x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Bold and Beautiful stars come out to play in the UAE

Bold, beautiful and, thanks to the UAE weather, probably soon to be bronzed, the cast of The Bold and the Beautiful have landed in the UAE ahead of filming for the popular, long-running television show.

Katherine Kelly Lang raced in the Abu Dhabi Triathlon and then took a trip to the desert to get a feel of the UAE’s history. Satish Kumar / The National
Katherine Kelly Lang raced in the Abu Dhabi Triathlon and then took a trip to the desert to get a feel of the UAE’s history. Satish Kumar / The National

DUBAI // Bold, beautiful and, thanks to the UAE weather, probably soon to be bronzed, the cast of The Bold and the Beautiful have landed in the UAE ahead of filming for the popular, long-running television show.

And although the team has a tight, three-day schedule, that didn’t stop actress Katherine Kelly Lang, who plays Brooke Logan Forrester, from taking in a little exercise – in the form of last weekend’s Abu Dhabi Triathlon.

“I got here last Wednesday and had to prepare for the triathlon short course – a one-mile swim, 62-mile bike ride and six-mile run that I managed in five and a half hours yesterday.

“Despite that I got out to the desert and met with Ali, a horse whisperer who trains Arabian horses, and also saw some of the old market places to get a feel for the history and heritage of the place.”

For co-stars Don Diamont and Thorsten Kaye, the trip has been about the UAE’s more recent heritage. “You haven’t seen a mall till you’ve been to Dubai Mall,” Diamont said. “I went there with my wife yesterday, and it was great to see the Burj Khalifa in person.”

For Kaye, the trip has allowed him to indulge in a popular activity. “Yesterday I went to the water park next door and rode most of the slides. Then, today, I went back and rode the rest,” he said.

For some, however, including producer and scriptwriter Bradley Bell, there was not much room for play.

“I just arrived last night with my son, and mostly I’ve been getting ready for the shoot as I’m always a little nervous before we shoot. I’m sure it’ll run very smoothly and I feel we’re in safe hands with our local production partner twofour54.”

For Bell, the location was an integral part of the storyline.

“I’ve been fascinated with Dubai and Abu Dhabi for quite some time because of their spectacular skylines rising up out of the desert ... and the fantastic convergence of diverse international cultures.

“In our story, business mogul Dollar Bill Spencer [Don Diamont] whisks his fiancee, Brooke Logan [Katherine Kelly Lang] off to the Emirates to marry her at this new crossroads of the world. Possessive ex-husband Ridge Forrester [Thorsten Kaye] follows them to impose his will on this romantic, stunt-filled action-packed adventure.”

Jamal Al Awadhi, twofour54’s head of sales, said: “We’ve put a lot of effort into getting the right people on our teams and the right infrastructure in place to make shoots like this possible and to make the international teams comfortable working in the UAE.

“There is also the generous 30 per cent production rebate offered by the Abu Dhabi Film Commission. If anyone wants to be a successful international production base they need that rebate, and now we have it.”

Several of the eight episodes filmed this week in the UAE will air in the US from May 23 to June 6. Middle East audiences will have to wait until next year, however, with the episodes screening on Dubai One.

Filming begins on Monday, marking the first time a daytime drama has been filmed in the country.

Locations in Dubai, include the Atlantis, The Palm, and the Burj Khalifa.

In Abu Dhabi, the cast will shoot scenes, among other locations, at the Emirates Palace hotel and along the Corniche.

cnewbould@thenational.ae