Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would be moving to a foreign country to live, let alone a country in the Middle East. Over the 2009 Christmas and New Year’s holidays, my husband Roger and I discussed what we wanted the next part of our life to be like. He thought that before retiring, he would like to do one more airport project but only if he could find something very interesting. I half-jokingly agreed that would be fine but could he try for an exotic location? As usual, Roger came through and soon we were headed to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. This blog is a recap of our "leap-of- faith" wanderings around the Middle East and beyond. We joyfully share these expat experiences.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

NEVER A DULL MOMENT IN DUBAI . . . An Amazing Race at the Meydan Race Track

Dubai is one amazing place.

There is so much happening here and so many celebrities visiting that it is hard to keep up.

Tom Cruise is filmed climbing the Burj Khalifa for his new film Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol, Kim Karadashian opens a milkshake store in Dubai  and garners one full week of nauseating never ending media coverage - go figure - Sex in the City takes place in Dubai - ooops - no it was really filmed in Morocco. Oh well, a pleasant afternoon at the races yields an unexpected surprise.

The day was to be a pleasant Friday-after-Thanksgiving afternoon at the races with our friends Perry and Angela Martin. But thanks to “eagle eye” Angela it turns into an exciting introduction to one of my favorite shows – The Amazing Race.

Photo by Perry Martin
We are joining the American Women’s Association of Dubai’s hospitality suite at the exclusive Meydan Race Track situated on the edge of the desert in Dubai.

This is the site of the Dubai World Cup where the prize money tops $10 million dollars and is considered the “richest” race in the world.

“Look, see where those cameras are by the track rail. That’s The "Amazing Race" film crew. The contestants are arriving any moment.” an excited Angela tells me. “Do you think we can go down there?”

Just throw that kind of gauntlet at me and see what happens.

I whip out my press card, reapply my lipstick, grab my camera and off we go. Perry and Roger stand there just shaking their heads and order another drink.

The press card opens all the doors and soon we are right next to the race track in a matter of moments “up close and personal” with the contestants and film crew.

The contestants are an engaging and lively group intent on picking the winner of the next race because then they get their next clue. Oddly enough, they were very curious as to who we are. Of course Angela and I played it up to the hilt.

Enjoy the video.

Postscripts . . .

Applause for my camera crew . . . much thanks to Perry and his very long camera lens that captured us romping with the contestants but more importantly took the awesome horse race shots you see in the video.

Just in case you didn’t know . . . The Amazing Race is an American reality show in which couples, of a myriad of coupling descriptions, compete on a world-wide travel adventure overcoming perilous, humorous and arduous challenges to be the winner of a $1 million prize. My daughter Cynthia has always threatened to enter the two of us in this. Perhaps now maybe she will!

Mission Impossible #4: Ghost Protocol . . .  opened the Dubai International Film Festival. Tom is so close and yet so far! Roger suggested we go to the opening but alas the tickets would have cost us 6500 dhs - that would be $1771. Needless to say we will wait to catch it in the theaters. However, I will share that I once sat next to Tom at St. Maurice Catholic Church in Hollywood, Florida. During Mass we do a sign of peace with those around us and as I turned to my left - Tom held out his hand. This is really true!


  1. Katie, What a great happenstance! Leave it to you and Angela. Great video! And, you're right, you never know what you're going to come across in just a regular day out in Dubai (although I'm not sure there is such a thing as 'regular'). :)

  2. OMG- my kids and I love the Amazing Race!!!!the first time they learned about Dubai was when the contestants had to go down the very daughting slide at Atlantis Aquaadventure. Since moving to Dubai Isabela has gone down the slide but Javi and I were too scared- as was one of the contestants!!! It coat her 1 million dollars! When we had to break the news of the move to Dubai to the kids we said, "remember that cool waterpark in the Amazing Race......."

  3. In fact, I have the privilege of traveling around our country and meeting people all over the country who are making a huge difference in the lives of their neighbors and themselves. That's what I'm really fortunate to be able to do.
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