece, the BBC’s recent Panorama story on Dubai, and a slew of other stories, is also interesting – read ‘UK Government distances itself from Dubai criticism’, the result of a Foreign Office-organized press conference in Dubai, which has appeared in a number of publications. It will be fascinating to see if the debate continues in the media, especially the news media. We all know media organizations have agendas. Editors carefully weigh up whether and how to run with stories. Essays like Hari’s don’t slip in accidentally. So it will be interesting to see if and how this discourse impacts the travel media where advertising plays a powerful and pivotal role. Airlines like Emirates and Etihad spend huge dollars on advertising.