A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

the power of Dubai

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on November 24, 2008

I was out of town this past weekend and largely Internetless – my apologies to you and my now-overloaded Gmail for the silence.

On my flight home, I noticed this advertisement in my in-flight magazine:


The advertisement is for a company called Energy in Focus, a company that evidently produces a newsletter that reports on trends in the energy industry. The website is a bit bizarre: the URL energyinfocus.net defaults to another one called secureyourfinancialfuture.com; includes only the home page; and has a short video that focuses heavily on military images and praying Muslim men. Apparently the “protein for your portfolio” that it promises is fuel for the fear its reportage inspires.

Anyway. Fascinating as this company is, it wasn’t the sample text of its newsletter that attracted me to the advertisement – it was the cocktail napkin from the five-star “Hotel Regent Geneve Dubai”.

Let me start with what is really a side-note issue: This hotel doesn’t seem to actually exist. At least, I can’t find any mention of it online, which is rare for five-star hotels.

Why do I say that this is a side-note issue? Because most people reading this magazine would not have heard of the “Regence Geneve” hotel brand in any case. But they can see the five stars, and they can see that the name is French. And they can definitely see “Dubai”.

What this tells me is that “Dubai” and accompanying signs of luxury living are now becoming signs that the American public is expected to recognize. Here I would argue that the reader is meant to take away the message that the business professionals who truly know the oil and gas industry read Energy in Focus as a briefing document when they travel the region on business trips.

I can’t imagine a Dubai reference appearing in an advertisement five years ago – much less a Dubai hotel napkin. Its fascinating to me how the world changes – both in reality and also in our perception of it.


3 Responses to “the power of Dubai”

  1. cfw said

    your assessment of the ad’s message is undoubtedly what the agency behind it had in mind, but, um, a page ripped in HALF and left on the table with the soiled napkins sort of says “trash” to me, not “essential briefing.” 😛

  2. snarla said

    When you are traveling by plane, are you ever compelled to write something in Arabic in the margins of the in-flight magazines? I am. But I haven’t done it yet.

  3. […] Comments snarla on the power of DubaiScambuster on The dangers of sunscreenTechowiz on The dangers […]

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