Kebbi, Karam to head Middle East shingle

Sony Pictures Television has launched a Middle East production arm, SPT Arabia.

The shingle, which will serve the Arabic-speaking market, will be based in Dubai, with production offices in Beirut and Cairo. Launch was announced Tuesday by Kees Abrahams, prexy of international production for Sony Pictures TV.

Dubai production execs and 20-year veterans of the Arab entertainment industry Ziad Kebbi and Dany Karam will lead the company, representing SPT’s catalog of scripted and nonscripted programming. It’s part of Sony’s ongoing push into local-language production in key territories around the world.

“The Arabic-speaking countries represent an exciting market for SPT with a growing appetite for high quality, scripted and nonscripted content,” Abrahams said. “We are now in an even stronger position to grow our production business across this important market.”

In recent months, Sony has established production units in Brazil and strengthened its presence in Europe with offices serving Benelux, Germany, Spain, Italy and the U.K.In 2004, Kebbi and Karam founded Elements TV, a production company based in Beirut and Dubai, which delivered and produced shows such as “The Celebrity Farm,” “Deal or No Deal” and “Take It or Leave it.”

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