It’s been nearly two years since Netflix announced its expansion into the Middle East, and since then, the streaming platform is making a conscious effort to expand its footprint in the region by catering to the Middle Eastern market with Arabic content. Just weeks after acquiring worldwide streaming rights for Emirati TV series entitled Justice: Qalb Al Adala, the streaming giant has picked up another Arabic television show. “Disappearance” (“Ekhtefa”) is a suspenseful drama about a university lecturer characterized by Nelly Karim, who lives in Russia with her husband who unexpectedly goes missing. Her search leads her to Egypt, where she uncovers further mysteries the more she investigates. The thriller initially launched last August as a Ramadan television series. Regarded as one of the best mosalsals to come out during the Holy Month, Disappearance will no doubt find fans in a legion of binge-watchers.
Still, Netflix could benefit from introducing more original Arabic content that reflects the region’s cultures and languages. According to several reports, the platform has been struggling to gain traction in the region, with many analysts pointing to the lack of original content in Arabic as the main reason why. Until now, the streaming platform’s only original Arabic content is a standup comedy special with Lebanese comedian and actor Adel Karam, entitled Adel Karam: Live from Beirut, which premiered last year. Although, the streaming platform is set to globally premiere its first original Arabic series “Jinn” in 2019. The coming-of-age supernatural drama is one of the first Netflix original series to emerge out of the Middle East.
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