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Netflix Picks Up Its First Emirati Series

Justice: Qalb Al Adala (2016)

It’s time to binge. Netflix has just acquired worldwide streaming rights for Emirati TV series entitled Justice: Qalb Al Adala. The 18-episode series is the first-ever UAE-produced Arabic TV show to feature on the streaming platform. It’s now available for viewing to a global audience.

The legal drama, which is shot in Abu Dhabi, tells the story of a young lawyer named Farah, who returns to the UAE after obtaining a law degree from America. Her father, one of the country’s top lawyers, has ambitions for his daughter’s career at his own firm, however, Farah has different plans for her future. The series was produced by Oscar-nominated producer Walter Parkes in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department.

Netflix first announced its expansion into the Middle East almost two-years-ago. Since then, the streaming giant has made a conscious effort to expand its footprint in the region by catering to the Middle Eastern market with original Arabic content. Many analysts point to Netflix’s lack of local content as one of the reasons why growth has been slow in the region. The decision to pick up Justice: Qalb Al Adala was no doubt a strategic one, considering that Netflix is the number one internet video service provider in the UAE for content consumed on TV.

Meanwhile, this summer, Netflix announced that its first original Arabic series will be a coming-of-age supernatural drama entitled “Jinn“. The production for the series began in August in Jordan, and it will be available to Netflix members worldwide in 2019. It is one of the first Netflix original series to emerge out of the Middle East. 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.

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