RIYADH: MBC Group inaugurated its new headquarters in Riyadh with a large turnout of actors, journalists, and the region’s most prominent media figures on Sunday evening.
The new headquarters mark the group’s move from the UAE to its “homeland” Saudi Arabia — a long-awaited dream of Waleed bin Ibrahim Al-Ibrahim, chairman of the board.
“We have carried this dream with us since the first launch in 1991, even though we thought it was a dream far away from coming true,” Al-Ibrahim said.
The initiatives of the Kingdom, “the wise leadership and support of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” and the support and investment in culture, innovation, media and entertainment are what have ultimately helped turn this dream into reality, he added.
Al-Ibrahim began the ceremony with a speech that highlighted the achievements of the group and the leadership that contributed to its growth.
“We are working with all determination to make MBC Group one of the most prominent international media organizations in the world,” he said.
MBC Group has had a longstanding commitment to local programing. With the headquarters being moved to the Kingdom, the company now aims to further expand its projects and productions.
He explained: “With the strategic partners we have made to achieve this goal, in the coming years we will witness global projects that tell the stories of the history and culture of the Arab world, inspired by the slogan of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman: ‘An ambition as high as the sky’.”
During the ceremony, the group highlighted some of its productions filmed in the Kingdom, including “The Office”, “The Rise of the Witches” and “Dessert Warrior.”
The group also underlined some of its newest projects that are launching in the Kingdom, including “Saudi Idol” and the radio channel Loud FM, which will feature international music.
Al-Ibrahim thanked the UAE government and its people for their support during the group’s time in Dubai. He said the shifting of the headquarters is “moving from one home to another.”
Many prominent personalities attended the event, including Ibrahim Al-Hajjaj, a Saudi actor and comedian who starred in MBC’s “Rashash” and “Minho Waladna.”
Al-Hajjaj told Arab News: “It means the world to have MBC in Riyadh. I’m thrilled, and I hope that this will generate more talent and more people will come here.”
MBC Group initially launched MBC 1 in London in 1991. In 2002, it moved its headquarters to Dubai Media City in the UAE.
The group currently has over 17 TV channels, including MBC 1, MBC 2 and MBC MAX, along with two FM radio stations.
It aims to expand production in the future, with over 80 new titles scheduled to be produced in Saudi Arabia.