Netflix’s latest Arabic original ‘Dollar’ stars Lebanese icon Adel Karam

‘Dollar’ is set for release on Aug. 8. (Supplied)
Updated 17 July 2019
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Netflix’s latest Arabic original ‘Dollar’ stars Lebanese icon Adel Karam

DUBAI: Netflix’s latest Arabic original is set to hit TV screens on Aug. 8 and is called “Dollar,” the streaming company announced this week.  

The drama is set in modern-day Lebanon and stars Lebanese film veteran Adel Karam — who starred in “The Insult,” which was nominated for an Oscar in 2018 — and Algerian-Lebanese actor Amal Bouchoucha.

The fast-paced series tells the story of advertising mastermind, Tarek (Adel Karam), who is tasked with coming up with a million dollar idea for the launch of a new bank. He’s got it, but will only share his idea with the CEO. Something’s off and the bank’s hard-hitting young CFO, Zeina (Amal Bouchoucha), can sense it. The series follows the situation as Zeina tries to piece together exactly what is going on.

Helmed by Syrian director Samer Berkawi, the director behind such regional hit shows as “Al-Hayba” and “Half Day,” the series was produced by Cedars Art Production - Sabbah Brothers and written by Hisham Hilal.

It is latest Middle Eastern series to join Netflix’s cadre of shows and growing roster of Arabic-language productions, but marks a shift from the streaming company’s penchant for Arab thrillers such as “Paranormal” — Netflix’s first Egyptian drama, based on the best-selling Arabic horror series by late Egyptian author Ahmed Khaled Towfik — and “Jinn,” which told the story of teenagers battling supernatural powers and faced backlash over its portrayal of young people in Jordan.

Despite the drama, on and off the screen, “Dollar” will premiere on Aug. 8, with all 15 episodes available to watch immediately.

Director Berkawi lauded the versatility of his cast in a released statement.

“I’m truly excited to be working with Netflix on our new series ‘Dollar’ and am confident that the show will appeal to Netflix’s audiences worldwide. This project is an exciting one, bringing together themes of suspense and drama that showcase Amal Bouchoucha’s onscreen talents, as well as Adel Karam’s versatility beyond the comedy that he is known and loved for,” he said.

“Dollar” will be subtitled in 20 languages.


Rita Ora shows love for Arab fashion in London 

The singer was spotted wearing a shirt dress by Rami Kadi. (Getty Images)
Updated 18 September 2019

Rita Ora shows love for Arab fashion in London 

DUBAI: Earlier this week, celebrities descended on YouTube & LOVE magazine’s London Fashion Week party, including the likes of Gigi and Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner and Rita Ora — who chose to sport a Lebanese minidress on the occasion. 

Models and pop stars partied the night away at London’s The Standard Hotel on Monday night and Ora dazzled in a Pied-de-Coq patterned outfit from Lebanese designer Rami Kadi’s Fall/Winter 2019 collection, dubbed “Ometeo.”

The semi-sheer shirt dress featured pale yellow and ice blue patternwork and Ora paired the outfit with a wide brimmed hat and knee-high black boots. 

The outfit was styled by Rob Zangardi and Mariel Haenn. 

Rita Ora is no stranger to the Middle East and has performed in the Gulf a few times. (Getty Images)

Young Lebanese designer Kadi has become known for his cutting-edge style and often uses unexpected materials in his work — his latest collection features plexi glass in neon shades. The talent is becoming more and more popular with international celebrities and has already dressed the likes of pop legend Jennifer Lopez and Portuguese model Sara Sampaio, with Ora becoming the latest in a long list of leading ladies to turn to Kadi for sartorial advice. 

Besides her fashion choices, Ora has shown love for the Middle East in other ways — including filming her latest music video in Dubai. 

The singer unveiled the video for her single “New Look” in July and Dubai residents were quick to spot their stomping grounds in the clip. 

One of the neighborhoods to feature in the music video was Meydan — home to Dubai’s premiere racecourse, as well as a clutch of popular party spots.

Ora also performed at The Assembly - the Global Teacher Prize Concert in Dubai in March and at Base, the open-air club in the artsy Dubai Design District, last year.

In 2018, the award-winning singer found time for a quick Instagram-friendly workout in the gym of her Bahrain hotel before going on to wow crowds at the island’s annual Spring of Culture Festival.

The 27-year-old rose to fame in 2012 when she featured on DJ Fresh’s UK Number One “Hot Right Now.” Her self-titled debut album, released in August that year, also went to Number One and featured hits including “How We Do (Party),” “R.I.P.” and “Shine Ya Light.”