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Sun 12 Apr 2009 01:42 PM

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UAE super-structures to star in new TV documentary

EXCLUSIVE: Dubai's 'bold and daring' projects will feature on the Nat Geo Channel.

The UAE's epic engineering and construction projects are to be the focus of a newworldwide documentary seriescommissioned by the National Geographic Channel, it was revealed on Sunday.

UK film production company Darlow Smithson Productions (DSP), an IMG company, will produce Megastructures, to be broadcast on the television channel soon, according to David Gilbert, executive producer for DSP.

It follows the popularity of three previous programmes by DSP on The World , Palm Jumeirah, and the Burj Al Arab developments in Dubai.

“The appetite for seeing successful stories coming out of Dubai is immense,” he said.

“No other city fits the show Megastructures better than Dubai, with its bold and daring construction developments and its ambitious vision.”

DSP had already started filming two episodes focusing on two different structures already in the development phase and was currently shortlisting other projects to feature in a further episode.

Gilbert admitted the number and scale of new developments DSP’s research team had to choose from had been dramatically cut due to a slowdown in the construction sector in the UAE in recent months.

“Clearly, when we started looking at the UAE back in the summer of last year the situation was very different,” he said.

“Six months on, there are not as many projects but the quality is still high and the ambition is still impressive and world-beating.

“The projects we are shortlisting for 2009 are already underway so we can film a tangible result.”

The identity of the three featured structures would be revealed in the next six weeks.

The programmes would be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2009 for National Geographic, which broadcast in 164 countries in 35 languages and in 200 million homes.

Gilbert said the series would focus on the people behind the structures, including engineers, architects and builders, with the documentary following the development from concept to construction phase.

“Marrying these fantastic designs with amazing feats of engineering are really what determines Megastructures in Dubai and the UAE,” he said

Adnan Dawood, a Dubai-based publicist hired by DSP to help shortlist the developments, said: “Given the situation today with all the negative press (on Dubai), the message that comes out of Megastructures is extremely positive and exactly the sort of PR Dubai needs,” he said.

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paul 10 years ago

"the message that comes out of Megastructures is extremely positive and exactly the sort of PR Dubai needs" No doubt the viewers will tune in after flipping the channel from the BBC news that has just highlighted the borderline slave labour conditions of Dubai workers. Let's hope the National Geographic channel lives up to its normal reputation and steers clear of mentioning 75% price crashes, downgrades on sovereign debt and the risk of prison if your investment turns bad and you're left in debt.

debbie 10 years ago

I have seen the megastructures episode on Burj al Arab and The World islands and they were extremely positive. National Geographic's documentaries are clearly above all the British tabloid rubbish that has come lately. Lets hope these documentaries air in time !

Rizvi 10 years ago

This is what Dubai needs an international exposure & we all watch NGC

FA 10 years ago

about time we had a positive story or 2. i think a private publicist in dubai is a good idea-everyone is cynical of the government and its employees giving us all the rosy picture of dubai. maybe private publicists can provide us with more credible things to be positive about

umer 10 years ago

Great to see some positive info going out for Dubai, lots of 'Dubai Bashing' has taken place by uncredible sources.People need to really come down and see what is happening..the activities going on in the present circumstances are by far more than any other place and the negative media will soon start realising when Dubai will continue to hit the positive headlines once again, National Geo is certainly the right place to start.

Phil 10 years ago

I saw the previous megastructures episodes here in LA. NG is something i look forward to watching, especially everything big bold and ambitious.

ahmed 10 years ago

and show the best side of the burj dubai

Sarah 10 years ago

We make the big one. I think now too much Dubai Dubai. Now also make Kuwait it is good.