LONDON: MBC Studios is in the research phase for a Saudi competitor show to Netflix’s hit series “Dubai Bling,” network sources told Arab News.
The Saudi rival is slated to release on MBC’s subscription-based streaming service Shahid.
“We have been asked to put it together and get it out there ASAP,” a source with knowledge of internal communications told Arab News.
MBC, which recently relocated its headquarters to Riyadh from Dubai, is renowned for pushing the envelope on many fronts, producing daring and critical television shows such as the Daesh bride series “Black Crows,” which led to threats against the producers, and “Tash Ma Tash,” a satirical comedy that was condemnatory of Saudi Arabia’s religious police and their methods.
Earlier this month, Arab News first learned of the news that a Saudi concept for the hit Netflix show was being considered.
“Contrary to what people might think, there is actually a lot of excitement in the Kingdom to produce it and showcase the success stories of locals and expats alike in a similar manner,” the Saudi source had said in a previous interview.
“If you think the actors in the UAE version are rich, wait till you see who we might have lined up for ‘Saudi Bling.’ We are just waiting for approvals now and of course, like with the Dubai show, we will ensure it does not cross any lines and accurately reflects the lives of the rich and famous in Riyadh.”
MBC, however, did not confirm whether the show was in production.
“Dubai Bling” debuted on Netflix last October, immediately becoming one of the most talked about shows across the internet thanks to its ability to depict Dubai’s melting pot of cultures.
The program has received significant international attention and has been praised for its ability to attract a multicultural audience thanks to its diverse cast, as well as merging of English and Arabic dialogue, often in the same sentence.
The reality TV show stars 10 cast-members from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Kuwait and Iraq as well as expatriates from India, Australia and the UK.