Monday, November 26, 2007

Motorshow Notes

Welcome to the stand of GearOne Automotive Television! During the five days of the Dubai International Motorshow we somehow managed to broadcast four hours of daily coverage from our improvised studio. Christina from Lithuania, one of our 'booth babes', was not in fact promoted to on-air presenter but by day four was helping out editorially and not just distributing our 'swag bags'!

I was reminded of one of the oddities of social interaction in the Sandlands which it took me a while to fathom. It's all a matter of interpretation.

He's my friend! This means that I know and have even shared space with the person in question.

He's my good friend! Means that we have exchanged greetings on a couple of occasions.

He's my very good friend! He remembers meeting me, too.

All irony aside, Mohammed Bin Sulayem (left below) is in truth a wonderful friend to our channel's owner (right below), Abdul Razzak Al Abdullah, to the channel itself and, I am honoured to say, to me as well. Fourteen times Middle Eastern Rally champion, the man is a regional hero, universally admired for what he has actually done, in contrast to so many in the Sandlands whose claims to fame are not always based on real achievements.

Not just when the Dubai Motorshow calls for reinforcement of our channel's staff, we are always happy to give newcomers a chance to show what they can do. Our need in this case was for interviewers who could handle on-camera pieces in English rather than Arabic. Michelle, in spite of being a slightly nervous Welsh girl, acquitted herself well. We didn't, however, ask her to climb out from behind the driver's seat of the cars she described... for reasons fans of Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan would understand.

Of course, if it's Dubai it has to be over-the-top, brash, excessive and have a very high price tag. The Lambos, Veyrons, Ferraris, Porsches were all present and accounted for, some in improbably tuned and customized versions. Here (below) our Welsh lass finds out more than anyone in their right mind would want to know about a soft-top Rolls with a brushed aluminium hood.

I must admit that the Maybach Landaulet (below) provided us with a great opportunity for television coverage. We had two of our presenters playing Lord and Lady Muck in the back seat, with a Jimmy Jib camera crane swooping down through the open roof as they tried out the reclining seats and twiddled silver champagne glasses in the hand not holding the microphone.

I suppose this totally outrageous vehicle will find a few buyers here in the Sandlands. Check out the video to preview the lifestyle Maybach are tempting us with.

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