Sometimes you hear a distinctive voice whose every syllable is familiar, a genial lilt that stops you at once; it takes a moment to collect yourself, look long into a morass of memories and then, yes, there it is: look who’s talking!
Tonight that voice was Ali, the posterchild for Dubai’s World Expo 2020 bid.
The sound of that youthful, infectious enthusiasm coupled with talk of headline-grabbing innovations – tallest building in the world and solar-powered projects, anyone? – on the TV was enough to divert the attention.
The beautifully-shot, 4-minute video for Dubai’s bid touts the emirate as “greatest city in the world”. Ali’s Dubai is one of striking, jaw-dropping vistas, sun-kissed horizons and eye-opening experiences.
There is a momentum behind Falcon Associates’ campaign – the Dubai Government’s communications company – in the lead-up to the announcement in November.
From the edible ice cream cone (1904, St Louis) to the telephone (1876, US) to that mainstay of modern life, the mobile phone (1970, Japan), expos have been exciting and innovating for centuries.
The award of the expo is expected to pave the way for more international investment, attracting still more of the $1.4trillion worldwide available FDI into the city; Milan will host the expo in 2015 and how the city, and country, needs it.
With the host city soon to be unveiled, Ali might just get his wish.