Talking about new lows in advertising, as we were last week, today's soaraway, sizzling slab of superlatives, Gulf News, carries an advertisement for a rather unremarkable little development called, as far as I can see, 'Sundance'.
Buckingham Palace, Mysore Palace, Palace of Versailles...
Trumpets the ad, getting my attention for a start. What new Dubai Lalaland superlative awfulness are we in for next?
Screams the copy.
None are commercial towers!
Oh, alas indeed! I'm sure Liz is bemoaning that very fact as she gets tucked into her tupperware full of Frosties this morning! The copy goes on to warble about how this humdrum little building is to be 'a business space fit for the emperors of the business world' and how 'if you ever feel the need for a space befitting your empire' you need search no more.
It's not often that something cuts through the constant background buzz of Dubai's prozac laced, hyperbolic real-estate promotion and actively manages to provoke irritation. The idiotic comparison between this drab little square of low-rent office space and great works of architecture shouldn't really get my goat. There's even some merit to the scheme. The idea that Buck Palace would be better utilised as commercial tower space would, I know, dovetail very neatly with my Irish and staunchly Republican wife's view that the British Royal family should be fed to the nearest available carnivore.
It must be me. I must be due leave...