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    Mehmet Y. Yilmaz: "Dubai Towers": not the best marketing idea ever

    Hürriyet Haber
    25.10.2005 - 11:48 | Son Güncelleme:

    The ambiguity still surrounding the investment in Istanbul by a Dubai sheik came out clearly in yesterday's press conference. The first leg of the investment, which will reach 5 billion dollars over 4 years, is to be the Dubai Towers Istanbul, which will be constructed in Levent on the site of the old IETT (Istanbul Electric Tram and Tunnel authority) grounds.

    We still don't have all the information on what the construction of two massive towers in that area will mean in terms of traffic, electricity, sewage, and other basic foundational problems.
    It would have been a good idea for the Istanbul Municipality to use the press conference to let us know some of their ideas for solutions to these questions.
    And it is very clear that the best name for these towers is not "Dubai Towers Istanbul."
    I, for one, do not think that giving two buildings in the middle of Istanbul a name which recalls the deserts of Arabia is a very good "marketing idea."
    While discussing all this with a collegue of mine at Hurriyet, we noticed the clothing of the president of Dubai International Properties, Muhammed Al Gergawi. Checking on Google, we were unable to find a single picture of Al Gergawi in a suit and tie. In every single international ceremony, he was wearing his traditional clothing.
    I'm not sure why he decided to wear a suit and tie this time, but I'd bet it was to downplay possible "racist" reactions to the investment, and to show respect for sensitivity on the issue.
    The ball is the Municipality's court now. It is up to them to explain how problems connected to the project will be solved, when the tenders connected to the project will occur, what the general costs will be. Only in this way will they be able to calm public opinion on the matter.
    Transparency is the most direct path in big projects like this....
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