Deeper into Jeopardy! XXXVII: CNN World Languages – $1600

Jeopardy! category: CNN WORLD LANGUAGES (26-1-2015)

$1600 clue: CNN Arabic says ahlan wa sahlan (“welcome”) from its base in this wealthy emirate’s Media City

Correct response

The gist: When you’ve got tons of money and you decide you could use a media boost, why not build an entire city district ready-made for it? Dubai‘s Media City is a tax-free zone within the Emirate of Dubai, constructed in 2000 to give regional media offices a place to work out of in the Middle East. Given that many Middle Eastern countries are either hostile to Western governments and corporations or at least would pose a danger to permanent headquarters, Dubai Media City has attracted hundreds of companies to its giant office buildings; well-known TV channels, magazines, and others that have offices in DMC include Rolling Stone, BBC World News, Bloomberg, Visa, Sony, and the International Cricket Council.

As for Dubai itself, it came together with five other emirates on the southeast coast of the Arabian Gulf to form the United Arab Emirates in December 1971, declaring their independence from the U.K. and placing their capital in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, the largest of the six. For thousands of years before that, it had been a major source of pearls to the world market, until demand for the product dried up in the wake of the Great Depression and the invention of artificla pearls. In 1966, however, oil was discovered in Dubai’s deserts, and the economy was once again revitalized, providing the capital that brought about its transformation from a desert backwater to a major global metropolis and economic centre, as well as a playground for the world’s ultra-rich, although today oil accounts for less than 10% of Dubai’s total revenue. The country operates under strict Islamic law, applying to both Muslims and non-Muslims in public – in private, some concessions are made to non-Muslims, such as permission to drink alcohol with a special permit. The emirate, along with its fellows, have come under attack for political, religious, and social repression, particularly of women, non-Muslims, and labourers. Media City itself has been accused of censorship after an independent Pakistani news outlet was shut down by demand of Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf. The emirate also contains several modern wonders, including the Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the world), the artificial Palm Islands, and the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab, often referred to as the world’s only seven-star hotel.

An aerial view of Dubai Media City

The gist: We know the correct response is in an Arabic-speaking part of the world, we know it’s wealthy, and we know it’s an emirate. That basically narrows it down to three options: Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Qatar,* which claims its own slice of the Middle Eastern media pie with the headquarters of Al Jazeera. Media City and CNN narrows it down to Dubai, if you know about them… but Dubai is probably your best guess out of those three anyway, given their occurrences in the J!Archive. It’s also probably the one most people have heard of.

In Jeopardy!: Dubai shows up in 20 regular and two FJ! clues in the J!Archive, although this is Media City’s only clue. The United Arab Emirates (or UAE) are in 13 of them. The Burj Khalifa, either by name or just as a very tall hotel, is in six, and the emir is references in 13. That’s basically what you need to know about Dubai for Jeopardy!. As for the FJ! clues, one is about the Queen Elizabeth II, docked in Dubai in 2009 when the clue aired, and one about Detroit, which counts Turin, Italy, Toyota City, Japan, and Dubai among its sister cities, all for their importance to the automotive industry.

* The other independent emirates are Kuwait and the UAE’s other five. Bahrain was an emirate until 2002, when significant political reforms declared it a kingdom and instituted parliamentary elections.

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