The story went viral; within weeks the Pan Arabia Enquirer had 500,000 hits, while even a few members of the Emirates cabin crew were fooled by a news article that stated the Dubai-based airline would introduce shisha lounges onboard its A380 fleet.
After a few seconds of disbelief, realization dawns, the Pan Arabia Enquirer is a satire news website filled with entertaining but “fake” stories, according to their website.
“I’ll admit, I was fooled,” said Habil Omary, an Emirates cabin crew member with four years’ experience told Al Arabiya. “I was forwarded the story by a colleague, and we believed the whole thing until someone pointed out the ‘satire’ tag at the top of the website.”
“It was definitely a relief, and we had a good laugh.”
He was not the only one to be misled; plenty of readers have left unhappy comments below several PAE articles, stating their dissatisfaction with the “news.”
A piece last year about British model Katie Price, also known as Jordan, suing the country of Jordan over naming rights is just one example. Several hundred voiced their angry opinion on the matter.
“Katie Price should get an education before she starts suing anyone. The name Jordan is older than her whole ancestry and is mentioned in the bible,” commented a person identified as Zain.
In response, other commenters left reminders of the website’s self-proclaimed satirical nature.
“Wow, is everyone really outraged? Please read the ‘SATIRE’ header. Good lord. Or the Pan-Arabia Enquirer motto: “The Finest Source of Made Up News from the Middle East,” wrote another commenter.