A lot gets written about Dubai. By visitors, residents, and often times by those who have never set foot in the country.

Dubai certainly has the world’s attention. As the city keeps celebrating one milestone after another, that attention will increase.

My name is Amber Haque and I have been living in the United Arab Emirates on and off for almost 20 years. During that time, I have seen Dubai transform from a sleepy dessert town to the multicultural megacity it is today. I am a news junkie and a graduate of international affairs, which means I have an interest in how Dubai presents itself to the world, and how the world sees Dubai.

For the most part, media coverage of Dubai follows a predictable pattern. In general, it fails to provide the reader with a contextualized and informed understanding of Dubai’s strengths and weaknesses. Instead of keeping pace with the seismic changes transforming Dubai’s physical landscape, social fabric, politics and business, it reinvents old stereotypes that simply do not reflect the realities of a 21st century city. The oversimplified state of reporting on the Middle East provides little value in understanding for such an important and historic region.

Lost Files Dubai was conceived with this idea in mind. Through it, I hope to convey the stories that get lost behind the headlines and provide a more nuanced understanding of this unique city and the wider region. I have traveled extensively throughout the Middle East. Far from being an expert, I consider my learning ongoing and deeply enriched by the those I meet and the places I have seen.