You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Vice Arabia Launches in Middle East With Original Documentary ‘Bil Arabi’ (EXCLUSIVE)

ROME – Vice Media launched into the Middle East on Monday with its new Vice Arabia platform and its first local original production, an hour-long documentary about Arab millennials titled “Bil Arabi” (“In Arabic”).

The documentary was shot in 12 cities in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Syria, the UAE, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, and the Palestinian occupied territories. Vice calls it an attempt to provide “an honest and unflinching lens” on young Arabs from different nationalities and walks of life, a kind of “cinematic Arab youth census” that will spawn further local productions covering “topics ranging from religion, drugs and politics through to love, media and money.”

Islam Alrayyes, editor-in-chief of Vice MENA, called the documentary “a testament to the important work we’ll aim to do at Vice Arabia in representing the many voices of young people across the region.”

Vice’s new Middle Eastern operation, announced earlier this year, is based in Abu Dhabi. It will produce lifestyle content in multiple languages including Arabic, English, Farsi, Turkish and Urdu. Content is to be translated and published across all of Vice’s global platforms, shining an international spotlight on the region but also throwing up potential challenges amid growing turbulence and fears that Arab media is being increasingly muzzled.

Alrayyes, who previously served as head of digital content at Abu Dhabi Media, will lead a team of writers, editors, directors and producers overseeing Vice Arabia’s output.

Heading the Middle Eastern operation as managing director for Vice MENA is Jason Leavy, who was previously managing director of UAE-based marketing agency Edelman Dabo. In addition to editorial and content divisions, Vice Arabia’s Abu Dhabi office will house the regional hub of its in-house ad agency, Virtue Worldwide, headed by newly appointed CEO, EMEA, Rob Newlan, formerly of Facebook.

Vice Media’s Middle Eastern launch comes as the youth-oriented company continues to expand its global footprint via multi-platform partnerships with players around the world, including Afghan media company Moby Group in the Middle East, African telecom company Econet (for Vice’s planned 2018 launch in sub-Saharan Africa), Brazil’s Globosat, and Times of India in India. Vice expects its content to go out in more than 80 territories by the end of the first quarter of 2018.

More Digital

  • NPR Releases Open Source Podcast Metrics

    How NPR Aims to Bring Transparency to Podcast Metrics

    NPR unveiled a new open source podcast measurement project Wednesday that aims to bring more transparency and granularity to podcast metrics. The project, dubbed Remote Audio Data (RAD), has been developed in partnership with a number of podcast app developers, ad tech companies as well as tech and media heavyweights including ESPN, Google and iHeartMedia. [...]

  • 2019 Variety Predictions

    2019 Predictions: What's in Store for Film, TV and Music Next Year?

    It would be hard to top the drama of 2018. From media mega-mergers to the rise of Time’s Up, it was a year that had more than its fair share of twists and turns. Leslie Moonves resigned in disgrace, AT&T snapped up Time Warner, Disney inched closer to subsuming Fox and “Black Panther” shattered box [...]

  • apple brooklyn october 2018 event

    Apple Looking to Launch Magazine Subscriptions in Early 2019 (Report)

    Apple is preparing to relaunch Texture, a news subscription app it acquired in March, as a premium tier of Apple News early next year, according to a Bloomberg report. To prepare for the launch, Apple has been trying to get prominent newspapers including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal to come on [...]

  • Tencent Music Raises $1.1 Billion for

    Tencent Music Raises $1.1 Billion for IPO, Much Less Than Expected

    China-based music streaming company Tencent Music Entertainment Group said it raised nearly $1.1 billion in its U.S. initial public offering, according to Reuters. Earlier this year, the company was expected to be valued at as much as $30 billion and raise $4 billion for its IPO, but those estimates were slashed in September. he IPO [...]

  • Netflix Orders ‘I Am Not Okay

    Netflix Orders ‘I Am Not Okay With This’ From Producers of ‘Stranger Things’

    The producers of “Stranger Things” and creator and director of “The End of the F***ing World” series are making “I Am Not Okay With This” for Netflix, a coming-of-age tale about a girl with mysterious powers. 21 Laps will make the series, which was co-created by Jonathan Entwistle, who was behind Channel 4 and Netflix show [...]

  • Netflix Logo

    Netflix’s India Content Head Swati Shetty Makes Exit

    Swati Shetty, who has headed Indian content operations at Netflix is to step down from the global streaming giant. She joined the streamer in August 2016 as director of international originals and acquisitions. The company said it is placing more emphasis on India and that the role should ideally be fulfilled form Mumbai, rather than [...]

  • Oculus Rift

    ZeniMax Agrees to Settle Facebook VR Lawsuit

    Game company ZeniMax Media said it is has agreed to settle litigation against Facebook, Oculus and individual executives alleging misappropriation of its virtual-reality technology. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. ZeniMax sued Facebook in 2014 after Id Software co-founder John Carmack joined Oculus as chief technology officer. In the suit, which sought as much as $4 billion in damages, alleged [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content