Thursday, 13 September 2007

Are you working Ramadan hours?

Is your media company flouting the Ramadan hours laws?

DUBAI -- The working hours during the holy month of Ramadan will be shorter by two hours for all private sector employees regardless of their religion or nationality, a senior official of the Ministry of Labour (MoL) has said.

Any company found violating this directive will be penalised as per the Labour Law, said Humeid bin Demas, assistant under-secretary of the MoL. A Dh10,000 penalty would be slapped on the violating companies, besides a three-month ban.

Let us know below, and name and shame the media companies failing to respect Islamic law and tradition.

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

TMF rumoured to be hard at it in the office as we speak. Always been a bit slow to catch up with what's happening outside their four walls, those guys...

Anonymous said...

Do you know the meaning of jailing a father of three in Ramdan?
3 years for an anonymous comment by someone criticizing a hospital in Ras Al Khaimah.

From http://www.360east.com/:
"Over the past few days, Jordanian bloggers banded together to get a story of unbelievable negligence at the Prince Hamza Hospital to the light. First online. Then to newspapers and radio. Then to the government."
A similar story has not got a happy ending in the UAE, as the webmaster, Mohamed Al Shihi has been jailed for an anonymous comment by someone criticizing a hospital in Ras Al Khaimah.
From http://www.hrinfo.net/en/reports/2007/pr0904-2.shtml

Emirates: Asly released
Shouhi's release hampered down

Cairo, 4th September, 2007

Ras Kheima criminal court decided to free Mr.Khalid Al-Asly, Majan.net writer and Mr. Rashid Shouhi ,Majan's boss and to adjourn the court hearing to 10th September, this is the second case triggered by essays written on Majan.net, Mr.Asly is the main suspect while Mr.Shouhi is accused for being the head administrator of the Majan.net yet despite the decision to release Mr.Souhi , Ras Kheima court circuit head judge refused to implement the decision and kept Shouhi behind bars until his next appearance before the court.

Asly was freed after the prosecution failed to produce any evidence to prove that Asly wrote the alleged essay. Asly and Shouhi were released pending trail on 10th September while Shouhi will stand trail before the court of appeals on 9th September to challenge the sentence of one year imprisonment, shutting the website down, a fine and temporary compensation.

The ministry of health and the Ras Kheima medical district launched an investigation into corruption practices taking place in Ras Kheima .HRINFO hopes that this spirit would embrace the current prisoners of conscience or those vulnerable to be prosecuted for covering - in consistency with the right to political criticism- corruption practices.
please show me you media guys, that you are worth your salt, spread the word to get this decent man back with his family.

Anonymous said...

This posting sounds more like another embittered attempt to have a pop at media companies than any genuine concern for Islamic culture.
If you're going to whine about working hours (and how exactly should the products be got out of the door without it, by the way?) then how about going the whole hog? Are you going to show your "respect" by fasting during the day, Media Monster? Thought not.

Anonymous said...

Hypocrites

Anonymous said...

We have Ramadan hours as part of our contract but it's a joke - it's not as if we don't have any less work to do over Ramadan and no extra staff are put on to ensure that we're out the door by 3.30. So business as usual in here. Besides, getting stuck in the Ramadan afternoon traffic with hungry, light-headed drivers driving even more abysmally than usual sounds about as much fun as a night out in Sharjah.

Anonymous said...

Don't mean to disappoint you but I think companies operating in Free Zones are exempt from these laws.
DMC will have its own guidelines; maybe they are the same, maybe not.

But, at the end of the day, non-fasters ask yourselves this: are you in media to do your best to produce a quality publication? Or are you in your job for reduced hours over a holy month that means nothing to you?

Anonymous said...

We do seem to have a large number of temporary Muslims in here every Ramadan. The Roman Catholic exodus at 3.30pm has to be seen to be believed...

Anonymous said...

I believe DMC and DIC are subject to UAE labour laws and don't actually have their own laws. Their policy is generally to interfere less, but they don't have separate laws as far as I am aware.

Anonymous said...

Utterly pointless thread.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me what it's like working at ITP?

Is it really that bad?

I was thinking about applying for a position with Arabian Business.

I would be coming over with my family as well - does ITP provide their employees with a decent package? What are the salaries like?

Anonymous said...

better titles than motivate. better organised than cpi. better talent than media factory. probably better paid than all of the above. you will, however, be confronted by glass ceilings at every turn and be asked to work every hour god sends. extremely bad reputation, but a bit of a mixed bag in my humble opinion.

Anonymous said...

Why so many glass ceilings? Do they not promote from within or do the executive editors just promote their friends?

What are the salaries like? Does anybody know? Do they help pay for housing?

You mentioned that the work day there is quite long - what time do they expect people to come into the office and more importantly what time do they get out?

Anonymous said...

I think you're probably wasting your time. It's not going to work if you start thinking about 6pm at 9am, really, is it? You're probably in the wrong career. Try checkouts or a factory somewhere...

Anonymous said...

Pay at ITP is all over the place - some people are paid way more than they're worth, some great people are paid and treated like serfs. And no, there is no housing allowance/rent assistance so you'd probably have to take out a loan to pay the rent. And then there's the Anil Bhoyrul factor. If you're an attractive woman, he'll fit right in. I mean, you'll fit right in...

Anonymous said...

To get back on the thread...

I am actually working longer hours during Ramadan to make up for all the Muslims and wannabe (for the month only) Muslims!

Anonymous said...

Pay at ITP totally illogical. As previous poster pointed out, some complete morons drawing unbelievable salaries, some really good people on peanuts. Budgets vary across titles, so v much depends where you end up and how much they want you. Hours long, infrastructure shaky and prospects v limited by how much of a spineless sycophant you are to your superiors. Maybe thats the same most places, I don't know. ITP seems to publish quite a few 'name' brand titles, so if you want to tart up that CV, well... oh, and Ramadan hours? News to me!

Anonymous said...

I put in a stint at ITP and everything people are saying here is spot on. The pay also varies according to your nationality. It's a dog-eat-dog kind of place as far as hours. The managers will lie to you. Then, worse, you'll discover that the managers have very little real-world journalism experience. As soon as I discovered that, I had my CV out. It was almost embarassing to be associated with them.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that, Frank.

It's that lack of experience that you were coming over to save us all from, though, wasn't it?

Anonymous said...

Sorry - off topic for the post but I wanted to respond to anonymous@02.13.

I've read many negative comments on this blog about ITP and other publishers. I am not in the industry, but have a reasonable amount of exposure to it. I also meet people from many other industries so think I can compare across the board.

I should also say that I am envious of those that work in media here - it is a lively group of people who have fun and enjoy a good lifestyle. And yes - I suppose if I had enough talent to be involved I would jump at it, so you can blast away at that - I admit it!

Now, having conceded that - my view is that there are some really fun and good people in ITP (and Motivate, for that matter), and to be honest if you want to come to Dubai with your family you could do much worse. I've yet to find any company where people are completely in love with their management!

If you write good copy and research strong stories, you will improve things here a small step at a time.

Sorry to be so positive - I know it doesn't really fit here but at least it'll fire up the usual posters!

Cap'n Birdseye said...

ITP:
Without wanting to give too much away about who I am, I worked for them for more than a year and less than two years.
They demand total loyalty, and may well fire you for something quite trivial - or if you aren't hitting sales targets. But if you get into aggro over something you write/ with a rival etc, Serafin may come out all guns blazing in your defence.
Serafin is mad, unreasonable, charismatic, driven, and the person who is driving the company on. He's talented - his coterie is not.
While they have ridiculously small teams, they also invest more in the journalism than they need to for sheer profit and loss reasons. They want to win at all costs, but they do also want to be the best in the market (they probably are).
All I can advise is don't join them until you can negotiate a good salary - editors should expect Dhm20-30k per month.
You'll work six days a week and the culture is fucked, but it's probably still the best bet in town.
If they ever worked out how to export the ITP culture to other cities, it could grow into a (bottom-feeding) world beating media company.
Most days I'm extremely glad I left them. But sometimes, I'm sorry I didn't stay to see how it turns out.

Anonymous said...

So they pay by nationality there? What would be the average salary for Australian? British? Emirati? American?



From what I'm reading here, ITP's culture seems quite similar to the company where I work now.

Anonymous said...

There's a definite pecking order for salaries. It starts (natch) with people from the UK. It simply goes down from there, the darker your skin gets.

Anonymous said...

but does ITP hire brown skins at all? we hear it's brits first and then lebbos and finally emiratis becuase they have to. no subcontinentals.

gottalovethem said...

sad to say it but this is where the toady really scores. everybody not working full shifts gets six extra days comp offs.

long haul said...

"If you write good copy and research strong stories..."

Research strong stories...? !!! ???? !! ? !!!

What kinda animal is that? Been here 20 years...yet to see one.

Are you for real, man?

Anonymous said...

"Can anyone tell me what it's like working at ITP?"

Ha, throw petrol on the fire why don't you.

The first thing to weigh up is the cost of living, the actual move, with family, is expensive. ITP and Motivate generally put people up in serviced apartments (some good, some appalling) for the first few months, then it’s up to you to find a place of your own.

The culture at Motivate is pretty good but the pay is awful, can’t comment on ITP but from what I hear, can be pretty unpleasant. It all comes down to the title you’re working on, what you’re prepared to do to make it succeed and what you’re willing to embrace unquestionably; topsy-turvy management, soul-grinding traffic, escalating cost of living and a depressingly transient workforce.

All in all journos here have a pretty good time from what I can see, although there is no evidence of that on this blog. Ignore the constant harping about ITP, Motivate and Emirates Today, what you do in Dubai, generally stays in Dubai. The magazine industry in the UK is brutal and you’re unlikely to get much kudos when you return unless you’ve produced something extraordinary.

However, if you like working on generic international titles, love drinking lager with fat, perma-tanned South Africans, enjoy the company of taxi drivers and positively live for Friday lunch. Then my friend, welcome aboard.

Anonymous said...

There are plenty of subcons at ITP, but they most definitely make less than the white folks (excluding SAers, who get paid like well, Africans.)

Anonymous said...

What's the pay like for Australians?

Anonymous said...

Australian's don't tend to do too well in Dubai - the working hours are too much of a shock to the system.

Curious said...

Off topic, but sort of about media: has anyone noticed the fall opff in material from the Secret Dubai blog? Think she's losing interest?

Anonymous said...

And does anyone know who she is?

secretdubai said...

has anyone noticed the fall opff in material from the Secret Dubai blog? Think she's losing interest

The reason is a much needed overseas holiday, from which I am now back. Intermittent dial-up connection isn't very conducive to blogging :(

Anonymous said...

"Australian's don't tend to do too well in Dubai - the working hours are too much of a shock to the system." Anonymous 23.30

I'm not Australian but my experience with them is they go hard for 8 hours then check out - if you can't get it done in 8 then it's not your problem. Pretty reasonable. For the English folks, the four hours a day spent whining about everything doesn't count as work, even if it is after hours!

Anonymous said...

"Australian's don't tend to do too well in Dubai - the working hours are too much of a shock to the system." Anonymous 23.30

Wow, nothing like a sweeping statement. Just like any other nationality out here, there are good Aussies in the Dubai media melee and there are crap Aussies who are only here because they have fucked up everywhere else.

Anonymous said...

do you think anyone gives a fuck what you think you cunt?

Anonymous said...

You apparently do! Ramadan Kareem dude.

Anonymous said...

Yet again this forum descends into name calling and offenive language.

No need to examine why two journalists were sacked from one of radio stations here a couple of months ago, I guess.

Also no apparent need to look at ructions inside one of magazine groups in this city.

And what about the almost total dismantling of the newspaper many contributors to this site used to work for and apparently hold a long term grudge against?

There is also, of course, the silent downgrading of the city's only tabloid from seven days to five days.

But hey, who cares about the real issues surround the machinations of the media in this town? It's clearly much mroe fun seeing how many times one can use the C word in less than polite conversation.

Anonymous said...

No prizes for guessing which magazine group is falling apart at the seams.

Anonymous said...

Today's (Monday's) appalling use of Gulf News' most expensive advertising space not worth a new thread?

fellow atheist said...

To the poster (mediamonster):

Working 2 hours a day less is not an 'Islamic Law', neither is it 'Tradition'.

Now, whether you work full days or not during Ramadan.. or whether it is a good or bad thing, etc. is a whole other issue.

Point is, get your fact right.

Anonymous said...

"No prizes for guessing which magazine group is falling apart at the seams."

24 September, 2007 15:17

Who's that then? Pray tell.

Stuart (NOT ANON) said...

Some of the anon comments on here made me chuckle, no wonder I only visit this blog sporadically, and YES I work at ITP. I returned to ITP after taking a year out and trying out different things.

ITP's culture is pretty much the same as every publishing house in the UK, target driven, tight deadlines, WORK HARD PLAY HARD.

The mixture of nationalities ranges from Indian, Filipino, Pakistami, English, Australian, South African, Lebanese, Egyptian, Syrian, Irish, Scottish across all departments whether it be production, editorial, sales, distribution.

Each person is probably on different pay rates (as in any other company) depending on position, department etc, it is down to an individual to negotiate their own terms and renumeration.

ITP are the market leader in magazine publishing, people come and go as in every company, but they compare to other publishers in London, after all we are paid to do a job, surprisingly people rejoin ITP after trying out the "opposition" and find the grass isn't any greener.

I went back to ITP above the others and believe me I am nobody's fool.

Anonymous said...

anybody that comes back to ITP again and defends that choice must be a fool.

Stuart said...

Anonymous said...
anybody that comes back to ITP again and defends that choice must be a fool.

07 October, 2007 00:43

I see you've not got the balls to put your name on here. Enough said.

Anonymous said...

I also work at ITP and I have to say I agree with 18:24. It just seems a very normal, target driven environment. Very healthy too - people who know what they are doing, in general getting on with the job. I think the publications we are doing also stand up to scrutiny - they are very good on anyone's standards.

Anonymous said...

they are very good on anyone's standards.

11 October, 2007 17:54


BY anyone's standards.

Thank heavens ITP has started to hire subs...

Anonymous said...

Unlike DeMotivate where there are three sub-editors for 25 mags and they don't have the design software on their Macs. Thus all they do is proofread print-outs of layouts all day long and make corrections in pen.

Anonymous said...

I don't actually get what to make of ITP a few mix reviews here.

Can someone who works at ITP please give me a rough idea about the way the company works i.e company policy, targets etc.

Is it true that if you don't prove yourself in a few weeks you could be kicked out?

Basically any information would help as I am considering a job for ITP at the moment.

Thanks