Claire Burgess’s Blog

The CREDIT CRUNCH Has Even Hit Dubai!

Posted in Blogging, Claire Burgess, Dubai, Media, Radio by Claire Burgess on February 12, 2009

I’m back in the very lovely and snowy UK now and back in my office at The Custard Factory in Digbeth. It seems like ages since I was at work here. In fact it has been. I haven’t been in since before Christmas.

Anyway, since I’ve been back loads of people have been asking about what Dubai was like. One of the things they were most surprised about was that The ‘Credit Crunch’ has even had an effect there. I think lots of people thought it would some how be immune.

The best example I can give is the story of Andrew Blair. We interviewed him on Dubai Today after the story broke that he had been made redundant from his £75,000 construction Project Manager job in Dubai and then written on the back of his white Porsche in black marker pen to advertise himself. This made international news including this story in The Telegraph, after a Dubai blogger took a photo of his car. This idea seemed to excite people and one of our Dubai Today Presenters Alexander McNabb, even thought it may start the new phenomenon of ‘Porsche Scrawling.’

Life in Dubai

Andy's Car Photo: Life in Dubai

Since we did the interview this story has taken a dramatic turn after newspapers revealed Andrew was wanted by Dubai police for 35 speeding offences and unpaid fines of more than £700. And as it turns out…he’s still looking for a job.

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What Life Sounds Like

Posted in Claire Burgess, Documentary, Dubai, Dubai Eye, IBDA'A, Media, Radio by Claire Burgess on February 1, 2009

Tomorrow is my last day in Dubai and my last day working on Dubai Eye’s Dubai Today programme. I have loved it and am so glad Dubai Eye have given me a proper role during my time and kept me working hard as the Assistant Producer on the show. I came to be here because I won an IBDA’A Award for a documentary I made with a Big Issue vendor in Birmingham. My prize was to come here to work for a month.

Dubai

As I won the prize for my documentary, Jessica Swann the Presenter of Dubai Today and Deputy Head of Programming for Dubai Eye asked me if I would like to make a documentary to play on the show. I agreed and decided to make a documentary for the show based on an idea I had when we had blind marathon runner Katy Newitt on the show a few weeks ago.

It was based on the idea that Dubai is famous for lots of famous buildings, places and things to see. However, what is life like for you in Dubai if you can’t see any of this?

I have never made a documentary in such a short time before as usually I work with the subject over the course of a month or so but was only here for a month so was restricted by time. You can listen to my documentary in full here:

What Life Sounds Like

It will also be broadcast on Dubai Eye 103.8 tomorrow between 9am-12. The documentary is called ‘What Life Sounds Like’ and is the story of Faress Al Hady a visually impaired man who lives and works in Dubai and Sharjah.

Haile Gebrselassie- The Fastest Marathon Runner On The Planet!

Posted in Claire Burgess, Dubai, Dubai Eye, Dubai Today, Media, Radio, Sport by Claire Burgess on January 15, 2009
Halie

Halie crossing the line in The Dubai Marathon 2008

So my time in Dubai is flying by. I am now producing a daily current affairs programme for Dubai Today and yesterday managed to get a big interview for the station. Not bad considering it is only my first full week in the job. We interviewed Haile Gebrselassie ahead of the Dubai Marathon this weekend.

Since working here I have had to speak to 100’s of PR people and marketing folk in order to get interviews with even the smallest organisation and so I was really surprized when I managed to get a phone number for Haile and he answered the call himself! He was one of the nicest guests I have ever had on a show and was as lovely off air as he sounds on it.

Listen to the interview here:

Haile Gebrselassie Interview

Haile won the Dubai Marathon last year and holds the world record for the marathon after running it in 2hrs3minutes and 59 seconds in Berlin in 2008. Tomorrow he will be hoping to break the record if only for the extra $1million prize money. Not bad concidering his Dad once thought his running was a waste of time. GOOD LUCK HAILE! YOU CAN DO IT!

UPDATE : Haile did win the Dubai Marathon 2009 with a time of 2h:05m:29s. Due to wet conditions he didn’t manage to break his record but still managed the 8th fasted time in the world.

A New Year…A New Country

Posted in Claire Burgess, Dubai, Dubai Eye, Dubai Today, IBDA'A, Media, Music, Radio by Claire Burgess on January 12, 2009

It has been a while since I have blogged because things have been a little busy, what with moving countries for a month I just haven’t had time. So I will try and fill you in and let you know about somethingI have been meaning to post but haven’t got round to it.

A while back someone I follow on Twitter posted up this link:

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvB9Pj9Znsw]

It reminded me of the article I had read on the way to work in The Metro about what Coldplay’s Chris Martin said about whether in ‘Viva La Vida’ they had copied any any on Joe Satriani’s ‘If I Could Fly.’ He said that “any similarities are coincidental.” Unfortunately for Coldplay it doesn’t matter whether similarities are “coincidental” or not. If ‘Viva La Vida’ contains 8 notes that are the same as ‘If I Could Fly’ then they have plagiarised. Both sides will now appoint musicologists to fight there cases in court as Joe Satriani sues Coldplay for “any and all profits” related to this copyright infringement. I think if I shut my eyes it sounds like the same song but what do you think?

Joe Santriani

So since the New Year has arrived so have I- In Dubai! Last year I won an IBDA’A Award for a Radio Documentary I made. This was presented to me by Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates. My prize was to do an internship with Arabian Radio Network- Dubai’s biggest radio network. So here I am. I’m working for Dubai’s only English talk station Dubai Eye as a Producer on their day time current affairs programme- Dubai Today.

It’s very different to the kind of station I am used to. Before, I have only worked for music stations. But working in any kind of station in Dubai has restrictions. You aren’t allowed to discuss Alcohol, Sex, Religion, Drugs, Gambling or anything that paints the government in a bad light. Music station’s here also don’t pay for the music they play. It’s all quite strange at the moment but I’m settling in quite well and making friends as I go.

Dubai Eye

I have been spending lots of my spair time on the Beach- 25 degrees in January, I can’t complain! And last night, I went to the ‘Cinema Under the Stars’ at the WAFI centre to watch ET. It felt like being at a drive-in except instead of being in cars we were sat on giant M&M’s bean bags.

So for the rest of the month I will keep you updated with what I get up to.