Television

Dubai co. to produce local version of 'The Apprentice'

MUMBAI: Dubai based real estate company Emaar Properties has announced plans to launch a local version of NBC's hit reality show The Apprentice in the desert sheikhdom.

Emaar's chairman Mohamed Ali Alabbar will take the hot seat that corporate magnate Donald Trump occupies on the NBC show.

The Dubai version of The Apprentice goes on air on LBCSat over a 15-week period from October. Sixteen contestants will compete for the chance to run one of the Emaar companies for a year while being paid a $300,000 salary. Like Trump, Alabbar will have the last word on who gets hired and fired.

Dubai's city buildings will serve as the backdrop for the show which should see thousands of aspiring "apprentices" queuing up for the once in a lifetime opportunity the show will offer.

The Apprentice is the brainchild of reality TV guru Mark Burnett and the format is distributed by Fremantle Media. Filming begins in April and a region-wide audience in millions is expected to follow each episode. Recruitment for business apprentices will take place from across all Arab countries and thousands will be interviewed.

Alabbar said, "This is my chance to give something back. I represent the Dubai dream and now I'm going to show young people how to turn their dreams into reality."

"This programme is not about me or even the people who are competing for the top prize. It is about creating a new dream for the Arab world, one that touches us all and that can be achieved through business. I want apprentices to be everywhere in the Arab world, learning and planning and building businesses. We also have to learn and acquire the winning habit and this programme will help towards that."

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