Studio One (Dubai One series)

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"Studio One (TV series)" redirects here. For the American radio–television anthology series, see Studio One (CBS series). For other uses, see Studio One (disambiguation).
Studio One
Ash & Tom on the set of Studio One
Directed by Rima Yahfouf (Season 1–current)
David Coyle (Season 1)
Ehab Noor (Season 1–current)
Country of origin UAE
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 605
Executive producer(s) Yara Awad (Seasons 1-3)
Robert Hillier (Season 1)
Producer(s) Ray Addison (season 1-current)
Faraz Javed (Season 1)
Running time 60 mins (Season 1)
30 mins (Season 2-4)
Production company(s) Dubai Media Incorporated
Dubai One
Original channel Dubai One
Picture format 4:3
Original release 12 January 2011 (2011-01-12) – 11 March 2014
External links
[ Website]

Studio One is a live daily English-language lifestyle show broadcast on Dubai One in 16 countries in the Middle East and North Africa.[1] Created by the same team that produced Dubai One's popular weekly show Ask One,[2] Studio One is known for its eclectic mix of lifestyle features[3] and celebrity interviews, interactivity and is primarily aimed at women and families. Season One was hosted by Tom Urquhart and Saba Wahid. At the end of the first season Saba left the show[4] and was replaced by former show reporter Aishwarya Ajit.[5][6][7] Studio One has been described as Dubai One's flagship show[8]


Studio One evolved from Dubai One's successful weekly television show Ask One which first aired in September 2010. Ask One was pre-recorded and broadcast weekly at 19:30 on Tuesday nights and featured a mix of real life stories, interviews, reports, investigations and a regular cookery segment. On 28 December it was announced that from 12 January Ask One would be renamed Studio One and become a live, daily show. There were sixteen episodes of the original series.

Season One of Studio One began on 12 January 2011,[9] with Urquhart and Wahid returning from the Christmas break. The new format featured a number of significant changes from Ask One, including a new set, title sequence, graphics, music and reporters.

Other regular features included live performances, reports from destinations around Dubai and fashion segments on Mondays and Thursdays. Additionally Thursday's had more of a food focus featuring the Mystery Bag Challenge and co-host Saba Wahid preparing one of her own recipes in the 'Quick Foodie Fix'.

On 2 May 2011 Studio One broadcast its 100th episode with a live television link up with a party at Dubai Festival City.[10][11] The first season finished on 30 June after 120 episodes.

Season Two launched on Sunday 25 September 2011 with the new presenting line-up, new half-hour hour format, bigger set and a range of new features including The West Wing and Winning Lines.

On Monday 23 January Studio One broadcast its 200th episode.

Season Three launched on Sunday 30 September with a week of love broadcasts on location from Jumeirah Zabeel Saray on The Palm before returning to a brand new studio set located in Dubai Studio City.

Season Four launched on Sunday 8 September with a re-vamped set and increased interactive.

The Team[edit]

Tom Urquhart (Season 1-4)[edit]

Tom Urquhart is a British journalist, television presenter and radio presenter currently based in the Middle East.[15] He is known for presenting the only live English language lifestyle show in the region; Studio One[16][17] and for broadcasting on 103.8FM Dubai Eye.

After studying English at university in the UK, Tom worked on several British newspaper titles including a daily broadsheet in London before moving to Dubai in 2001. After a brief stint in PR he became Deputy Editor of What’s On for Motivate Publishing and Editor at Large for the launch of Hello Middle East.

It was at Motivate that Tom started working in local radio, providing a regular entertainment slot for Emirates Radio 1 and 2 called What’s On Tom? He then went on to host the morning show (The Good Life) for the re-launch of Dubai Eye 103.8, the first English language talk radio station in the UAE. From there he moved to the evening drive time slot where he oversaw the launch of the stations Sport Talk show as presenter and executive producer.

A move into television soon followed. He was chosen as host for City 7's Good Morning Dubai show,[18] the first live English language breakfast show in the UAE. He has also been featured in a Discovery Channel feature on Dubai, A Place in the Sun from the UK, and Lonely Planet does Dubai. Tom featured as a regular pundit on the first season of Dubai One's weekly sports show World of Sports (TV Series)[17] before taking over as Host for the second and final season.

Tom has contributed to a number of publications in the UK and Middle East including CNN, The National and Jumeirah Magazine writing about a range of topics including architecture,[19] horse racing[20] and rugby.[21] In 2006 he was the editor of Dubai Sports City Newsletter.[22]

Urquhart has hosted a number of large events in the UAE including the opening of Sheikh Zayed Bridge by Queen Elizabeth II,[23] the launch of sports newspaper Sport 360°,[24][25] the Emirates Airline Tee Party,[26] Jumeirah Festival of Taste,[15] the Lancashire Cricket Dinner,[15] the launch of Virgin Atlantic in Dubai,[15] the Cartier International Polo event,[15] the Abu Dhabi Chequered Flag Ball[27] and Chef's For Japan.[28] Additionally Tom regularly comentates on Polo matches and has been described by British Polo Today as "The voice of Polo in Dubai".[29]

Tom is currently the face of Emirate's Airline's latest campaign,[30] hosts The Grill on Dubai Eye and lists his favourite place in Dubai as the "finishing line at Nad Al Sheba".[31]

Aishwarya Ajit (Season 2-4)[edit]

Ash's media career started in India at 18 where she worked as a photo shoot model and started to build up a following for her work.[32][33] She then moved into television hosting Asianet’s hit dance reality show Vodafone Thakadhimi,[34][35] lifestyle magazine show CityLights and the Malayalam Film Awards for 4 consecutive years. A short career in Indian Cinema followed with Ash appearing in such films as Chintamani Kolacase[36] and Sangaathi.

Ash made the move to the UAE in 2010 to work for Dubai One first as a reporter for youth show Twenty Something and then as a reporter and relief host for Studio One covering holidays for Tom and Saba.[37] In 2011 she was described as "A face to be reckoned with in Dubai media circles" by Masala magazine[38][39] and one of Dubai's Best Dressed.[40]

Former Hosts[edit]

Saba Wahid (Season 1)[edit]

Saba Wahid is an American television presenter and Chef with Pakistani ethnic origin. She was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts and had a variety of influences in her life including higher education, Pakistani customs, Islamic traditions and strong family values.

Growing up, Saba developed many different hobbies and participated in a variety of extracurricular activities ranging from sports such as Alpine skiing, Biking, Running, Field Hockley, Ice Hockey and Lacrosse. But the hobby that Saba most connected with was cooking.

Saba studied in the states obtaining a BA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and then continuing on to Hospitality Management at the French Culinary Institute in New York City. Working for a prestigious catering company in Manhattan and organizing events, she worked closely with some of the best chefs the city had to offer. She then found inspiration to begin catering private events by using her own creative cooking style and fused South Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine, but presented it in a more contemporary manner. Saba’s strong ties to the culinary arts ultimately brought out her passion to be able to communicate this in the realm of television. After appearing in a number of locally produced cooking shows she made the move to Dubai where she took the next step in her career and presented Ask One and then Studio One.[16] In 2011 celebrity magazine Ahlan! described her as Dubai's next celebrity chef.[41] On 30 June 2011 Saba announced live on television that she would be leaving the show. She is now working on her cooking career and publishes her own blog titled Culinary Delights.[42]


Studio One covered a wide range of subjects during its first season,[43] including fashion,[44] pregnancy,[45] health,[46] Art,[47] education,[48] live performances from singers, musicians and dancers including Capoeira,[49] Balet, Tango, Tap, Bollywood, musicals and Flamenco and has regular live demonstrations which the presenters often try out for themselves; including makeup,[50] hair makeovers, pottery, acting, flower arranging, motorbike riding, machette juggling, improv comedy, illusion and table setting.

From March 2011, Studio One began featuring a number of live reports presented by Aishwarya Ajit. Ash has reported live from the launch of Art Dubai at the Dubai International Financial Centre and the first International Street Theatre Festival at Dubai Marina Mall Promenade. When Ash took over as co-host Dina Butti replaced her as live reporter.

Studio One is also well known for its coverage of charitable initiatives including Breast Canceer Arabia, Yasmoon[51] and Gulf4Good[52] and for featuring a number of celebrity guests.

Notable Studio Guests[edit]

Notable Interviewees[edit]


Cooking is a daily feature on Studio One with many of Dubai's top award winning Chefs appearing to prepare a dish for the presenters to sample at the end of the episode. All of the recipes are published on Studio One's Facebook page before each show so that viewers can cook along at home.


Chef Search[edit]

In 2011, Studio One launched a competition to find Dubai's Best Amateur Cook.[66] Chef Sameer Miglani of the Movenpick Hotel in Bur Dubai was the judge who put the competitors through their paces. In the end former Lawyer Marta Yanci was the winner.[67] She has since made several appearances on the show.

Season two[edit]

Season two featured a number of new features built around greater interactivity and the new half hour format.


The show is broadcast live from Sunday to Thursday from Studio C at DMI's Maktoum studios in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.


The set designer is Abdul Rahman El Korek. The original set resembled an open-plan split level studio apartment consisting of a living area, kitchen and mezzanie level. The interviews were generally conducted in the living area where there were two comfortable sofas and a coffee table. The kitchen was fully functioning and included an oven and a hob. The mezzanie level was seldom used unless Tom wished to escape from a particularly female focussed interview.

The set was completely rebuilt for season 3.


In 2011 Tom and Saba were recognised alongside Rosemin Manji as media trendsetters and listed in the Ahlan! Hot 100.[68] They were also nominated and shortlisted as the Best Male and Female Presenters in Abu Dhabi at the Best in Abu Dhabi Awards 2011. Studio One was also nominated as the Best Television Programme at the Best in Abu Dhabi Awards 2011.[69] In the same year Aishwarya was named on Masala magazine's 'Hot List'.[70][71] Additionally Saba was given her own food column in Ahlan! magazine.[72][73][74][75] In October 2011 Studio One was nominated as the Best Television Programme at the Best In Dubai Awards.[76] The eventual winner was fellow Dubai One TV Show Out & About. In December 2011 Aishwarya was nominated as Best TV Presenter at the Masala! Hot Shot Awards for her role on Studio One.[77]


The show has an active fanbase with many of its viewers interacting with the programme via their Facebook page.[78] Additionally, fans of Saba started their own fan page called The Saba Wahid Appreciation Society.[79]


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External links[edit]