Starz Play to launch its first original Arabic series in UAE

Starz Play, MENA’s leading subscription video on demand (SVOD) service is about to launch its first Arabic original series based in the UAE.

CEO Maaz Sheikh announced, “Our major plans for the rest of the year is to do an Arabic original and we’re looking at partnering with a few studios. The show will be produced in the UAE, but we’re trying to make it a pan regional show. It will be a UAE-based show and Dubai is our home and we want to do our first original from this part of the world, but we’re trying to make the storyline pan regional so it has a pan regional view to it.”

“When we look at our original content, we’re going to be sensitive to that. As much as people say, ‘We want to produce the Vikings of the Arab world or the next Game of Thrones of the Arab world,’ I’m not sure that is the right strategy as far as audience preferences are concerned,” Sheikh said.

Starz Play has 1.2 million users and credits user growth to its offering of flexible payment options in MENA, where bank card penetration remains low, including payment through local mobile plans and free trials without commitments or restrictions.