Beyonce and a Glitzy Launch in Dubai

Queen B Sings in the GCC

The event represents Dubai at its most cliched. But it is also fascinating for its insight into the culture of online activism and social pressure, and the particularities of the Middle East as its powerhouses, whether the liberal UAE or the conservative Saudi Arabia and Qatar, seek also to bask in the glitz of Western celebrity culture. It raises serious questions about the viability of online activism and protest, and why the Middle East in particular seems to attract calls for cultural boycott.