On July 26, users in the UAE found themselves unable to access Arabian Business’ website and were instead redirected to a page with the below message.
Speaking to a journalist on twitter, the TRA commented, “This website was blocked temporarily for 1 month in accordance with decision of the comptent [sic] authority concerning media activities in the UAE.” The TRA did not reply to a request to elaborate further.
The news comes following a story by Arabian Business regarding the liquidation of real estate projects in the UAE that was then picked up by Qatari media. It was based on what several sources are reporting as old news back from 2008 and 2012. The story has since been taken down and the Dubai Media Office (@DxbMediaOffice) said on Twitter that it has ruled out the report. According to industry sources, this also led to the exit of editorial director, Michael Jabri-Pickett and at least one other staff member.
According to Bloomberg, the Dubai Media Office also released a statement saying, “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.”
Communicate reached out to Arabian Business’ online editor at the time – now editor – Neil Halligan who declined to comment.