Muppets choose Abu Dhabi for TV return after 25-year hiatus

twofour54’s campus partners, led by Bidaya Media, have enabled the return of Iftah Ya Simsim, the Arabic version of Sesame Street
Muppets choose Abu Dhabi for TV return after 25-year hiatus
By Staff writer
Fri 04 Sep 2015 12:58 AM

The Muppets have chosen Abu Dhabi as their Arabic home, thanks to the burgeoning media industry in the UAE capital city.

twofour54’s campus partners, led by Bidaya Media, have enabled the return of Iftah Ya Simsim, the Arabic version of children’s programme, Sesame Street, which will officially go live in GCC countries on Friday.

The project to reintroduce the Arabic version of this children’s favourite after a 25 year hiatus was led by Bidaya Media, a Mubadala sponsored company and twofour54 campus partner.

Bidaya provided technical, educational and creative oversight for the programme, working closely with Sesame Street in the US to ensure the international standards for the international brand were met, a statement said.

The first season of Iftah Ya Simsim will include 28 episodes with more than 28 new and original songs, 28 live action segments, and 28 new animated stories along with the Muppets in their Iftah Ya Simsim neighbourhood.

twofour54’s efforts to build a world class media industry ecosystem have resulted in a combination of award winning production facilities, industry leading services and talented media professionals, which is increasingly being used for film and television projects from around the globe.

In the last three years, Abu Dhabi has attracted major local, regional, and international productions including Fast & Furious 7, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Bold and the Beautiful, Top Gear, Bang Bang, Baby and Al Ikhwa.

The entire production of Iftah Ya Simsim – from conception and scriptwriting through to filming and post production – is being executed by twofour54-based media companies.

Noura Al Kaabi, CEO of twofour54, said: “twofour54 is very proud to be playing a role in the return of Iftah Ya Simsim to the region. Iftah Ya Simsim is a superb example of the quality of content that can be delivered by the media ecosystem we have built, and continue to build, here in Abu Dhabi.

“Our comprehensive infrastructure of studios, post-production facilities and production services, professional local talent, and network of media companies streamlined the completion of Iftah Ya Simsim, making it possible to complete the project in just one location – Abu Dhabi.”

Steve Youngwood, COO of Sesame Workshop, added: “We are excited about what we have accomplished so far having teamed up with Bidaya and Mubadala to make it happen. We wanted to create something that reflects the local culture and values of the region and we found that here in Abu Dhabi.

"twofour54 provided high quality services and facilities in addition to experienced  local talent who were able to deliver the project to the standards we were expecting and we look forward to what we can accomplish in the future.”

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