Reality in land of Middle East


The Middle East is getting in on the reality craze, with the latest example an "Apprentice"-like competition with a million-dollar prize.

Hydra, one of Abu Dhabi's leading real estate players, is partnering with local media outlets Showtime Arabia and Infinity TV to create "The Hydra Executives," a series featuring 16 would-be entrepreneurs — eight Americans and eight Brits — who will compete against one another. The eventual winner will be entitled to get his business venture started via a check for $1 million.

"It's entertainment, but of a different kind," said Suleiman Al Fahim, the show's creator and host. "It's about the world of adventure, about doing something that hasn't been done before or doing something differently."

Suleiman, who is the CEO of Hydra Properties, said the show will further emphasize Hydra's association with innovation and leadership in the United Arab Emirates and the international real estate development arena.

In fact, candidates are required to have a background in real estate, engineering, marketing and finance. The show is slated to air in March. Potential candidates were being sought even here on the Croisette.

Hydra is behind some of Abu Dhabi's modern eco-friendly buildings, including the Hydra Village located at the entrance to the emirate.