ABU DHABI // Filming for series two of the reality television show Hydra Executives started yesterday as two teams - India and Pakistan - commenced their battle to win a US$1 million (Dh3.6m) contract to launch the business of their dreams.
Each contestant is working as part of a team of eight entrepreneurs in a series of tasks, but there will be only one individual winner - the contestant who most impresses Dr Sulaiman al Fahim, the chief executive of Hydra Properties.
The two teams are made up of the cream of the UAE's Indian and Pakistani expatriates. Chosen for their background in real estate, architecture, engineering, sales, and marketing and finance, the contestants are touted as the most tenacious of the up-and-coming business world. "Having brought together two of the strongest business communities in the country, we are very excited how this competition will turn out, and who will brave the odds to emerge victorious in this competition," said Ziad Batal, the show's executive producer.
"The launch of the second season is aimed at further driving the popularity of Abu Dhabi as a leading real estate destination and we are expecting a great new season ahead." The first series, which began filming this year, will air on Showtime and Infinity during Ramadan. The two teams, the UK and the US, endured a series of gruelling tasks. In series one, viewers will see guest appearances from Donald Trump Jr and Ivanka Trump, while the second series promises a number of Bollywood and Hollywood personalities.
The contestants from series one chose the latest contenders, who took on their first task yesterday at The National. Reporting to the Deputy Business Editor, Tom Ashby, the teams were sent out to source and write a national quality news story with a property theme. Briefed by Ashby, the teams were eager to take on their first task. "The rivalry and enthusiasm of the two teams was obvious from the start," he said. "There's $1m at stake, so they are all keen to do well and impress."
With only the internet and common sense to help them, the teams had just 4.5 hours to produce the report, consisting of between 400 and 500 words. Team India, the winner of the task, has its story published in today's Business section on page b2.