United Arab Emirates: Banned in Dubai

Gulf News is reporting that the UAE blog Secret Dubai Diary has been blocked by the state telecommunications company. This is believed to be the first blog blocked by the UAE.


  • actually the pleasure in this department goes to Ben Keraishan’s The Lands of Sands, a very critical blogger from Al-Ain in the UAE who is waging a Holy War against Islamists, using something they sorely lack: logic and a proper reading of the Quran.

    The Lands of Sands has been blocked for some months now, but Ben Keraishan has found a way around Etisalat’s tentacles.

    The Lands of Sands is exclusively in Arabic.

  • […] Yesterday, we posted a link that said that Secret Dubai Diary was the first blog to be banned in the UAE. As pointed out by Bahraini blogger Mahmood Al-Yousif in the comments, we were wrong; the Arabic-language blog The Land of Sands was the first to be banned in the Emirates. […]

  • It’s unblocked now! well done Etisalat for listening.

    via The Emirates Economist

  • I found The Land of Sands myself some months back, but unfortunately I don’t read any Arabic so until now couldn’t see why it is banned. Very sad that they would block a Qu’ranic scholar.

    My blog was blocked after some local students misunderstood and became offended at a satirical poem, and lobbied for a block. I believe this was an automated process: if enough reports are made against a particular domain, it gets blocked without anyone checking.

    However, enormous and very kind support from other readers resulted in the block being lifted. In fairness to Etisalat, they do regularly unblock sites that get banned by “accident”. The New York Times was among these recently.

    Like most bloggers here, I exercise enormous amounts of self-censorship and there are certain subjects I will pretty much never touch (royal gossip, terrorism rumours, etc).

  • adham abdulhameed

    Love The Lands of Sands, so sarcastic and funny with settled criticism and a big dose of intelligence no matter what, try to open it, read and you will find a guy from Al Ain in U.A.E. who is knowledgeable almost as an Islamic scholar but at the same time an atheist! Discussing religion matter and day to day life. Presenting a life changing style

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