Thursday, June 01, 2006

Dubai, then RAK, now Sharjah's on the Map

It now seems fairly evident that the New York Times has taken an interest in the UAE, apparently to the point of sending a reporter (or reporters) to stay here and send a weekly report back to inform their readers about this place.

This week's article is about Air Arabia and Sharjah.

For most of my tenure here, I saw nothing about the UAE in the Western press (except for the Sharjah airplane crash, since airplane crashes almost anywhere make the international news).

But now I'm seeing what looks like a regular weekly feature in the Times.

The article, briefly, states that Sharjah has a lot to offer tourists, especially Muslim tourists who feel more comfortable vacationing somewhere without any unIslamic activities, and Air Arabia is making tourism to Sharjah affordable for many people in the other Arab countries, while also making a vacation in the cooler climates of those countries affordable to tourists from the Gulf. It also observes, as did Grapeshisha some time ago, that Air Arabia ads seem to use the South Park characters clad in traditional Arabic dress. For those familiar with South Park, this may seem just a trifle incongruous, but this is a place which is careful to avoid the hobgoblin of little minds.

I wonder which Emirate will be featured next week?


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