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16 May, 2003

Ahlan! both vacuous and un-star-studded

Cardinal dress rule at any VIP event: make sure the window dressing girls wear sashes, designating them as staff. Otherwise gentlemen guests will not be able to distinguish which long-black-skirted lady is available for hire, and which is a fellow invitee.

By far the most exquisite moment of the launch party of the Middle East's latest celebrity rag, Ahlan! came when filming near an extraordinarly savage-looking couple, straight off the last convict ship from Liverpool by all appearances.

Shifty-eyed man glances round at me. Leans over to hard-faced woman.

Stage whisper: "Be careful what you say."

Hard-faced woman waits one second, glances round, leans back towards shifty-eyed man and mutters something.

I consider reassuring them that we are not filming for a Cook report on their Emirates dole scam, nor on the Karama bawdy house they doubtless also supplement their ill-gotten income with. But I cannot be bothered.

Of local talent only Lola LebCan was there, in body glitter and sequins. Dubai's most famous ex-ex-BBC presenter was not there, praise God. Ditto Dubai's most famous ex-CNN presenter. Joy. SHAC's Telly Tart 2 was refused entry at the door "for fire regulations" despite his senior editiorial status at Incredibly Terrible Publications, hosts of the party. SHAC TT1 was ill.

You really know the situation is desperate when the only Dubai celebrities they can even refer to in the speeches are Frankie Dettori (jockeys for Sheikh Mo, only here for half the year), David Beckham (visited once, several months ago) and Tamara Beckwith (paid guest and "celebrity" columnist of Ahlan!)

As predicted, Ahlan! is destined to be syndicated Hollywood PR shite and photos of Emirates air hostesses at the Mina Siyahi. If only the paper was less shiny it might supplement the Andrex.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I watched ITV's Dubai Dreams re Ahlan Top 100 celebs. What a joke! Ah but not much changes, we were just a smaller group of celebs in 1976 some of whom decide to get back to dull,dreary lives in realville UK with no money and not too many freinds or a job.I spent 8 years on Dubais' walk of fame and loved every minute bar the dog shoots, looks like they need to shoot a few more...

29 November, 2005 00:58  

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