Arabian Business website blocked in the UAE over ‘false news’

July 27, 2017 12:10 pm

The UAE has blocked leading business website, Arabian Business, after publishing a story earlier this week on Dubai real estate, which the emirate’s media watchdog said “false news.”

Arabian Business, part of one of the largest media groups in the region, ITP, has had its website blocked in the UAE and its print magazine has been barred from publishing for one month.

“The magazine committed violation of the rules and regulations of Dubai Creative Clusters Authority (DCCA) by publishing false news that was based on inaccurate information,” Associated Press quoted Dubai Media Office as saying.

The UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) said on Twitter that the website was “blocked temporarily for 1 month in accordance with decision of the competent authority concerning media activities in the UAE.”

However, the readers were able to access both the Arabic and English-language websites outside of the UAE this morning.

The events unfurled after the Dubai-based media outlet published, on July 22, an article regarding the liquidation of real estate projects in the UAE; a story that was later picked up by Qatari media.

Dubai Media Office quickly ruled out the report.

Several Twitter users said the story was based on old news back from 2008 and 2012.

Furthermore, Dubai Media Office tweeted on behalf of Dubai Land Department, saying “A number of real estate projects were put on hold during the global financial crisis but were resumed in 2012.”

According to industry sources, following the site being blocked, ITP editorial director, Michael Jabri-Pickett, and at least one Arabian Business staff member have left the company.

AMEinfo reached out to Arabian Business, but representatives declined to comment.


Mujeeb Rahman
By Mujeeb Rahman
Mujeeb Rahman is a business journalist at AMEinfo. His areas of focus include economy, markets, politics and international relations in MENA and Asia-Pacific regions. An ex-BBC digital journalist, he delves deeper into the subjects that matter most.