Filming starts on Dubai airport documentary

National Geographic commissions 10-part fly-on-the-wall series

Travel, National geographic

National Geographic has commissioned a 10-part fly on the wall documentary about the day-to-day running of Dubai International Airport.

Developed in conjunction with production company Arrow Media, the series will be broadcast to over 440 million households in 171 countries when it airs in 2013.

With the working title "Dubai: Ultimate Airport", the series will follow the daily operation of the world's fourth busiest airport for international passenger traffic and will involve staff from Emirates Airline, dnata, Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Customs, Dubai Immigration, Dubai Police and Dubai Airports.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority; chairman, Dubai Airports Chairman and chief executive, Emirates Airline & Group, has endorsed the project.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for the entire Dubai aviation community," said Sheikh Ahmed in a statement.

"We have an amazing story to tell. The tremendous spirit of cooperation that occurs across the aviation enterprise in our day-to-day interactions with our customers and each other is what sets us apart. Almost half a billion people across the globe will have the opportunity to witness that teamwork."

The main focus of the 10 hour-long documentaries will be on the frontline aspects of the airport's operations where camera crews will strive to capture the humour, tension and jeopardy that is part of the daily operation. Filming began on September 24.

Hamish Mykura, executive vice president and head of international content for National Geographic Channels International, said: "National Geographic Channel is always at the forefront of providing viewers exclusive access to extraordinary places around the globe.

"This series combines great stories of cutting-edge engineering, technology and architecture, with a truly international cast of characters who deal every day with the pressures of running a very large, dynamic airport."

John Smithson, creative director at Arrow Media, added: "What makes Dubai International particularly intriguing is that it is at the crossroads linking east and west. That gives it a unique cultural diversity.

"Plus there is a lot of inherent drama and excitement behind Dubai's tremendous aviation success story. How does DXB handle over 50 million passengers per year and 6,000 weekly flights, in a truly 24/7 operation? Our global audience will soon find out."

The team at Arrow Media was behind the making of Airbus' A380 documentary series, the Megastructures series and in Dubai produced documentaries on World Islands, Burj Al Arab, Palm Jumeirah and the Burj Khalifa.


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