Abu Dhabi: The adult singles segment was oversubscribed at Gulf News Blockbusters event as the first heats took place in the capital city yesterday after a long wait of 14 years.

Blockbusters is a quiz game with two opponents, a quiz master and a board. The Blockbusters board is in a honeycomb format with 25 numbered boxes in red and green.

"Blockbusters is based on general knowledge and quickness on the buzzer. There are two teams, a red team and a green team; red connects from left to right, and green has to connect from top to bottom. We were supposed to have 16 adult contestants but were oversubscribed," said Naheed Patel, Promotions Manager at Gulf News.

The quizmaster of the BBC show, Bob Holness, was flown down to host the final Blockbusters event 14 years ago. The quizmaster for yesterday's first heats, Stuart McClean, told Gulf News that he had hosted the same event with Holness and witnessed a high level of general knowledge across the UAE.

"I've taken part in thousands of blockbuster events. I know of various adults and children who were very sharp in their answers. A number of Emirati's have also taken part in the competition, let's see how it goes. My expectations are that individuals from the sub-continent will probably be the ones reaching the finals," said McClean. The event welcomed various participants at the new Al Mamoura Auditorium. Heats started at 2 pm and finished at 6 pm.

"We are delighted to be hosting Gulf News Blockbusters at our venue and wish the organisers every success. We are sure the games will go off very smoothly," said the Al Mamoura management. The Abu Dhabi finalists are due to compete with Dubai finalists in the quarter final on October 17 at the Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre.


A popular revival

The Gulf News Blockbusters event is part of Gulf News 30th anniversary celebrations.

BBC TV ran a very successful game show called Blockbusters in the 1980s. The show was telecast on Dubai TV and was very popular.

In 1988, Gulf News adapted the show and ran it as a month-long event, with the heats during Ramadan and the finals after Eid. Gulf News Blockbusters was very popular and was a yearly event until 1994. Over 1,100 people participated in the event during its run.

Contest categories

  • Category Age Limit Game Types
  • Juniors 10 to 13 years old Singles Doubles - Teams of 2
  • Seniors 14 to 17 years old Singles Teams of 4
  • Adults 18 years and over Singles Teams of 4

- D.E.S