"Dubai has always been seen as a playground for the rich. What is the Dubai tourism authority doing to pull in people with less money?" That was one question among others that came to me Friday via the DK-Rough Guides PR office, as author of DK's Top Ten Dubai and Abu Dhabi guidebook, from a London journalist writing a story on Dubai. Although I suggested he contact Dubai Tourism for comment, I still shared my thoughts. While Dubai Tourism has appeared to focus on marketing Dubai as a luxurious, safe 'sun, sand and shopping' destination, the media, which loves covering the rich and famous and the glitz and glamour, has lapped it. There's no denying Dubai does luxury well (better than many places), but it's always been so much more than simply a lavish destination where you can spoil yourself silly, especially to the people who live in Dubai. When I lived in Al Mankhool, for five days a week my everyday experiences were more centered on Dubai's gritty backstreets (the 'off-the-beaten-track') and the city's heritage, culture and arts. We'd regularly walk to the Creek and Bastakiya, wander through Bur Dubai souq to Shindagha, both for exercise and to shop at the Shindagha supermarket, browse the souqs at Bur Dubai or across the Creek at Deira, or see a traditional performance at the Heritage and Diving Village. We'd frequently stroll along the Creek and through the parks, especially Al Seef Road and Za'abeel Park. We'd attend opening nights at galleries like The Third Line and B21, and we'd go to events like the Dubai International Film Festival. Occasionally we'd do very 'local' things like watch the camel training or even go falconing with some of the local guys. It was only on weekends when we'd go out with friends for drinks, dinner and a dance, at the bars, restaurants and clubs in the five-star hotels that we'd experience 'luxury Dubai'. But our Dubai, the Dubai most locals and many expats (not all) experience, is the one I've always tried to promote through our guidebooks and writing like our Insider's Guide to Dubai. But while Dubai for us is a set of complex experiences and representations, for much of the global media and potential tourists (as I'm reminded everyday) it's nothing but a luxury destination. It's time Dubai Tourism gets serious about re-branding Dubai and telling the world about the things its residents love about the place. Don't you think?