Abu Dhabi may be an island of sorts but the public relations machine of Dubai still reaches its shores. One advert caught the eye of this observer recently. Published on various media, it promoted a new club in a leading hotel.

By Abu Dhabi Diary By Tim Newbold

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Published: Wed 7 Dec 2005, 1:37 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 6:10 PM

Now, this is not to argue the advert is in any way unique. Countless such adverts are used in the country and, indeed, around the world.

Nor can there be any doubting that a host of people views the hotel as highly reputable and luxurious. From one point of view, this piece of advertising is also of a very high standard. Even so, it deserves a bit of fun poking.

The online form of the advert invited people to forward the email to friends to boost their chances of winning one year's 'exclusive' VIP membership to the new place. It promoted the opening night which took place a few weeks ago. Absolutely nothing wrong with that.

The following extracts also made up a large slice of the advert. "You could either enjoy the fashionable atmospheric ambience of an evening of glamour and elegance, as you lounge with the most beautiful people in town...," it read. "Tell your drop dead gorgeous friends about this brand new lounge...," it went on. And on: "Five lucky people win: an overnight stay in a deluxe ocean view room... for you and one beautiful friend."

Another advert talks of a dress code — with designer clothes T-shirts, jeans and trainers also 'accepted'. Again, nothing wrong with specifying certain attire. But if you dress casually, you have to make sure you're wearing a suitably recognisable label to get in.

Anyone spot the theme? Most people would expect to have to pay a sizeable fee to join a members' club. Many will have been turned away at the door from clubs because the bouncers didn't like the look of them. But who thinks this ad amounts to a metaphorical sign saying, "You're not welcome if you're ugly?"

City Times put various questions to the hotel-owning company. Is the club open to people who are not considered beautiful? Who decides whether someone is good looking or not? The men on the door? These questions, though, all stemmed from a complete misinterpretation of the 'message'.

This is what a spokesperson said in response: "We regret that you are taking the linguistic content of our advertising messages out of context. Our aim with the advertising for [this club] is to create [an]... environment that is trendy, elegant, fashionable and sophisticated and that has an atmosphere that makes people feel good.

We invite people that want to feel good in such an environment to join us and that is what the message stands for, not the physical beauty of people, but a feel good factor which is what you look for when buying or consuming luxury goods and/or services."

Make of that what you will...

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