The Guardian apologizes to Dubai’s Sheikh Mohammad over false claim

Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashed al-Maktoum

The Guardian has published an apology to the UAE Vice President and governor of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashed al-Maktoum, for claiming that his office had placed an advertising with an Italian fashion agency for the recruitment of a number of female assistants to help in shopping during a trip in Europe.

The Guardian amended its article and added a footnote saying: “UAE vice-president and prime minister and ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed’s office has contacted us to confirm that no request, or authorization, for recruitment of assistants related to travel has been made by the palace or his office. We are happy to clarify that and apologize.”

The amended version of the article states that “a wealthy Dubai sheikh is scouring Venice for a small army of female assistants to help him spend his cash.” It did not however identify who the Sheikh is.

It quoted the owner of an Italian fashion company and a casting agency as saying that he received a call from a Dubai-based agency seeking Italian women to assist with a shopping spree around Europe because of “their strong tasted in fashion.”

Those women must be attractive, stylish and young. They need to be (or at least look) between 18 and 28 years of age, according to the Guardian article. English language is a requirement because that is the foreign language which the sheikh’s family is most familiar with. If the applicants speak French and Arabic this would be a “bonus.” but above all, the applicants must “possess supremely sharp shopping skills.”