The Apprentice reviewed by a career coach: guests left gasping in this Dubai corporate away day

Victoria Goulbourne takes to the waves in Dubai (Image: BBC)Victoria Goulbourne takes to the waves in Dubai (Image: BBC)
Victoria Goulbourne takes to the waves in Dubai (Image: BBC) | BBC
The Apprentice candidates were sent to the millionaire’s playground of Dubai in this week’s episode, writes career coach Corinne Mills

This week the teams were off to glamorous and eye-wateringly expensive Dubai to create a luxury corporate away day. Like the episode set in Antigua, the location made for good telly with some stunning backdrops.

The Apprentice candidates frolicked on jet-skis. They spent time on yachts, they learnt how to make traditional coffee and bread, and Avi Sharma fell in love with a camel. They were living their best life. Meanwhile their guests - hungry, thirsty and tired - looked on with disdain.

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Team leaders this week were hairdresser Rochelle Anthony and ex-flight attendant Victoria Goulbourne, who turned out to be a big-spender on the Dubai scene. Who knew? Apparently she’s spent thousands on a luxury yacht and other Dubai experiences. It made her a very good choice for the PM role but really we all wanted to know much more about her adventures in Dubai – who, what, how?

Pest-control entrepreneur Mark Moseley and sweet shop owner Megan Hornby were put in charge of what Mark called the “posh nosh” with caviar, oysters and truffles. Megan schooled Mark primly in how to lay a table correctly and then almost vomited into the food. She had to take herself off for a lie-down while Marnie took over as “Napoleon in the kitchen”.

Meanwhile on the other team, Dani Donovan, Bradley Johnson and Joe Phillips were taking the cheapskate approach. Miserly drinks rations for their guests’ adventures in the desert and sliding vegetables longways on a kebab skewer so they looked more generous than they were.

Their thirsty guests asked for more water only to be told they were limited to two waters and one juice only. Rochelle pointed to someone’s half empty bottle of water and suggested they share it as though it was perfectly reasonable for them to all take a swig.

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(Image: BBC)(Image: BBC)
(Image: BBC) | BBC

The pesky guests persisted in asking for water and they finally relented, thankfully before they started hallucinating and stumbling their way to an imaginary oasis.

It seems that perhaps Reece Donnelly had a premonition of the later drink rationing so he decided to stock up on the flight over, perhaps a little too heartily. He was immediately sent back home and out of the competition.

The cultural setting did give this episode a different dramatic tension. We listened with bated breath to hear if Dani would commit any cultural faux pas with her amusement at local right and left hand etiquette and the use of big and little cups. She seemed to have got away with it.

Karren watches on in Dubai (Image: BBC)Karren watches on in Dubai (Image: BBC)
Karren watches on in Dubai (Image: BBC) | BBC

What would happen if one of their guests went belly up on a jet-ski, suffered heatstroke or food poisoning? Who would be responsible and how would that be dealt with by the authorities? They might have needed Marnie there both as a court advocate but also to bust them out of jail if needed.

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Zoologist Joe took the taxi trek home this week but he was no worse than any of the others who on the whole seem nice enough and probably very competent in their own space.

Meanwhile the Dubai Tourist Board will be hoping this prime-time telly exposure will lead to a rush of business travellers. Most cash-strapped UK businesses are having enough trouble trying to get people back into their local office, let alone travel further afield.

However, if you’re an Apprentice-watching oligarch looking for corporate team building then this bling-fest would have been right up your alley, as long as you’re not nervous about hotel windows and tall buildings.

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