By Kareem Shaheen

A popular US television show is to feature some of Dubai’s major landmarks and attractions.

A scene from the episode of The Amazing Race filmed in Dubai. Courtesy CBS
A scene from the episode of The Amazing Race filmed in Dubai. Courtesy CBS

This Sunday’s episode of The Amazing Race, a leading prime time reality series in America, will see pairs of contestants embark on “adventure challenges” at several of the emirate’s main attractions.

Tasks include a race up the soon-to-open Burj Dubai, the tallest building in the world, and a turn on the slopes at Ski Dubai. “From the desert to the snow. Crazy,” as two Amazing Race competitors, nicknamed “Flight Time” and “Big Easy”, put it.

Other featured venues include Dubai Mall, the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, the Dubai Autodrome and Madinat Jumeirah.

This is the second time The Amazing Race has been shot in Dubai. In a 2004 episode, contestants visited the Burj al Arab and Wild Wadi. The series has won eight Emmy awards and is in its 15th season.

It sees a variety of couples, from married partners to friends to siblings, compete for a US$1 million (Dh3.67m) prize.

They visit landmarks around the world to take part in various challenges and find clues to the next location. Couples are eliminated until the winning pair emerges.

The show is just the latest to use the UAE as a backdrop. Hollywood has also come calling. For example, major segments of Syriana, a film starring George Clooney, were shot in the UAE, as were many scenes in the Jamie Foxx vehicle The Kingdom.

However, not every request from film chiefs gets the thumbs-up. Earlier this year, UAE officials denied producers permission to shoot scenes for the upcoming movie Sex and the City 2 in Dubai, reportedly because the script was deemed inappropriate for the Emirates.