Oman’s ‘Amazing Race’ excites Americans
By Visvas Paul D. Karra
MUSCAT — Emmy Award-winning ‘reality’ television show, The Amazing Race, is expected to draw US tourists to the Sultanate to experience the real thing after watching it on TV.
For the fourth time in a row, The Amazing Race won the Emmy Award this year for Outstanding Realty/Competition Programme.
An estimated 11 million viewers in the United States watched the Oman episode of the show when it was aired sometime back.
Officials of The Omani Centre for Investment Promotion and Export Development (Ociped) are excited and happy about the award for the show because of the benefits, direct and indirect, which Oman will derive. Ociped facilitated the production company’s every need during the planning and actual filming of the programme.
According to His Highness Faisal bin Turki Al Said, head of planning and development department, Ociped: “We would look at the show as to how it will basically benefit Oman, whether directly or indirectly because Oman has been put in focus through such a prestigious programme as the Amazing Race which bagged the Emmy.”
“I think this will echo on the progress of how Oman portrays itself from a touristic point of view. And this is where we are trying to highlight this programme. We were approached by the makers of the Amazing Race programme to have Oman as part of the series and this will contribute in the marketing of the Sultanate in the coming years also,” pointed out Faisal.
When asked about the impact of the show on the viewers, Faisal said: “The beauty of the show is that it portrays and projects a lot of cultures, a lot of sceneries. This indirectly creates an interest in the viewer and especially for the American viewer it gives a curiosity to know where this place is because it is beautiful. This is where Oman has the chance to portray itself and draw benefits.”
Even if a fraction of the people who watched the show is fascinated by what they saw on the television, then surely it will translate into visitors to Oman. The Emmy Award also proved the popularity of the whole programme, which includes the Oman episode.
Amazing Race’ as a worldwide audience in excess of 80 million viewers and is currently aired on twenty different networks on four continents.
The Oman episode was filmed last November in various locations in the country over the course of nearly two days, showcasing the Sultanate’s natural beauty and culture for a large international audience.
Always on the hunt for exciting new locations, the decision to bring the popular television spectacle to Oman was spurred by an initiative taken by the previous US Ambassador Richard L. Baltimore III in January 2005.
Amazing Race leads 11 teams of two each on a journey across the globe, marked by challenges, obstacles, and revealing cultural encounters in a race to intermittent ‘pit stops’ and a final finish line for a $1 million prize.
The last arriving team at certain pit stops is eliminated from the competition until a winning team emerges at the end of the race in the US and claims the million dollars.
Since the show first premiered in 2001, racers have passed through over 50 countries on every populated continent using almost every mode of conveyance imaginable.
A hit with critics and viewers alike, Amazing Race won America’s television Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality/ Competition Series for three consecutive years (2003-2005).
The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences awards the Emmys for programmes and individual achievements. http://www.timesofoman.com/newsdetails.asp?newsid=34988&pn=local