It’s fair to say that the English county of Kent – where I grew up and where I worked on various news publications prior to coming here – does not have that many similarities with Dubai.
It would be hard to confuse the two – hop fields and palm trees, rolling downs and sandy deserts, Tudor cottages and designer villas, So why should anyone in the “Garden of England” think that a giant ferris wheel and a shopping mall should not both be called Bluewater.
In Kent Bluewater is a retail centre which by Dubai’s standards is not exceptional. It’s one of Europe’s largest though, set in a disused quarry and its major claim to fame is that it once attempted to ban people from its doors if they wore scarves or hoods.
So it really cannot be confused with a man-made island in the Arabian Gulf. Yet Bluewater in the UK is objecting to the use of the name for one of Dubai’s latest mega-projects.
It seems pointless, especially as Bluewater is also the name for a water purification product, an IT business, a publishing company, a real estate firm, a video production unit etc etc.
And on purely appropriate grounds – Dubai’s development in set in the azure waters of the Arabian Gulf while for Kent the nearest body of water is the River Medway. Last time I looked – come to think of it every time I’ve looked – that has been a shade of brownish-grey.