Earlier today we poked a little fun at Dubai Mall’s conspicuous consumption, leaving us with a tinge of guilt. After all, shouldn’t we feel compassion for our Emirate neighbors whose oil-wealth has veiled the absurdity of their white gold Mercedes, their global warming park, and their soaring towers? Maybe, but then we saw this bottle of water that costs $52.28 over on Journal Arabia and all our guilt fell away. And that’s cheap compared to Blingh20’s most expensive bottle of water, which you can get for a mere $2,600!
Dean & Deluca, Souk Al Bahar, and Dubai Mall all stock Blingh20’s absurdly costly water. But what makes it so valuable?
They aren’t as expensive as water should be in the Emirates given that it has to be desalinated in energy-intensive facilities. Instead, this water was bottled in Tennessee after undergoing a nine-step filtration process that includes ozone, ultraviolet, and micro filtration.
“There’s nothing else in there, just pure water,” writes Dubai-based architect Rob Ferry, “very pure. It must be 24 karat water it’s so pure.”
The regular 750ml bottles, which come in either plastic or glass, have Swarovski crystal-lined logos, but the big daddy bottle of water – which can be ordered online – is covered in 10,000 of these glittering gems.
Blingh20 was founded by Kevin Boyd from Hollywood, who readily admits that this water is more about image than the taste. And rumor has it that Paris Hilton feeds it to her dog.
This would be more amusing if we didn’t have such chronic water shortages in the Middle East. Dubai of all places, which has nary a drop of its own freshwater, shouldn’t be stocking this product, which is a complete affront to the suffering of thousands of drought-stricken Syrians, Jordanians (who have launched the Once Upon a Water Campaign to draw attention to their desperate plight), Palestinians and others.
We’re the first to acknowledge that there are many selfless and sensible people living in Gulf countries. But anyone who buys a bottle of water that costs $52, not to mention nearly $3,000 (which is roughly what it cost a woman in Turkey to build an earth bag home by the way), bears full responsibility for the ridicule so often aimed at them.
images courtesy of Journal Arabia
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