Sunday, 26 July 2009

Gulf News has to pay more than £1m in libel suit

Whoops. Gulf News has lost a libel case in the UK courts.

According to The Times website today, the damages and costs are more than £1 million.

AN EDINBURGH property developer has been awarded more than £1m in damages and costs against a Dubai newspaper after it wrongly said that he had deceived Middle East investors.

Mark Emlick, chairman and founder of Dunedin Independent, one of Scotland’s largest privately-owned independent financial advice businesses, won his case against the Gulf News in the High Court in London this week.

He brought the case for defamation of character after Gulf News reported in April last year that he and a partner were being sought in Dubai and in the UK by investors who claimed he had absconded with their money after a property deal that involved his company Strategic Property Investment group (SPI) went sour.

47 comments:

Mita said...

Quality journalism at its best - what can one say!

Anonymous said...

Maybe Dubai should sue some UK papers for all those Dubai is full of slaves and prostitutes and expats who hate the locals articles.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mita,

Actually the original story was thoroughly backed up and well researched.

http://7starsdubai.wordpress.com/2008/04/29/dubai-property-scandal-no-bonnington-tower/

The reason the legal case was successful was because GN chose not to defend the case.

The ruling has no jurisdiction in Dubai anyway.

I work for the KT but I have complete respect for the reporter behind this story.

We shouldn't be too quick to condemn our peers without checking out the facts.

Desert Orchid said...

How many classified supplements full of "massage clinic" ads does that equate to?

Anonymous said...

Gulf News is refusing to pay up to 1 million pounds ($1.64 million) in damages the UK’s High Court has ordered it to hand over to British property developer Mark Emlick in a libel suit, its editor-in-chief said on Monday.

Mark Emlick sued the UAE daily for claims it made in a story in April 2008 that he had absconded with investors’ money after a UAE property deal went sour.

Emlick brought the action after Gulf News reported that Dubai and UK investors were seeking him and a business partner. But in fact the Scotsman had actually repaid all the money owed as well as 5 percent interest.

The High Court in London last week ruled in Emlick’s favour and ordered Gulf News to pay damages of up to 1 million pounds, including legal fees, according to the UK’s Times newspaper.

“We will not be paying it,” Abdul Hamid Hamad told Maktoob Business.

“We are not going to appeal. We decided from the outset that we would not defend ourselves in this case.

“We respect any court in the world, but this decision was not made in the UAE and therefore we will not honour its decisions.”

He said Gulf News had offered Emlick the right to reply.

Anonymous said...

According to an irate Francis Matthews on Business Brekkie this am, the court awarded just £25,000 in damages. More interesting is that GN declined to contest the case, feeling that it should have been brought in the UAE.

Hard not to agree.

Maybe bits of Dubai should look at bringing charges against some of the Western papers in the Sharia courts of Oud Metha.

Anonymous said...

On what grounds would they sue the UK papers?

Anonymous said...

In the original story below, the reporter has contacted Mark Emlick and he didn't even mention anything about the refund.

http://7starsdubai.wordpress.com/2008/04/29/dubai-property-scandal-no-bonnington-tower

How the hell can he sue?

Maybe that's the reason he didn't file the case in the UAE.

Anonymous said...

Maybe somebody should sue the National for wasting national money.

Anonymous said...

National is a national joke.

Anonymous said...

I suppose the UK thinks the Trucial States are still its dominions and answerable to British law! I don't know the whole story but why would a UK court rule it has jurisdiction?

Anonymous said...

Desert Orchid, you really are a c@+t. I've followed your posts on this and other blogs and all you do is mock decent people and businesses working hard to provide a service to the people of Dubai and the UAE. No doubt in your ivory tower at ITP things are perfect, but Gulf News has to do what it has to do keep producing the goods - if that means taking cash from therapeutic clinics, then so be it. If you don't like reading the Gulf News, why don't you f*&k off back to blighty, you complete and utter tosser.

Anonymous said...

the irony of non-juristictive power???

Anonymous said...

@21.30
Thanks for all the information. Seems interesting. Good to have legible sentences on this blog.

But 'brekkie'!! That being kidspeak for what?

Could you boys/gals consider growing up when leaving mommie?

Steve Parry said...

Just typical of a company in the UAE.

'We respect any court in the world - but we are not paying' - well then clearly you don't respect them do you - you moron!
Is it any wonder that the trading reputation of Dubai is so so low in the rest of the world? How many multinationals want to do biz in Dubai with that type of attitude?

Anonymous said...

Why wouldn't GN be sued in the UK? That is where the plaintiff has his business and reputation to protect.

What sense would it make to bring a libel case in the UAE? If the GN article was published in the UK - and it was as it was accessible online from the UK - then they are accountable to UK courts in a libel case.

Anonymous said...

On what grounds? On the grounds that they routinely make sweeping statements like Dubai or the UAE is built on the profits of money laundering, that they support terrorists, approve of slavery annd about a hundred other tired old neo-colonialist accusations that UK papers and their editors seem to think are perfectly OK to publish based on what seems to be nothing more than anecdotes exchanged in a bar.

Anonymous said...

@29 July, 2009 15:20 If you think it is "nothing more than anecdotes" then why dont you go ahead and sue the papers?

FYI, not only British, but american and australian newspapers are finally revealing the facts about this place.

Anonymous said...

Mods, can we get back to some real nitty gritty issues please? What's the current business mood in Dubai? Any further redundancies? How are advertising revenues compared to this time last year? What about exhibitions? Cityscape, Gitex, are they going to be deserted? New thread perhaps?

Anonymous said...

" finally revealing the facts about this place"?

The stories are notable only for their endless repetition and have been doing the rounds for years.

Not only British, but also American and Australian newspapers.

All countries built on the backs of slavery, genocide and exploitation. No prostitutes in any of those places though.

Anonymous said...

how about this:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wires/2009/07/30/human-trafficking-plagues_ws_247586.html

Anonymous said...

http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090731/OPINION/707309860/1080

Oh dear, that's 'National' as in national newspaper right?

marhabahome said...

Journalism and its rights should not be supressed.

Anonymous said...

"but Gulf News has to do what it has to do keep producing the goods"

I presume you are being ironic. Gulf News and all its magazine products are fucking awful. Only Khaleej Times runs them close when it comes to massively shit content.

Anonymous said...

Bikram Vohra is back for a third round at KT -- appropriate fodder for a new thread?

Anonymous said...

KT going down the toilet. Many of the good staff have left/pushed out, replaced by poor quality people. A quick browse through its new (really bad) website provides ample evidence. The new Gulf Today.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know anything about him?

Anonymous said...

The argument that because exploitation has happened in developed countries it shouldn't be criticised in Dubai is total and utter bullshit.

And so what if stories of exploitation are repeated?

Should those kind of stories be published once and forgotten about?

It would take a cunt of extraordinary quality to say that should be the case.

Anonymous said...

@31 July, 2009 11:15

It's just another example of National being a national joke.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about you, but everyday I read all newspapers that are published in the UAE - including Gulf Today.

Many papers, such as GT, have small underworked stories that could easily be great if played up appropriately.

But from conversations I've had with National and GN reporters it seems they only read their own newspapers.

Not only is it the sign of a poor journalist, it is also laughably arrogant.

This is demonstrated most obviously in how Arabian Business reporters do their copying and pasting trick only from GN and the National, and completely neglect to see that the story was published days earlier in the KT.

As for examples of scoops, I have them by the bucketload. The most recent food poisoning case for instance. The story about the two girls being killed in Abu Dhabi that sparked the National's road safety campaign.

But I agree with the snotty little twat in the previous post that the simple matter of getting a scoop isn't cause for celebration.

Despite what everyone says, the KT is improving. For the buzz of being part of that, I wouldn't choose to be anywhere else.

You could offer me three times the salary I'm earning here and I still wouldn't move.

Anonymous said...

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/editorial/2009/August/editorial_August8.xml&section=editorial&col=

It is a great paper with fearless, smart journalists and wise editors. I salute the KT. Change you can't measure.

Anonymous said...

Fortunately or Unfortunately, I happen to read all the three newspapers everyday. I tend agree that KT has improved a lot but it has many miles to go to meet the national's standards.
I have also noticed that GN coverage especially its business section has dropped dramatically. KT's business section is much better. This is a business town afterall, hope GN has not this fact.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know anything about this?

http://www.journalism.co.uk/75/articles/535339.php

Given the poor standard of local men's magazines, can this be any different?

Suleiman said...

As a newcomer to Dubai, I cannot verify if the papers are improving, but how bad was Khaleej Times before if it is better now?
Just one random story from today:
http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2009/August/theuae_August185.xml&section=theuae

It is not even written in proper English!! It is just a promotional tool for the hotels. Shambolic!

Suleiman said...

And another one...Does Dubai Metro pay for these?
http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2009/August/theuae_August183.xml&section=theuae

Anonymous said...

ITP to launch Esquire on November 1st. New thread surely.

Hapi said...

hello... hapi blogging... have a nice day! just visiting here....

Anonymous said...

The Khaleej has improved: they have polished a turd.
The GN has seen its monopoly on (car etc) ads inpacted upon, and needs to raise its game. But it has its target audience and they seem content. Mass distribution winning the day there, for now.
The National is a colour by numbers paper: dull, repetitive and formulaic. But the quality of writing and layout are the best, if a little insular for a 'national'. Could do with some visability/readership.
7Days hasn't changed since day one. Needs inspiration and evolution.
The UAE is crying out for a paper to blow them all away.
I'd suggest the quality of The National, with courage and the distribution of the GN. Perhaps the KT with a bit of forethought?

Anonymous said...

No thread on Esquire (November) and GQ (end of year?)
Come on guys!
Who do I email with the thread starter, if I need to?
In the meantime, are GQ suffering? They (for religious reasons) would never have touched the Middle East before - are they in the sh*t?

Anonymous said...

Oh, and won't it be good to have some more good quality international content watered down and supplemented by substandard local editors. BBC Good Food, OK! Middle East, Hello Middle East, Men's Fitness anyone??? We have proven we can take successful, decent magazines and turn them into crap at a moments notice. Will GQ/Esquire be any different? As a man, I'm looking forward to paying the extra AED40 for the censored but superior versions. As an agency director/ad buyer, I'm not looking forward to the never-ending, over-excitable pitches telling me how the local versions are better than local mags which actually target my customers. Ho hum.

Anonymous said...

Ho ho ho - even when trying to cite a scoop, our KT friend gets it wrong. It was three, not two, girls killed in the accident, and it was reported in all the major papers on the same day.

Even better, the KT report (the "scoop") also got the details wrong, saying it happened a day later than it did - this despite the fact that it relied on the same Ministry of Interior statement that everyone else.

At this stage, it seems almost unfair to mention that the headline for the KT scoop is "Family Loses Three Kids
in the Blink of an Eye" - yep, a month on and they still haven't corrected it.

Anonymous said...

An architect working in Dubai says that Dubai has "no culture, no history!!!!!"

Read the full story here: http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/138/exodus.html

Anonymous said...

GQ as well? Who's looking to launch that one? Motivate?

Anonymous said...

MP were in talks to publish Mens Health a while back - but looks more like they're closing titles rather than launching them.

Anonymous said...

Didn't some new guy come over to MP and immediately shut down four or five of their titles - Society etc. I think he also scrapped the Men's health contract.

Anonymous said...

with this influx of mens mag - following the lead of iq and for men - why close it down?

Anonymous said...

Annonymous - you can only really sue if the story written isn't true. UK papers have not done that.