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UAE May Gag Media Amid Economic Woe, Scandals

Discussion in 'Dubai property' started by Brendan R, Jan 25, 2009.

  1. Brendan R

    Brendan R New Member

    what a disgrace if this goes through...

    "UAE May Gag Media Amid Economic Woe, Scandals

    Thursday, Jan 22, 2009

    (This item was originally published Wednesday.)

    By Mirna Sleiman


    DUBAI (Zawya Dow Jones)--The United Arab Emirates plans to crackdown on media freedoms amid a slew of bad headlines about the impact of the global financial crisis on the Persian Gulf state's economy and corporate scandals in Dubai.

    A new 45-article law, which was introduced by the National Media Council, the government arm responsible for all media affairs, was presented to the country's Federal National Council to replace the 28-year-old Publications Law.

    "The new laws do nothing to advance the cause of press freedom in the U.A.E.," said Frank Kane, former business editor of the U.K.'s Observer newspaper who is now based as an independent media consultant in the U.A.E. "Business journalism is especially constrained by the restrictions on coverage of economic and financial news."

    The law, which is still at draft stage, will introduce a system of fines, ranging from 50,000 U.A.E. dirhams ($13,600) to AED1 million, for damaging the country's reputation or its economy, according to a copy of the legislation published in local media Wednesday.

    Cracking down on press freedoms follows a sharp slowdown in the country's economy and a series of negative headlines about the effects of the world financial crisis and corporate scandals involving top executives in banks and real-estate companies in Dubai, the U.A.E.'s commercial and tourism hub.

    An Abu Dhabi government official with close knowledge of the legislation played down concerns that it would crimp media freedoms when called Wednesday.

    Under the new draft laws publishing any information that's deemed to damage "the country's reputation or harms its economy" will be prohibit.

    "News agencies and reporters need not to worry as long as they're doing a professional job," said Abdulatif Al Sayegh, chief executive officer at government-owned Arab Media Group, which publishes newspapers and owns local radio stations.

    The U.A.E. government also plans to fine journalists up to AED200,000, or about $55,000, if they name suspects under investigation in the emirate, according to the draft. However, the law protects journalists from imprisonment for carrying out their duties.

    Article 31 of the new legislation sets a maximum fine of AED1 million for criticizing the ruling family.

    "The law prohibits the publication of names and pictures of the accused in cases in which a criminal investigation is ongoing -- from the point a police inquiry is launched until conviction," the draft law says.

    The draft still requires approval from the cabinet and U.A.E. President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is also the ruler of Abu Dhabi.

    Al Sayegh said the draft law will pass through another phase of screening and consultations before it is approved.

    "Media is now the authority in the U.A.E. and the country is proud of the changes taking place. We are leading by example," he said.

    It is not clear whether the new law, once approved, will govern U.A.E. media free zones such as Dubai Media City."
  2. TommyC

    TommyC New Member

    They gotta be kidding us, like the current daily propaganda isn't enough... I think this really points out how much trouble they are having now.
  3. samsaf

    samsaf New Member

    Ya, right... not to worry if they are doing a professional job!?

    Who is to decide this???

    Well, I would not be surprised if they block this forum too and track these who spread news from Routers and stuff in this regards...

    ... It will be a huge setback for Dubai's status as a world-class city if they allow this one to pass!! It will be practically Saudi Arabia!

    I've lived in Saudi Arabia for 18 years.... I don't want to re-live it again!
  4. TommyC

    TommyC New Member

  5. Wannaberich

    Wannaberich New Member

    This may have something to do with the fact that some of the worlds media,in particular in the UK,seize on any bad news from Dubai and blow it out of all proportion with great happiness.
    I don't agree with censorship,but in a way I can kind of understand it.
  6. TommyC

    TommyC New Member

    It won't affect media in the UK anyway. And I don't really like the sound of it, in my ears, the comments by those "top officials" sounds very similar to what you hear from real estate agents until you've signed the papers and all goodwill is gone. There are many holes in this "clarification" of what the law is supposed to do, make up your own mind:

    Do not fear for press freedom … this law will safeguard it - The National Newspaper
  7. sasherwani2

    sasherwani2 New Member

    Media was controlled anyway. Real news came only from insiders (if you knew any), blogs and forums. But this new initiative confirms that media was as free as much as the authorities wanted it to be. This news will scare the handful of local journalists who actually dared to speak some truth. The truth that was a sign of hope for many of the investors who invested here believing this place had less political risk than Afganistan or Iraq. Turns out all of us were wrong. Its getting uglier by the day and its only a couple of months left before it turns into to a ghost town.
  8. eyeC

    eyeC Senior Member

    BUY when people are all selling and SELL when they are all buying

    do this you will come out a winner every time

    now is the time to buy and pay 2005 prices
  9. sasherwani2

    sasherwani2 New Member

    and do you guarantee a refund if the prices fall further down to 2001s? The crash has just begun and more ugly surprises are on the way.
  10. eyeC

    eyeC Senior Member

    can you guarantee we will not see hyperinflation
  11. eyeC

    eyeC Senior Member

    i don't know who said this but you cant time the market perfectly so

    now is better than later at least im sure almost everyone is selling and only few are it must be the right time
  12. Brendan R

    Brendan R New Member

    only idiots cannot time the market:)
  13. PropGuy

    PropGuy New Member

    imo, only idiots think they can perfectly time the market. :D
  14. PropGuy

    PropGuy New Member

    No guarantee, but never in any bubble burst prices stayed below mean level between the second phase of bubble and last phase of bubble. Second phase of property bubble started in aug 2005 according to my assessment. Last phase of bubble started in aug 2008. What is the mean for property prices between these dates?
  15. PropGuy

    PropGuy New Member

    For those who might not believe my mean, so I'll quote some else for back up:
    So the key is to assess for how far prices can go, calculate the mean. Btw, in panic selling episode prices do go below mean but they return to mean in relative to the length of mid of the peak phase. That should be 6 to 8 months for Dubai real estate market.
  16. PropGuy

    PropGuy New Member

    I made rough calculations for a villa selling for 7million in aug 2008, should have mean price of between 3.9 million and 4.5 million. Anyway mean should be in 1Q or 2Q 2006. So I extremely doubt if prices go to 2001 levels, if they do that would be a bargain, and prices are suppose to return to mean after sometime.
  17. sasherwani2

    sasherwani2 New Member

    Yes I can. Why would the prices inflate during a depression? With high unemployment, the purchasing power will shrink drastically resulting in deflation.
  18. sasherwani2

    sasherwani2 New Member

    If we're lucky, we will undergo a 18-24 month recession and your formula might actually work and prices will adjust to 2005-2006 prices. I, however, am more certain than ever that what we face today is not a cyclical recession but a depression. Prices will fall continuously and there might be a couple of recessions within the depression. I dont see the US bailout packages showing any positive impact on employment, trade, borrowing trends, consumption patterns, production or the general sentiments of the world. Equity and realty prices continue to see a freefall with chaos and panic in all parts of the globe (especially within countries having high interdepedance on foreign trade, investments and workforce).
  19. Brendan R

    Brendan R New Member

    sure, perfectly time the market would be a stupid claim.

    Stand in front of a steam roller thinking it's gonna stop or go backward is pretty stupid. As people say in the markets, don't try to catch a falling knife. Just wait for the rebound. It may be 3 years from now. To me, that's called timing the market and it means it's plain common sense which I certainly do not deem stupid.

    What I would deem stupid is to invoke mean reversion in order to invest in an over-inflated market not only victim of it's own hubris but also prisoner of a dire global context.

    Invoking statistics to motivate investors to buy in the current context is a pure attempt at misleading. After overshooting, this market will undershoot and we are not even close to the mean yet. Come back in 3 years and then you will have real bargains. If you want I can point you to relevant statistical analysis with respect to previous housing crisis in developped markets. But take these statistics with a caveat knowing that what we are facing today has never been statistically analysed. We're making history here.
  20. financier888

    financier888 New Member

    In many respects I agree with Brendan - I am calculating that prices will level out at the 2006 OP - however, with most of this market being driven by expats - (not INTERNAL population) - much will depend on how the rest of the global economies fair - as it is in these markets where the buyers are coming from. Trying to draw conclusions for former recessions will not be relevant based on the order of magnitude in this current global crisis.
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