The series, which will be aired on MBC1 channel, is a collaboration between MBC Studios, twofour54 and Image Nation Abu Dhabi.
Al Mirath (Inheritance), a soap opera depicting modern life in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is set to premiere on March 1, 2020, on MBC1 channel. The series marks the first long-running series of its kind in the region and will be continuously filmed throughout the year.
MBC Studios, twofour54 and Image Nation Abu Dhabi collaborated on the production and 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.
Under the collaboration, twofour54 and MBC Studios created a studio in Abu Dhabi which serves as the main location for filming. Twofour54 has 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.
The storyline was developed by renowned British television writer Tony Jordan 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.
Commenting on the new series, Ali Jaber, MBC’s Group TV Director, said: “At MBC, as the leaders of Arabic content creation in the region, 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.
Twofour54 facilitated with filming locations, production facilities, and post-production services. It also built the standalone studio/soundstage that was the location to multiple scenes in the title.
Image Nation Abu Dhabi provided access to young talent trained in various disciplines, via its special internship programme. “The internship programme will continue throughout production to provide exciting year-round training and development opportunities,” Jaber added.
Peter Smith, MD of MBC Studios told BroadcastPro ME: “The motive is to take stories from the region and tell them to the world and in the process try to change the narrative on Arabs and bring forward a positive image. The goal is to train new talents and continue to improve the quality of what we are doing, with writers, actors and all the behind-the-camera talent. And vis-à-vis, we would like to build more capability and talent in Saudi, which is why you will be seeing new actors and actresses on this show.”
Nabil Abou Samra, Head of Business Development at twofour54 remarked: “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. We have always worked towards building a sustainable industry and a production of this magnitude, which offers training, development and job opportunities year-round, allows us to continue to nurture and support the growing needs of the media and entertainment sector.”
Hassan Asiri, General Manager of Al Sadaf part of MBC Studios added: “This title aims to highlight brand-new talent from the region – especially from Saudi Arabia. But viewers can also expect some surprise guest appearances by well-known names from the world of Arab TV. A series like Al Mirath requires lots of manpower, and so I am delighted that filming and production will span over the next year, and hopefully beyond.”