It is theoretically possible for ARA3 to have begun May 8 in Dubai. However, that means that episodes on average would commence May 10, 12, 14 and 16 before hooking into the known schedule of Bangkok/Beijing, Baijing/Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Saigon, Hue, Hanoi. That could mean the race finished in Hanoi after 11 episodes, which does not square with more recent information.
Starting ARA3 while AR13 was still filming would have been an excellent way to avoid scrutiny, as we were focused on figuring out the ending of AR13. However, I don't think that started that early but that is just a personal assessment.