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Dreaming Of Dubai Bling

Dreaming Of Dubai Bling

All you need to do to get all the material goods you desire… is close your eyes.

I’ve been having strange dreams. Well, actually, I’ve always had strange dreams; what I mean is, they’ve been of a different sort lately.

I used to dream about the usual things − flying and falling, monsters, teeth dropping out, being naked in front of my office − and then there’s the one where I won beauty queen of the world and my sister cried in fits of jealousy (I really enjoyed that one).

Today, there are no demons to overcome, no labyrinths to be negotiated, no strange buildings to climb or slavering aunts to escape. Instead, my dreams have become shallow and materialistic.

Example: I’m looking in the mirror, fretting that the lady at the beauty salon has missed a stray eyebrow. What will become of me? I feel the first stirrings of angina, but calm down when I remember that I have a new crisp blue jumper from Joseph waiting patiently in my closet.

But then − No! − where are my D&G glasses? It is around this point that my dream turns into a nightmare. Where did I put them? I run around the house, typing frantic messages into my BlackBerry. My heart is about to burst − where are the glasses? I need them.

And then I remember: I left them in the glove compartment of my shiny new, recently-chamoised black BMW Z4. Before I leave my apartment to rescue my Jacky O-type specs, I rub in my Crème de la Mer moisturiser and congratulate myself on my immaculate nose, flawless skin and shiny white teeth.

The best dreams are the ones where I go shopping with limitless funds, shamelessly loading my arms up with all that lovely Dubai has to offer (correction: loading up my personal assistant with all that lovely Dubai has to offer). Sometimes I get the merchandise home and throw it away without unwrapping it, just so I can go shopping again the next day.

I blame the marketers.

My dreams started to change when I moved to ad-happy Dubai. All day long I’d find myself confronted with billboards bearing images of women who were infinitely better looking than me, their dainty hands caressing bottles of Chanel, their too-pert bottoms filling Prada pant-suits. At night, I’d end up having the most terrible dreams in which I was a foul-smelling water buffalo chasing a noble but terrified-looking lion across the African veldt.

These days, I don’t spend money to look good or feel good − I spend money to preserve my sanity. I know that if I don’t immediately buy a pair of those D&G glasses, my dreams about spectacles will get more and more depraved, until I end up in that water buffalo dream again, chasing the same unhappy lion, my clumsy, stinking hooves trampling a variety of designer frames along the way.

The question is, though, why do these dreams bleed into our conscious hours like this? Other dreams don’t − at least not to the same degree. I mean, I’ve killed hundreds of people in my dreams and buried them in the garden − and I’ve yet to go to jail.

I think the answer to the question lies in the fact that advertising − particularly with regards to high-end goods − relies on a blurring of fantasy and reality. I’m simply taking that process a little further. Perhaps we’ve all come to understand that if we really want to own our dream car, all we need do is close our eyes.

Alicia Buller is the editor of Gulf Business


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