- Overall, we rate Gulf News Questionable based on poor sourcing, a lack of transparency, promotion of state-propaganda, and a few failed fact checks.
Reasoning: Poor Sourcing, Propaganda, Lack of Transparency, Censorship, Failed Fact Checks
Country: United Arab Emirates (UAE)
World Press Freedom Rank: United Arab Emirates 131/180
Launched in 1978, Gulf News is an English language daily based in Dubai, UAE. In 1984, Gulf News was acquired by Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, the late Abdullah Al Rostamani, and Juma Al Majid. In 1985, they formed the Al Nisr Publishing Group. In 1996, Gulf News launched its online edition. Gulf News is published by Al Nisr Publishing LLC with a focus on the Emirates, News, Business, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Lifestyle, and more. Al Nisr Publishing LLC is also the owner of getthat.com, a portal for classified buying or renting properties. In addition to Gulfnews.com, it also owns and runs the weekly magazine fridaymagazine.ae, gntech.ae, insideout.com, watchtime.me, babyandchild.com, and wheels.ae. Abdul Hamid Ahmad is the Editor-in-Chief.
Funded by / Ownership
Analysis / Bias
In 2020, Reporters Without Borders ranked United Arab Emirates (UAE) 131/180 in their Press Freedom Index, stating that “the authorities can censor local or foreign publications if they criticize domestic policies, the economy, the ruling families, religion or the UAE’s relations with its allies.” Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and ruler of the Emirate of Dubai.
In review, Gulf News publishes articles with headlines that have strong emotional loaded language such as “Too close for comfort: Homosexuality in schools”. They state the “rise in the number of same-sex relationships in UAE schools a growing concern.” A quote from the article reads “Authorities are trying to curb deviant behaviour to better reflect the traditional conservative laws of the UAE.” Gulf News mostly focuses on positive coverage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, “Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid praises the patriotic and humanitarian stands of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed” and lacking in any criticism of him “Learn lessons of success from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid”. Gulf News reports selectively when the issue doesn’t resonate with the Ruler. For example, news related to his wife, where BBC reports “Princess Haya: Dubai ruler’s wife in UK ‘in fear of her life”, however, Gulf News does not report this. Gulf News often sources through quotes and utilizes Emirates News Agency (WAM) which is the official news agency of the United Arab Emirates. They also republish Reuters news stories. When covering world news, pertaining to the USA, they cover the Trump administration with a negative tone “COVID-19: Trump suggests injecting disinfectants to fight coronavirus”. In general, this is a source that promotes pro-State propaganda and is not always factual.
Failed Fact Checks
- An Indian man who was bitten by a snake then bit his wife because he wanted them to ‘die together.’ – Unproven
- These images have previously circulated in reports about an elderly Chinese couple who had unrelated health problems – Misleading
- A man sued his bride after seeing her without make-up for the first time. – False
Overall, we rate Gulf News Questionable based on poor sourcing, a lack of transparency, promotion of state-propaganda, and a few failed fact checks. (8/29/2016 ) Updated (M. Huitsing 6/20/2020)