MENA’s leading subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service Starzplay revealed ‘Kaboos,’ its first Arabic original series in collaboration with Emirati content powerhouse Image Nation Abu Dhabi.

The new show, Kaboos (translated into a nightmare), features five standalone episodes to premiere on February 9, 2023, followed by weekly episodes telling the stories of Arab folklore in modern life. The original Arabic language series explores urban myths in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, and the UAE, across various genres, from classic horror anecdotes to noir psychological thrillers.

Nadim Dada, VP of Programming and Content Acquisition at Starzplay, explained: “Kaboos is our biggest content asset this year, our very first Arabic language original and we are very excited to roll out the production across the Middle East,” and added, “Our goal at Starzplay has been to invest in content that is regionally relevant and as a homegrown platform we continuously strive to bring in content which our MENA audiences can relate to.”

Image credit: Twitter

Kaboos series multinational production crew includes some of MENA’s rising young directors, starting with Majid Al Ansari (Paranormal) and Hana Kazim (Makr) as well as Yasir Al Yasiri (122), Ahmed Khaled (30 March) and Hala Matar (Streetcar). Besides, other MENA talents are on board, including Passant Shawky, Khaled Anward, Abrar Al Hamad, Rakeen Saad, Kady Al Qaisy, and Ahmad Al Saeed.

The CEO of the streaming platform Maaz Sheikh commented on their first production of its kind, saying: “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.” 

Meanwhile, Starzplay project partner Image Nation expressed their spirit through Ben Ross, Chief Content Officer, saying: “Image Nation Abu Dhabi constantly looks for challenging new projects that enable regional filmmakers to share the region’s contemporary heritage and culture with the world through Arabic-language content, and what better way to do so than through Arab myths and legends that embodies the region’s love for storytelling.” 

Published by HOLR Magazine.