ABU DHABI // One of the well-known stars of the British television motoring show Top Gear dropped into the capital at the weekend to film part of an episode for the BBC series. Richard Hammond spent three days touring the emirate behind the wheel of some of the world's most spectacular cars. The cast and crew filmed a Mercedes McLaren SLR 722 and an orange Lamborghini Murcielago SV along the Abu Dhabi Corniche and on closed roads near the Liwa Oasis and Al Ain.
The Lamborghini test driver Peter Muller said the UAE was the ideal test area for the cars because of the extreme climate. "It's so hot here, if the car has no problems in this heat it means the car is OK," he said after filming in Al Ain yesterday. The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority helped coordinate the filming. Matthew Boucher, ADTA project manager for product development, said the wide distribution of the Top Gear show made it an ideal platform to promote the emirate.
"This is a great opportunity for Abu Dhabi; we are happy to host the BBC," he said. He said the cooperation of the Abu Dhabi police meant the roads were closed, allowing the crew to film safely. Police closed the Corniche between 5am and 11am on Friday, allowing the drivers to reach high speeds. Around 20 early-morning joggers and dog walkers witnessed a dozen production crew filming sequences for the programme, which is scheduled to be broadcast in July.
A helicopter with a television camera followed the drivers along the carriageway, which had been cleared of loose grit beforehand. firstname.lastname@example.org