There seems to be a segment in the British media that relishes fearmongering and offering ill-founded advice — particularly when it comes to the UAE, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
From time to time, it publishes irresponsibly sourced opinions from individuals that lead to unnecessary anxiety and fear. The latest example is the advice given to Westerners by an academician to leave the UAE with urgency for their own safety given the rising tensions between Iran and the United States as a result of the assassination of Major General Qasim Soleimani in Baghdad last week.
The alacrity shown by the British media in promoting the expert’s views is entirely uncalled for and their enthusiasm to spread fear among their own compatriots living in the UAE is thoroughly misplaced.
Yes, it is undeniable that tensions between the US and Iran are running high at the moment and a lot of angry words are being exchanged between officials in Washington and the regime and its supporters in Tehran and elsewhere — but this in no way suggests that the situation is out of control.
Even amid the heightened tension, across the Gulf region and around the world, there are plenty of voices from across the political spectrum, that are calling for restraint, maturity and wisdom in finding a way forward from the flashpoint.
It is the role and responsibility of the media to filter unwelcome inputs and offer readers a balanced perspective of the ground reality, which in this case happens to be that the UAE is an entirely safe and secure country.
Yes, there will be voices, expert or otherwise, who will offer provocative and unsettling advice or opinions that will be biased in favour of one political expediency or the other, but it is the role and responsibility of the media to filter such unwelcome inputs and offer readers a balanced perspective of the ground reality, which in this case happens to be that the UAE is an entirely safe and secure country that is renowned globally for promoting stability and peaceful values.
In fact, Dubai ranked 28th in the 2019 Safe Cities Index and 10th in Numbeo’s Crime Index last year.
There is no reason for Westerners, or anyone for that matter, to pay heed to such dubious sources of information, and even less reason for the British media to seek instant readership through sensationalised, false news gathering. In fact, such irresponsible behaviour reflects their failure to uphold the media’s essential role in society — as an ambassador of facts and equity partners in trust — and an ally of the people in their search for truth.