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Jolie-Pitts - paving the way for families? - By Rebecca Wicks

The luckiest lady in town at the moment, must be Christina Lawson of Zabeel Properties. She's the one who got to speak to Brad Pitt recently, about his brand new design project - an 800-room, five-star attraction, right here in Dubai. We're awaiting its arrival with baited breath, I'm sure, but let's be honest here… we already have a hundred luxurious building developments to get excited about. What we're really looking forward to the most, at least, what the ladies here are looking forward to the most, is the Jolie-Pitts rocking up in town.

"It's safe to say Pitt will be a regular in Dubai while the hotel and resort is being constructed," said the paper this week. And I'm sure my heart was not alone in its little ceremonious flutter.

We wanna see Ange and little Shilo, skiing in the Mall of Emirates. We wanna bump into them in H&M as we're trying on trousers. We wanna spot her and Brad dining out in Jonny Rockets, putting us on the map for a city devoted to improving family life. We already know that they can lure in the masses based on looks alone, but will a glamorous extension of their glitzy lives in the form of another hotel really be enough to satisfy us?

Most of us won't even be able to afford to step inside, once it opens. And what can they possibly offer that we haven't seen before? No, what we really need is a proper, famous, Hollywood family in town, something real and sought-after that hasn't been dug out of an ocean, re-modeled in marble, or made out of sand. We need to admire some real people for a change, not more reconstructions, blueprints and promises. Our modern, media-influenced society actually likes to know, deep down, just a little bit, that celebrities, Hollywood and major media influences approve of something, before we really buy into an idea these days. Oh come on… it's true.

Now that Brad and Ange are involved, perhaps we can expect some real changes. Maybe Bruce Willis will jet in and finally save Satwa. Perhaps Lindsay Lohan will realize that Dubai's serene spas and beaches, combined with our delightful lack of chemically imbalanced people, is the medicine she really needs to sort her life out. The world will listen and the world will join her. Where they're all supposed to stay when they get here, of course, is another matter.

Brad and Ange are family people, at the end of the day. They might not be planning to bring up their ever-expanding brood on our shores, full-time, but the fact that they've already snagged a spot on the Palm, and now want to construct an enticing, showbizzy entertainment development is probably not the most intriguing thing in this story. The press should make a bigger deal out of the fact that this highly-admired and devoted couple obviously see our city as a place for families. This is the point that stands out, to me at least, especially in a time where anger is mounting over traffic, impending taxes and the knocking-down of Satwa homes to make way for a more sparkling city. It's not all bad if Brangelina - the biggest globe-trotting do-gooders, get the plan behind it.

"He is not going to be the face of the project but will actually be a part of the design and overall feel of the building. He will 'be' a part of Dubai when it's complete," reported the Gulf News earlier this week.

Hollywood is so last season. New York is so passé. To the couple who can go anywhere in the world, and throw their money and fame in any direction they please, Dubai is worth some serious time and investment. They've bought into the vision. They've envisaged the dream.

What this means for the future of Dubai is not another five-star development project. It means that the world is waking up to the fact that we are the future. And that's a pretty nice thing to know, as the dreaded summer makes us wonder what the heck we're all doing here.

Posted: 05 June 2008

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