Netflix has unveiled the highlights of its Original Arabic-language content for the Middle East and North Africa in 2024, with shows coming out of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Kuwait and Jordan.
Fresh announcements included the second season of hit female-driven, Kuwaiti finance world drama The Exchange and a third season of unscripted show Dubai Bling, which Netflix promised would “delve deeper” into the lives of the existing characters and expand the “Dubai Bling family”.
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Netflix also announced the arrival of Tunisia acting star Dhafer L’Abidine in the cast of the second season of Hend Sabry’s drama Finding Ola.
He joins Sabry in a cast also featuring Sawsan Badr, Hany Adel, Nada Moussa, Mahmoud El Leithy, Acel Ramzy, Omar Sherif, Yasmina El-Abd and Tarek el Ebiary.
In this new season, as the titular Ola’s business teeters on the edge of collapse, she discovers the need to reinvent herself and embarks on a journey that could change her life forever.
Other returning shows include Jordanian high school drama Al Rawabi School for Girls, produced by Filmizion Productions and led by showrunner and creator Tima Shomali, with co-creators Shirin Kamal and Islam Alshomali.
Netflix also announced new Saudi children’s feature MasameerJunior, inspired by the hit animated series Masameer County.
The feature will see its six-year-old protagonists —Trad, Saltooh, and Saad—embark on a adventurous journey to find heaven after being terrified by their teacher’s warning about the consequences of being mischievous kids.
Further original feature films on the 2024 release slate include the Kuwaiti romantic comedy Honeymoonish, starring Egypt’s Nour AlGhandour and Kuwaiti star Mahmoud Boushahri. Written by Eiad Saleh and directed by Elie El Semaan, it will be released early this year.
The platform is also gearing up for the launch of Saudi actress and filmmaker Fatima Al-Banawi’s directorial debut Basma, in which she also stars.
Delving into mental health, the drama revolves around a young Saudi woman returning to Jeddah after studying in the U.S., where she confronts the challenging truths her family had kept from her.
New series due out this year include Egyptian drama Echoes of the Past starring Mahmoud Hemida and Asser Yassin alongside Saba Mubarak, Sherif Salama, Shereen Reda, Rakeen Saad, Mohamed Tharwat, Mohammed Alaa, Tamer Nabil and Huda Elmufti.
Directed by Al Sadeer Massoud and written by Mohamed el Masry, it follows a man’s quest for vengeance when his sister dies in a seemingly accidental incident.
The series is produced by Charisma Group with Mohammad Mashish serving as the executive producer.
Netflix also unveiled a fresh take on the dating show, with the new unscripted Emirati title Love Is Blind, Habibi.
Described as “a unique social experiment” it follows young single Arabs living in the UAE on their quest to find true love, without actually seeing the object of their desire face-to-face until the relationship deepens.
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