The fun ladies go down under

The Freej ladies explore Gold Coast and its various attractions

TOP rating programme for the Arab world recently travelled to the Gold Coast of Australia, to see what mischief they can get up to in the land of kangaroos and koalas.

Freej, the Middle East’s first 3D animated series is in the process of drawing its fifth series to be screened in Ramadan 2013, some of the episodes showing the ladies stepping out of their comfort zone to the other side of the world.

The show’s creator, Mohammed Saeed Harib and his commercial director, Khalid Abuhmidan were hosted by Gold Coast Tourism, the organisation’s aim being to reach out to Arab families through the most effective medium in the Gulf and show the key characters enjoying a range of Gold Coast attractions.

The excitement of seeing part of their national heritage enjoying Australia, will in turn encourage Middle East families, particularly from the GCC, to travel to the Gold Coast and do the same, said Michael Thurston, manager, international operations.

As part of the research and preparation for the series, Harib and Abouhidman spent 10 days on the Gold Coast, trying out activities and experiences that any Arab family might enjoy while visiting the country – including the grannies Umm Saeed, Umm Khamas, Umm Alawi and Umm Saloom along with the cheeky Abood.

Harib said that he was surprised at how the Gold Coast catered for Arab travellers and Muslim citizens as a whole. “All the theme parks had halal food and prayer rooms” he said, “and the hotels had the alqibeleh in every room”.

Enjoying the many “Aussie” icons, Harib learned how to surf, took part in surf lifesaving where Muslim women were able to compete in a specially designed “burkini” created in the national surf lifesaving colours, took a Harley Davidson tour down the coast and a 4-wheel drive safari into the rainforest, as well as visiting the theme parks the area is known for.

Amongst the other activities enjoyed, Harib commented that the hot air balloon ride at sunrise was the highlight of his tour.