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Wed 31 Jul 2019 02:39 PM

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EastEnders writer to create world's first Arabic soap opera in the UAE

Tony Jordan is behind new TV production which will air in Q1 2020 and will create about 200 new jobs

EastEnders writer to create world's first Arabic soap opera in the UAE
Tony Jordan, a prominent British TV executive and one of the lead writers behind the creation of the long-running popular BBC show EastEnders.

Tony Jordan, a prominent British TV executive and one of the lead writers behind the creation of the long-running popular BBC show EastEnders, has teamed up with local producers in Abu Dhabi to develop the world’s first soap opera in Arabic, it was announced on Wednesday.

“One of my long-held ambitions has been to create and help develop major drama projects outside the UK, this project is truly ground-breaking and I think we’ve created something really special,” Jordan, who also worked on British shows such as Minder, Eldorado, Where the Heart Is and City Central, was quoted as saying in a press statement.

The soap opera will be titled ‘Inheritance’ and is due to start filming in December, with the first episode set to air on screens in the first quarter of 2020.

The show is a collaboration between twofour54 Abu Dhabi, MBC Studios and Image Nation Abu Dhabi.

A dedicated studio will be built in Abu Dhabi and the show will film for around 250 days a year, with the producers estimating that it will create around 200 new jobs in the first year alone, according to the press release.

Twofour54 will invest directly in the production and MBC will take advantage of the Abu Dhabi Film Commission’s 30 percent rebate on production spend in the UAE capital. Production arm Image Nation Abu Dhabi will help work on talent and script development.

Maryam Eid AlMheiri, vice chair of twofour54, said: “Partnering with MBC Studios and Image Nation to produce the world’s first Arab soap opera is truly a landmark moment in Arab entertainment industry and cultural history.

“These soaps are very labour intensive and collectively we view this agreement as a long-term opportunity to rapidly develop aspiring production professional through extensive training of local cast, crew and writers. When it comes to producing key long-running shows in Abu Dhabi, this is only the beginning,” added Peter Smith, managing director of MBC Studios.