x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Dh1m up for grabs in reality show

Budding business leaders by the hundreds are vying to take part in The Apprentice-style TV show.

Yogesh Mehta, one of the judges for a new TV show, The Entrepreneurs.
Yogesh Mehta, one of the judges for a new TV show, The Entrepreneurs.

A Dragons' Den-style reality TV show based in Dubai will have "plenty of spicy drama" as contestants fight for a Dh1 million cash prize, judges have promised.

The Entrepreneurs is to air on Dubai One toward the end of the year.

"This is right up my alley; let's bring on these contestants and have fun," said one of the four judges, Yogesh Mehta, whose company, Petrochem Middle East, has an annual turnover of about Dh4 billion, according to the show's website.

He said the show has had around 700-800 applicants, from which 10 will be chosen to pitch business ideas in the eight-part series.

Du, the sponsor, intends to invest the cash prize into the winner's business idea. That will include telecommunications services, office space, advertising, PR exposure and business planning.

According to Mr Mehta, the focus is not "just about winning".

"It's about testing ideas among the judges and our responsibility is to explain exactly why we have said yes or no," he said.

Another of the judges, Muna Easa Al Gurg, the director of retail for Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group, said she would be seeking contestants who exude passion and confidence.

"It's very important to be well-prepared and convincing; I'll be looking for someone who can demonstrate a clear route to the market with a good return on investment," Ms Al Gurg said.

Mr Mehta said he expects to see plenty of emotional drama on display as "contestants don't give up very easily".

Production of the Sony Pictures show is to begin at the end of April in the Dubai One studios and in locations around Dubai.

Applications to participate in the television show are still open and can be obtained from du's website. It is open to UAE residents over the age of 18 who hold a business licence.

molson@thenational.ae