Dubai Diaries: Brad Pitt and more; this city's star power astounds

david@khaleejtimes.com Filed on October 2, 2021

How do you get bigger than the Oscar-winner and the Burj Khalifa?

With a notoriously jocular long-held rivalry between the pair recounted over the years through numerous talk show anecdotes, the George Clooney- Brad Pitt one-upmanship contest took a surprising turn this week... in Dubai! While the two have often jokingly butted heads over their respective acting talents, choice of romantic partners or movie roles, Clooney’s seemingly perpetual contract as the face of a popular coffee brand has conspicuously remained untouched. Until now. It was Wednesday evening when our very own superstar landmark, the Burj Khalifa, lit up in full playing an announcement Brad Pitt will henceforth be bringing us ‘Perfetto’ cups of Joe as appliance giant De’Longhi’s global ambassador. The three-minute projection onto all 828 metres of the Downtown behemoth depicted a classic ‘day- in-the-life’ of Pitt: motor biking in the countryside, an espresso taken in a trendy kitchen whilst mulling life, the works. If a video oozed more effortless Hollywood glamour, both in its content and astounding Middle East premier location, we’re yet to see it. Clooney’s black and white sojourns in a speedboat across Lake Como were always decent, but we have to say it’s 1-0 to Pitt in the java japes. Game on.

As if an Oscar-winner being beamed across the city weren’t sufficient, the next day came the once-in-a-lifetime event that was the Expo 2020 Dubai opening ceremony. Majestic, magical and magnificent: the performances were everything we were expecting and more. A better curtain-raiser for the World’s Greatest Show we couldn’t have imagined. What is it about this Emirate that a spectacle others often wouldn’t even contemplate simply comes as second nature? Every day in this town the most amazing dancing fountain displays go on in at least two separate venues multiple times an hour as standard. Throughout Global Village’s season, I can’t comprehend the number of fireworks which must be set off and the attempts various establishments make to outdo one another over New Year’s Eve are mind-boggling. Headlines across the planet proclaim Dubai the ‘fiesta frontier’, and you merely have to open your eyes and have a look round over one weekend to take stock and soak it all in.

The most exciting aspect is, this is just the beginning. As UAE temperatures subside, Expo’s schedule will only ramp up, the aforementioned Global Village extravaganzas will roll around once again, outdoor properties will no doubt import some of the finest after-dinner entertainment, oh and there’s the small issue of an F1 Grand Prix taking place down the road in Abu Dhabi too. I think it’s only a matter of time before Clooney’s making his way here to level up the bragging rights.


David Light

David is originally from the United Kingdom and has been a journalist in the UAE for 12 years. A keen lifestyle writer, his work centres on motoring, dining, travel, film and local and international entertainment. When he is not at his desk, David enjoys taking a motorbike out for an early ride, delving into a historical biography or exploring new languages and countries. Email him about any of his stories or to reach out about one of your own.