Alexander McNabb

Ferris Wheel Furore: Problem With Dubai’s ‘New Shiny’

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Ferris wheel

“Hello, didn’t expect to see you here!”

“Well, you know, like to pop in and say hi now and then. How’s tricks?”

“Fine, thanks, bumping along quite nicely, actually.”

“How’s the shiny?”

“Oh, you know, can’t really complain. Because every time I do your secretary drops the line.”

“Oh, gosh. Sorry to hear that. I’ll have a word with her. Anyway, I didn’t come here to talk about shinies.”

“Oh, right?”

“No. I came to talk to you about Ferris wheels.”

“Ferris wheels? You mean like big wheels? The London Eye and all that? Why are you wincing?”

“If we could avoid talking about The Competition, that’d be great.”

“Competition? For what?”

“The Dubai Eye of course. The world’s largest Ferris wheel. It’s going ahead. 210 metres of rotating circular wonderfulness with a ginormous LCD screen displaying premium advertising. It’s a beezer scheme. We reckon it’s worth a good three million tourists a year. What a marvel, eh?”

“Well, yes, I suppose so.”

“Only there’s a problem.”

“Really? I’m not sure how I can help with that sort of thing. I do radio, not Ferris wheels.”

“Well, that’s the point, actually. It’s your radio station. We can’t have two Dubai Eyes, you see? And I’m afraid 103.8 is going to have to, well, you know, rebrand.”

“Rebrand? But we’re Dubai Eye Radio! The UAE’s first and only talk radio station! We’re news! Talk! Sport! We’ve been called Dubai Eye for simply ages! We were here first!”

“Yes, yes, all very interesting. But we’ve called the big wheel Dubai Eye and you’re going to have to change. You can’t have two Dubai Eyes when people Google us, let alone look us up on Google maps. We want ’em to be offshore from JBR, not hooning around out by Arabian Ranches.”

“Call it something else. Weren’t you going to call it the Great Dubai Wheel? Call it that again!”

“Look, that’s a project that got cancelled. We don’t go raking up Projects That Got Cancelled, right? It might remind people of the Shinies that didn’t get finished. You’re just going to have change your radio station’s name and that’s that. In fact, we want to help, so we’ve picked a name for you. You don’t have to thank me, it’s all part of the service. They’re putting up the new signs outside now, actually.”

“This is all rather out of the blue, I must say. Change our name to what?”

“Dubai Ear.”

“Are you mad? Dubai Ear? That’s the worst thing I’ve heard since the last ad break!”

“Well you are a radio station. Never quite saw eye to eye with the whole Dubai Eye thing myself. Dubai Ear is much more appropriate for a radio station. The listeners will be all ears! Hahaha! Geddit? “

“What if we hate the idea?”

“Oh come, come. Here are your new business cards. You’ll get used to it. We’ve had a production company in London do you all new sweepers and stuff. ‘Dubai Ear. You’ll love what you hear!’ Great isn’t it?”

“You’re barmy, you are. Completely barmy.”

“Calm down, now. You’d hate to find your shiny’s been painted pink again because of a new Mandatory Pinking Order. Have a nice day. And give my best to the team at Dubai Ear, will you?”

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