x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

The Bold and the Beautiful to film at Atlantis, Emirates Palace, Burj Khalifa and Abu Dhabi Corniche

We caught up with the producers of The Bold and The Beautiful ahead of this week's three-day shoot in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

From left, Thorsten Kaye, Bradley Bell, Katherine Kelly Lang and Don Diamont of The Bold and the Beautiful are in the UAE to shoot episodes of the soap opera in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Satish Kumar / The National / March 16, 2014
From left, Thorsten Kaye, Bradley Bell, Katherine Kelly Lang and Don Diamont of The Bold and the Beautiful are in the UAE to shoot episodes of the soap opera in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Satish Kumar / The National / March 16, 2014

With such buzz surrounding the arrival of the cast of The Bold and The Beautiful to shoot in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, did the show’s executive producer and chief scriptwriter Bradley Bell have any idea just how popular it is here, where it’s a long-standing mainstay of Dubai One’s daily schedule?

“We’d heard it’s very popular and that was part of the reason for coming,” he says. “From the moment we’ve landed it’s been amazing. The beautiful architecture, how clean and safe it is and what a fabulous, modern exciting city this is.”

The story of how the soap’s leading lady, Katherine Kelly Lang, requested time off her shooting schedule to partake in the Abu Dhabi triathlon and Bell deciding to make it a group trip and shoot here too, is well-known now, but it sounds like a huge logistical challenge.

“It was a very short timescale,” admits Bell. “But that tends to be the way when you’re writing 255 episodes a year. She talked about it, I went online, and my mind was immediately racing with all the potential drama that could be created with such an amazing backdrop.”

Locations for the three-day shoot include Atlantis, Emirates Palace, Burj Khalifa and the Abu Dhabi Corniche. Bell adds that the crew will be shooting from a helicopter too, “to make sure we can show our audience all the hot spots and showcase the cities”. Surprisingly, however, he has brought a minimal crew with him: “We have the actors, a director and someone to look after costumes. A producer came out two weeks ago to meet the local production partners and he’s assured me we’re in good hands, so everything else is down to the twofour54 team.”

Jamal Al Awadhi, from twofour54 intaj, is on hand to fill in the gaps. “We have 20 to 30 staff supporting the production, including three Emiratis on set as part of our commitment to train local talent,” says Al Awadhi. “When a production comes in, they need someone that can take care of everything from their arrival to when they leave. From permits to transport and logistics to hospitality and, of course, cameras, kit and crew. We need to make it the best experience possible – that’s what brings people back.”

• The eight episodes, partially filmed this week in the UAE, will be broadcast in the US from May 23 to June 6, while Middle East audiences will see them on Dubai One in 2015

cnewbould@thenational.ae