First Saudi soap opera Al Mirath airs on MBC1

Published: 3 March 2020 - 2 p.m.
By: Nikhil Pereira

Al Mirath (Inheritance), a soap opera depicting modern life in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia premiered on March 1, 2020 on MBC1.

The series, which explores the Kingdoms social, economic and cultural aspects within a dramatic family setting, marks the first long-running series of its kind in the region and will be continuously filmed throughout the year.

Al Mirath is a result of a collaboration between MBC Studios, TwoFour54 and Image Nation Abu Dhabi.

The storyline was developed by renowned British television writer, Tony Jordan (EastEnders, Hustle, Life on Mars, Sunburn, HolbyBlue) and Nour Al-Shishakli, Giscard Lahoud, Mazen Taha, and Thaer Al-Ekl.

It is directed by Tamer Bassiouni with Abdullah Al-Jeneiby, along with international directors Christine Melek and Indra Bhose.

MBC Studios, TwoFour54 and Image Nation Abu Dhabi marked the unveiling of the series with a press preview that included an on-location studio tour in Abu Dhabi, as well as hosting conversations with the leading cast and crew of the series. Executives from all three organisations were also in attendance.

Ali Jaber, TV director, MBC’s Group commented: “This is a pioneering moment for us as we have been able to create, through this partnership, the very first authentic Saudi soap opera. It lives, breathes and speaks Saudi in terms of the locations it is set in, the events, the relationships and the family dynamics.”

Under the collaboration, TwoFour54 and MBC created a dedicated studio in Abu Dhabi which serves as the main location for filming.

TwoFour54 also invested directly in the production, and MBC is set to benefit from the Abu Dhabi Film Commission’s 30% rebate on production spend in the Emirate.

Both worked closely with Image Nation Abu Dhabi on talent and script development for the project.

Jaber also highlighted that, whilst numerous Arab productions have long relied on well-known stars and actors to attract audiences, the formula is not commonly used with soap operas – no matter where they are filmed in the world.

As a result, viewers can expect to be introduced to a host of new faces on Al Mirath.

“They no doubt all have a great future ahead of them in the world of TV and entertainment,” Jaber concluded. “Our aim is to focus on young talent from around the region, especially from Saudi Arabia.”

Nabil Abou Samra, head of business development at TwoFour54 said: “Al Mirath marks a new era for Abu Dhabi as a production hub. The launch of the region’s first soap opera marks this as a milestone moment for our industry and we are proud to have Abu Dhabi at the forefront.”

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