Published On: Sun, Dec 15th, 2013

‘Gulf News’ Disgusting Attack on Pakistan Has No Place in Dubai’s 2020 Expo



Gulf News, 2020 Expo, Dubai, Pakistan,I consider myself privileged to be able to live and work in one of the most dynamic and forward looking cities in the world. Dubai, if you’ve never visited, is a wonderful melting pot of different cultures, and a delightful example of how different nations can not only coexist in perfect harmony, but excel and contribute to achieve incredible feats. You could be stood on an elevator and find yourself sharing the space with ten different nationalities. Visit the food court of any of Dubai’s malls and you’ll find hundreds of nationalities consuming a variety of different cuisines representing all corners of the globe.

When Dubai won the rights to host the 2020 Expo last month, the news was received with jubilation across the nation – with Expats and locals hugging and congratulating each other as they watched the celebratory fireworks lighting up the Dubai skyline. Expatriates, including those hailing from Pakistan, took out massive rallies as a show of support to Dubai and to congratulate its efforts.

Imagine then, my dismay this morning when picking up Gulf News – the most widely read English daily newspaper in this region. The front page carries an editorial demanding explanation from Pakistan for its ‘betrayal’, as Gulf News calls it, for not voting for Dubai’s bid in the voting that took place last month to determine the winning bid.

Here’s why I think this is a disgusting piece of so called ‘journalism’ attempting to sow discord among the populace.

Firstly, Pakistan is an independent and sovereign nation, with its own foreign policy and interests. Voting is a democratic process, with each voter having the right to vote for whichever candidate it wishes, without having its motives questioned or explanations demanded. Gulf News obviously has zero intention to publish the full results of the voting and criticize others who haven’t voted for Dubai. Why target Pakistan? What is the motive?

Secondly, Pakistan committed its vote to another nation it has extremely friendly ties with – Turkey. Pakistan pledged its vote to Turkey months before Dubai made a late entry into the bidding process for Expo 2020 in late 2011. After fulfilling its pledge to vote for Izmir in the first voting round, Pakistan switched to Dubai and supported it in the next two voting rounds, leading to Dubai’s win.

Since its inception, UAE’s relations with Pakistan have been exemplary. Pakistanis constitute one of the largest and most diverse set of expat communities in the UAE, woven into the fabric of the local economy. Pakistanis own and run business, restaurants, retail outlets, educational institutions, and are the third highest investors in Dubai’s real-estate market. Pakistanis have also worked for decades as waiters, construction workers, delivery men, and taxi drivers. Pakistan’s government has been a key contributor to the UAE in setting up its vital national institutions since the late 70s, including Emirates Airlines which today stands proud as the World’s leading carrier.

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About the Author

- is an editor and analyst at PKKH.tv – writing on Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. Dan also writes for the defense and security journal Fortress Magazine, published out of Karachi, Pakistan, and is a senior research fellow at the Pakistan Institute of Strategic Affairs.

Displaying 68 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. Zaheer Ahmed says:

    Excellent work DQ. We need more people like you who could inform this part of the world about us.

  2. Shahid Rafiq says:

    The article you mentioned is written with malice towards a nation, nothing else!
    Why gulf news is demanding an explanation is what I could not understand!
    The writer only showed his hatred! Even if the news was right, they should have reported in another meaning. But you know there was a bright side to this article. Even writer admitted that UAE and Pakistan are friends!!!!

  3. Hussain Hamdy says:

    I completely agree with your analysis. The word betrayal has been used in the harshest manner against a whole community here. Also Gulf News has attempted to tarnish the selfless support that UAE people and government provide to our country and people by giving an impression as if this is done with expectation of favours in return. This is an insult of UAE government by Gulf News and authorities should take notice of it.

  4. Zubair says:

    Use the Social Media to spread the Boycott movement of GN.

  5. Bilal says:

    Good Job Danish and keep up the good work.

  6. MAK says:

    Pakistan had promised to vote for turkey and it sticked to its words!!! But, in the 2nd round Pakistan voted for Dubai… I don’t think there’s any need to spread negativity and as long as Pakistanis are concerned they have always shown enthusiasm and support towards UAE that is something which should be important!!!!

  7. Great post. It just shows how Arab states have gotten into the habit of using Pakistan and Pakistanis have also gotten into the habit of serving their thankless Arab ‘masters’

  8. mansoor ahmad says:

    Gulf news is dominated by Indians with heavily Indian influenced management. They will not give up one chance to malign Pakistan or any other Islamic country. It is indeed Imran professional and substandard journalism.

  9. Excellent write,up and summary of the situation. Having lived my whole life in Dubai I am shocked by this disgraceful act by Gulfnews. They need to apologise and fire the ediot who published this article.

    • Semeen says:

      Wonderfully written and expressing the views of fellow pakistanis .. dan if u can please forward this to the Gulf News editorial section – they might agree to your view point.. actually the problem is that (which not everyone will be aware of) the entire media fraternity in the local english dailies is dominated by the Indians and they take the smallest possible opportunity to malign pakistan whenever they can right and left. It should be emphasised to our dear Dubai brethens that we are with them through thick and thin and continue to be friends with them come hail and storm no matter how hard people try to sow the seeds of discontent/rift and hatred between the two friendly countries. Please dont forget Dubai that in the second round ( the most important phase Pakistan voted for you). I have also been living in Dubai since 1986 and have not seen such blatant and hatred – filled piece of journalism… those who have written this should be made accountable …in a place like dubai where every community lives in harmony with the other there is no room for such politically motivated views .. that too on the front page.
      semeen

  10. Sami says:

    was the author of the article or the editor of the paper an indian?

  11. I was not aware how voting was done by different countries, but was over the moon when I found out 2020 was bagged by Dubai. I had constantly sticked to news feed in final hours of decision.

    Gulf news article was a disappointment. Dan this is amazing expression thoughts that reflect feelings of thousands of Pakistanis, I am not sure if this is the right place to have it published for wider and right audience.

    Proud Human, Proud Expat, Proud Professional and a Pakistani!

  12. fatema says:

    Excellent work n very well written Dan….why is gulfnews demanding an explanation I fail to understand….
    But a very good job done by u…keep it up

  13. Mumtaz says:

    Pak leader always made fun of paki leaving abroad.Why the fuck they vote for Turkey .How many pakistani working in Turkey????Actually Pak Govt.and peoples are not on the same page.Even in the first round of voting ,pak should cast vote in dubai favour as already more than 1 million labor force of pak is deployed there.

  14. sadia says:

    We all live in the UAE in such peace and harmony but such people are trying to destroy that by putting a seed of hatred in the hearts of people belonging to different countries.Its really SAD and disturbing , I think the Govt. of UAE should take some action against this person and we demand an apology from the such a reputed newspaper for publishing such a shameful editorial.

  15. usman says:

    well done Mr.Writer…keep it up!!

  16. Imran Iqbal says:

    Great Article… but i am scared that these cries will go to the deaf ears… no one from authorities will care… Gulf News will neither respond nor apologize… and Emirate’s local will draw a tough gulf between them and Pakistanis… Indians have succeeded once again…

  17. excellent article! Bravo!

  18. Aseem says:

    @ mansoor ahmed. Finally, there is an Indian hand in it. this india obsession needs some psychological research,,, we really wonder why..

  19. zahid iqbal warraich says:

    Good Job. I completely agree with your analysis

  20. Good work Mr Danish Qayum for replying to the article which was published yesterday on the front page, i was really upset about it personally, Gulf news should apologise for publishing such an irresponsible Column

  21. Semeen says:

    Wonderfully written and expressing the views of fellow pakistanis .. dan if u can please forward this to the Gulf News editorial section – they might agree to your view point.. actually the problem is that (which not everyone will be aware of) the entire media fraternity in the local english dailies is dominated by the Indians and they take the smallest possible opportunity to malign pakistan whenever they can right and left. It should be emphasised to our dear Dubai brethens that we are with them through thick and thin and continue to be friends with them come hail and storm no matter how hard people try to sow the seeds of discontent/rift and hatred between the two friendly countries. Please dont forget Dubai that in the second round ( the most important phase Pakistan voted for you). I have also been living in Dubai since 1986 and have not seen such blatant and hatred – filled piece of journalism… those who have written this should be made accountable …in a place like dubai where every community lives in harmony with the other there is no room for such politically motivated views .. that too on the front page.
    semeen

  22. Abu Obaidah says:

    I totally agree to blog writer, Pakistan and UAE have excellent brotherly relations. Both nations are brothers in faith and helped each other at crucial times. Pakistanis consider UAE as their second home, similarly Pakistan always welcome arab and UAE shaayuukhs. The primary reason for not voting for dubai was due to per-committment of vote to another muslim country Turkey and it was before dubai interest shown in expo 2020. expo 2020 had three rounds and when turkey backed out Pakistan voted for Dubai in next two rounds. Long Live Pakistan UAE friendship.

  23. Waqas says:

    BTW if I’m not wrong. in most of UAE media indians are working as employees. So its not shocking for me if someone wrote it and someone approved it.

  24. Muneer says:

    1) No promises were broken. Pak voted for whoever approached them first
    2) Pak did vote for UAE in 2nd n 3rd round
    3) GN is not a govt ministry to demand anything from any govt
    4) Moreover any country has the right to vote, whoever they want.
    5) Betrayal?? Which promise was broken that u call it a betrayal? Assumption isnt the same as promise.
    6) Editors/reporters r paid to report facts. There was no fact reported in that article. Just some half researched opinion, which, no one really wants.
    7) When the foreign minister himself thanked Pak at the end of the voting for casting their votes in UAE’s favor in 2nd n 3rd rounds, then who r u to overstep his authority?
    Again, exactly who are you to DEMAND anything from any sovereign government??
    When was the last time u read an article without the authors name. That’s conspiracy.
    9) There are millions of people dying around the world and so much is happening. What qualifies this news to make it to the headlines.
    10) The pakistan section of GN always have negative things to report about pakistan as if there is nothing good happening there.
    11) Not really a patriot or a nationalist but tired of these double standards of media and the ‘Yellow journalism’.
    12) Even if they offer an apology the damage has already been done. Its only the people who search for the truth will get to know it. Majority don’t do it they blindly read and follow.
    13) There is a law of the government any person, individual or organisation who tries to cause a rift to the national security or to the people with words, actions and online blogs can be prosecuted under the law. Would love to see that against gulf news and the writer of that article being pulled in under that section.
    14) They already reached 915 comments till around 7pm yesterday that they had to shut down the comments section of the gulf news. That’s the first sign that they are aware they have screwed up.

  25. Khalil says:

    Gulf News has a large number of employees, reporters and senior officials which are of Indian origin. I was in UAE for 5 years and I almost read newspaper daily during those years. Whenever its Indian news it come very positive headline on front page and depict India if it is USA when its pakistani negative news the depict it worst that somalia and congo. Its completely Indian influence.

  26. Awais says:

    Gulf News, Khaleej times and all other English newspapers in UAE are run by indians just like the majority of institutions there. It is always biased. You can expect this from indians living there. nothing new

  27. Gordon says:

    Gulf news is owned by the Indians, having the greatest majority of jobs in the newspaper, which clearly reflects their inner hatred against pakistan. The indians are using UAE’s armor and shield to hide behind its name and malign pakistan.

  28. Shahid Anwar says:

    Very well said and eye opener!

  29. Dan, all this puffery only emanates due to the reason that a univocal voice or a wide-spread publication isn’t in rounds to counter Gulf News which is dominated by Indians only. Only Indians.

    Why didn’t you focus the conspiracy-ladden Indian thinking in this write up..?

  30. vishal jain says:

    I am an Indian and completely disgusted with the blatant biased and surface level reporting. Its a shame Gulf News.

  31. Janan says:

    One needs to give some ethics to Geo News as well. The have running this news without mentioning the GN. They gave the imprison that this is something from UAE government.

  32. Atiq Rehman says:

    Excellent narration of the sentiments from Pakistanis. GN should learn that there is no room for such propaganda, and should render apology. Till that time, we should keep the plate warm. Thankful to the wonderful Pakistani community, who have taken a pro-active approach, so much so that the postings place at GN is closed down…. Bravo!!!

  33. Aleena says:

    In what way is this an answer to Gulf news ,do you seriously think anyone in GN would in anyway be bothered by this article in PKKH, why does not our embassy speak on this its not a small thing we need an apology from GN and Pakistanis pls boycott GN till they apologise.

  34. Ismail says:

    That is highly racist and not needed here

  35. Saleem says:

    I do not agree with biased article of Gulfnews however your article is also missing a key information. The Dubai envoy was given commitment by Makhdoom Amin Fahim of Pakistan support for UAE. The UAE expo envoy should have been appraised of situation prior to voting instead of giving false promises. We as Pakistanis are used to false promises by our government but I do not think that it is acceptable at inter-state level. We as nation are cheated through false promises and then we gather and shout slogan for same people after being bribed by laptop or personal loan. May be Mian sahib can send a laptop for UAE government to console them.

  36. Kash Hussain says:

    Good work DQ. GN your move now….show you are serious and demonstrate the response it deserve.

  37. syed says:

    totally agree with the contents. well done sir for highlighting the facts. kind regards

  38. fahil fahad says:

    And because of Pakistanis people are getting their salary on time since the inception of WPS this is also because of Pakistan

  39. Adeel says:

    When I saw that shit thrown to us, I was so annoyed. Thanks Danial for spreading right news & taking reporting action.
    We must condemn biast & hatred repporting from GN and their biast indian news reporters.
    Govt officials of UAE take action against this loose reporting.
    High officials must condemn this news and in future let it not happen bcoz such black sheep are destroying the positive image of respected, tolerant and generous country UAE led by great visionary leaders.
    We love Pakistan & support Emiratis as much as we love Pakistan & our country fellows.
    As I condemn poor reporting of GN as i do for Geo on manipulated news also. Shame on u Geo
    Long live friendship of Pakistan & UAE.

  40. Dan publish this article in Arabic as well so that others can get the facts.

  41. faiza maryam says:

    Great Job DQ Everyone should know about this. We worked in Dubai, we love this place, but we are not slaves, we are proud to be Pakistani. Gulf news should apologies us. We have our own rights. Pakistan zindabad. Pakistani rocks….

  42. Danish, this is befitting reply to utter biased article! Job well done. Sane analysis.

  43. Sameera says:

    Please join this page to support Gulf News apologising to the Pakistani community:

    https://www.facebook.com/wehategulfnews?fref=ts

  44. kamran says:

    Pakistan UAE relations are there since 1971.editor should not ask for explanation in democratic voting right.I ask the editor”if you vote somewhere.can somebody ask you for explanation? It will destroy meaning of democracy.foriegn policies are based on countries best interest which cant be disclosed.ask all countries who have not voted.

  45. Aamir Abbas says:

    Thanks, Danish, for becoming our voice on this issue. I think this should further be spread up to a level where “voice of nation” is recognized, as someone said “Embassy” or may be similar/above level of authority.

  46. Amina says:

    Gulf News should actually apologize..Pakistan is like any other nation free to make its own political choice..and then when it has voted for dxb in the second round whats the fuss about?

  47. Iffat says:

    Thanks for a well explained article. Request Pakistan higher authorities to step in and not ignore this mailicious attempt to create discord between us and UAE.

    Gulf News has again used deragatory and offensive words like “BETRAYED” which can lead to war between two nations.
    They certainly owe us an apology and write true factual story.

  48. Kashif says:

    Great article… We should boycott gulf news.

  49. A Nehal says:

    Having lived and worked in Dubai for some time, I also noticed the extreme bias Gulf NEws displays against Pakistan in general. I got so angry with such filth reporting that I set about undertaking a news trend analysis on a day to day basis arriving at a ration of 80% bad news (Pakistan Page) to 60% good news (India page). Gulf news should be taken to court for trying to disassociate and detach a very large segment of society in the UAE.

  50. Eemaan says:

    I appreciated the article when I read it; but I appreciated it even more after reading the comments. Thank you, Mr. Dan, for the article, and a special thanks for not tarnishing it with Indian-conspiracy-always-behind-Pak sort of theories. If India and Indians are anti-Pak in general, does it mean that the UAE is a fertile ground for them to exhibit their anti-Pak sentiments? And is it that nothing bad has ever come to Pakistan except by the grace of India? The comments section is disappointing, though the article is really good. Thanks once again.

  51. farooq says:

    uae need secnd or final round for winning expo 2020 bit and pakistan support pakistan give vote uae

  52. There may be bias by Gulf News.
    But, few facts learned from my lengthy UAE experience is below:
    1. Dubai is not UAE.
    2. Nothing against Dubai Ruler’s policy or interest get published from Dubai press. So, no point in blaming Gulf News. It is Dubai Sheikh who blames Pakistan.
    3. Pakistan has ties with Abu Dhabi which is the strongest policy maker of UAE and a bigger funder to Pak.
    4. Abu Dhabi does not like Dubai’s growth and limelight. One Example: The Burj Dubai to Burj Khalifa name change drama.

    Which means that Abu Dhabi and UAE as a country never pushed (possibly worked against) for Pak’s vote.
    So remember —– Dubai is not UAE —–

  53. IKE says:

    Maybe Gulf News can explain Shamsi Air Base that was leased to UAE? Can it really?

  54. waqasayub22 says:

    gulf news is controlled by indians they dont put the positive news from pakistan.its not only in dubai but also in other gulf countries.

  55. ayaz says:

    there is no doubt that GN is dominated by Indians. which can be judged the way they report about Pakistan and India. i realized it 12 years ago, when i first came to this country.

  56. Irshad Ali says:

    Pakistan required to declare as terrorist country.POK is the terrorism center.

  57. Excellent doubts clear polluting minds of people from the region…iIslamic world and the world at large . The recent two weeks stay of the President of UAE HE Al Nahyan in the city of Rahim yar Khan in Pakistan shows how much of importance UAE attaches to Pakistan as UAE has deep roots in Pakistan on human and in economic grounds….Pakistan has a great working Force in UAE and is closer to each other in every way.

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