Dubai showcased in BBC show The Apprentice

The emirate was used as a location for Lord Alan Sugar's hit TV show
By Neil King
Wed 29 May 2013 10:20 AM

Dubai was showcased in a popular BBC reality show, with contestants tasked with shopping in some of the emirate’s biggest malls.

The British BBC show ‘The Apprentice’, in which contestants compete to win a job with billionaire businessman Lord Alan Sugar, travelled to the emirate in an episode aired in the UK on Tuesday.

The 12 remaining contestants were tasked with buying a list of items including an Egyptian mahogany oud, a traditional kandura, an Arabic coffee pot, a falcon hood, a UAE flag, frankincense crystals and golden mosaic tiles, with those who spent the least amount of money winning.

The items were to be used for the opening of the Waldorf Astoria hotel, which is still under construction in Ras Al Khaimah.

“I've dragged you all the way out here because I expect you to be able to do business anywhere in the world," Sugar told contestants.

The popular show, currently in its ninth series, regularly receives up to eight million viewers.

The episode aired on Tuesday May 28 and showcased popular Dubai shopping locations like Dubai Mall.

The high profile publicity comes as Dubai was earlier this week reported to have one of the strongest growth rates in international visitor arrivals.

The emirate now sits in sixth place in the latest MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index, an analysis of international travel and visitor spending in 132 major cities.

According to the index, Dubai showed the strongest growth of the main contenders with 10.9 percent growth in their arrival numbers.

Bangkok was named 2013’s top destination city by international visitor arrivals as it surpassed London by the slimmest of margins.

"The news story coming out of Dubai is how much it has pulled away from the rest. Its international arrival number is almost twice that of Riyadh in second rank, and about four times as high as the third-ranked Johannesburg," the report said.

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