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Monday, 26 July 2010

United Arab Emirates and Dubai meeting the locals!

I am truly puzzled at the Telegraphs coverage of Dubai, by, who would appear to be, resident correspondents, namely: Annabel Kantaria and Matt Lynn.

Annabel is wondering where the locals are, whilst Matt has found them at Urban Tadka Restaurant, Trade Centre Road, Karama. According to Matt the vegetarian restaurant at lunchtime is packed with locals.

If you are reading this and have never visited the region, you will not be aware that Matt's locals are most probably Indian citizens. So if you are confused, think how very confusing it must be for Telegraph correspondents when defining "locals"!

If Annabel truly wanted to find locals on behalf of her readers, she need go no further than her Internet connection and log into a twitter account. Twitter has, from my point of view, truly opened up and brought together the diverse cultures that make up the population of the United Arab Emirates.

@wildpeeta and @emiratweet are two of the most prominent. The latter established by a group of Emirati females, specifically to bring together the community through meetings and maintaining a blog with pertinent UAE stories. Whereas WildPeeta is a "fusion shawarma" restaurant established by two brothers, with corporate backgrounds, who sought a unique take on the local snack, which generally retails for just over $1, whereas they are able to sell for around $5!

So if either Matt or Annabel want to make their articles have a bit of local substance may I suggest they get in touch with @emiratweet or @wildpeeta.

(Thank you to all who contacted me following my first post, as you can see I am still wallowing around in the shallows, but first I must establish the routine of production, so please do continue to bear with me.)

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Sunday, 25 July 2010

Bear with me please, as I am new to this blogging thingummy!

Well after a few years of following blogs and, more recently, using Twitter, courtesy a six month, subliminal, radio selling job on the part of @ALEXANDERMCNABB I am now on the "High Diving Board" looking down at all my peers and wondering "Why?".

I must be very honest and say how in awe I am of the bloggers who maintain a regular output, which is also the case with journalists; it is all very well to be able to respond with sharp one-liners, but bloggers and journalists do an incredible job of communication, day in, and day out!

I already have been running an aggregated blog of Business stories from the Middle East for the past four years, so why do I find myself teetering on the edge of properly putting my thoughts to ether?

I do not really know why, but there again Pepys did not expect his diaries to be published!


As some of you may know I have thrown myself into Twitter, both as an individual and under corporate guises, the most successful has been @EmiratesLitFest , where we spent four glorious days in March tweeting from Dubai's Literature Festival, and that is where the #dxblit comes from.

This hash tag, #dxblit , a creation all of my very own mind, was globally trending on the Friday of the Festival. I attribute this success to the enthusiasm of the five roving bloggers: @liz_fenwick ; @moneymunot ; @shaahima ; @hishamwyne and @ammouni , in association with the four photographers: @wajihasaid; @faisalkhatib; @jarofjuice and @shru_.

Never before in Dubai had such a group of people come together who were aroused by the written word and wanted to express their passion through words and pictures of the event, and they were able to do so with no rules to inhibit them.

There is no way anybody with a passion for a subject can remain inhibited and as the Festival reached it's crescendo, so did their output, which I was very privileged to watch streaming past my eyes on Tweetdeck. (Sorry if this, at times, resembles a workshop manual with jargon! Tweetdeck is used to manage a range of twitter accounts, so they do make intelligible sense.)

Even the doubters of Twitters impact, amongst Festival management and visitors, were swept along as they viewed the stream of tweets on the aptly named "TwitterFall", in essence a large TV showing all tweets using #dxblit.

I do not regard Twitter as "Social Media", my own view is that it has become an information network, that many people have come to trust and turn to first to verify whatever they may be curious about.

I remain wary of examining my mind as to why I am composing this and committing it to the public domain of the ether. Let us see how this develops over the next few entries, hopefully my execrable English and writing style will improve.

Feel free to vent your spleen or praise in the comments section below, become a "follower", but express as "anonymous". Only with your communication will this become something that you wish to occasionally visit.