There's a fine line between good taste and cheese.
There’s a fine line between impeccable good taste and cheese, and it’s a line Bentley’s brand-new flagship Emirates dealer in Dubai treads with absolute precision.
It’s a six-storey monument to all things Bentley. Three floors are given over to displaying cars available for sale; at ground level there’s a VIP suite; the Mulliner Room occupies the penthouse, and at the top is a roof garden.
Before entering, customers are greeted by a waterfall that acts as a projection screen. It normally displays graphics but is also linked to a license plate recognition camera so it can display a personalized message to regular visitors.
The Mulliner Room, meanwhile, is where buyers can personalize their car. Described as a “tactile, sensory experience” it’s full of hundreds of paint, leather and wood samples.
Throughout, the furniture and fittings are made in the same style, from the same materials, and with the same levels of craftsmanship as Bentley’s interiors.
Between messages on a waterfall and a Mulliner Room, the balance is tipping towards cheese - though only slightly thanks to the jolly lovely décor - and ever so slightly cheesy is the very definition of bourgeoise taste. Bentley owners' taste, in other words.
But the point is largely rendered moot because there’s something really cool outside.
The whole facade of the building is covered in 160,000 LEDs that can display a limitless range of colors, graphics, and patterns. Including the full Bentley color chart and the pattern of every wood veneer available. Which is incredibly cheesy, but so cool it doesn't matter.
At the opening, Bentley’s Middle East Regional Director, Stephen Reynolds, said: “Bentley Emirates gives our customers in the UEA a bold, clear and contemporary interpretation of our vision and brand values. It is a visualization of the most exclusive customer experience.
“With the help of our retail partner, Habtoor Motors, we have redefined the automotive retail environment, blending traditional craftsmanship and contemporary design to showcase the best of British luxury performance.”