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Clothing, Apparel, Hat

Queen Elizabeth’s death: Reaction from politicians and officials

State heads and officials from around the world have offered their condolences for Queen Elizabeth, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, after she died on Thursday 8 September. Middle East royals and leaders pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II The world mourns Queen Elizabeth II: 1926 – 2022 UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the queen was widely […]

Gulf states demand Netflix pull content deemed offensive

Gulf Arab states have demanded that US streaming giant Netflix remove content deemed offensive to “Islamic and societal values” in the region, Saudi Arabia’s media regulator said on Tuesday. It did not specify the content, but mentioned that it included content aimed at children. Saudi state-run Al Ekhbariya TV, in a programme discussing the issue, […]

Qatar to allow beer at World Cup three hours before kick-off

Qatar will permit ticketed fans to buy alcoholic beer at World Cup soccer matches starting three hours before kickoff and for one hour after the final whistle, but not during the match, a source with knowledge of plans for the tournament said. Budweiser, a major World Cup sponsor with exclusive rights to sell beer at […]

Metropolis, Building, City

Parts of Expo City Dubai to open to visitors from September 1

Fans of Expo 2020 Dubai will be able to visit some of the event’s key features and pavilions from September 1, a month ahead of the official reopening of the site as a business and entertainment hub. The Government of Dubai Media Office announced on Monday that two of the site’s most popular pavilions, Alif […]

Person, Human, Word

‘House of the Dragon’ renewed for second season

“House of the Dragon”, the highly anticipated “Game of Thrones” prequel, has been renewed for a second season after its first episode proved a hit. Based on George RR Martin’s “Fire & Blood”, the drama is set 200 years before the events that played out in “Game of Thrones” and focuses on how the House […]

Anghami bets on Arabic music to deliver streaming growth

Abu Dhabi-based streaming provider Anghami is betting on Arabic content to deliver future growth as it announced a 41 percent increase in subscribers in the first half of 2022. With just one percent of Anghami’s content being Arabic, it is one area that the company is looking to grow significantly, Elie Habib, chief technology officer […]

Dubai record label launches as Arab music appeal grows

Galaxy Racer (GXR), the media giant focused on e-sports, music and sports, has announced the launch of GXR Records, an independent music label based in Dubai.  GXR and Empire, the global independent label, distributor and publisher, said the new venture will be led by Elia Mssawir and will focus on developing talents in West Asian […]

Arabic club music takes off in New York

A music venue and nightclub in Brooklyn, New York, is putting the spotlight on music from the Middle East and North Africa. Laylit, or “the night of” in Arabic, is a party night at Elsewhere with Syrian resident DJ Saphe Shamoun. Launched last October, the event had become popular, attracting over 800 people. On the […]

Text, Credit Card

Twitter says it removes over 1 million spam accounts each day

Twitter removes more than 1 million spam accounts each day, executives told reporters in a briefing on Thursday, providing new insight into efforts to reduce harmful automated bots as billionaire Elon Musk has demanded more details from the social media company. The briefing comes after Musk threatened to halt a $44 billion deal to purchase […]

Field, Building, Stadium

Qatar’s World Cup stadium stands will be alcohol free

Qatar’s World Cup stadium stands are set to be alcohol-free, with beer sales outside arenas only allowed before and after some matches, a source with knowledge of plans for the soccer tournament said. This year’s World Cup is the first to be held in a Muslim country with strict controls on alcohol, presenting unique challenges […]

Phone, Electronics, Mobile Phone

Snapchat paid version launches in Saudi Arabia, UAE

Snap Inc on Wednesday launched a paid version of the Snapchat app in the US, priced at $3.99 a month, and a few other markets, in a major step away from a revenue model dependent mostly on advertising. Snap, which had teased the subscription version, Snapchat+, earlier this month, said it would be available in […]

Person, Human, Book

25 years of Harry Potter: From rejection to 500m global sales

When Bloomsbury Publishing founder Nigel Newton brought home a manuscript for “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” by a then unknown J.K. Rowling, his daughter Alice described it as “possibly one of the best books an 8/9 year old could read”. Twenty-five years later, it is one of the biggest selling novels of all time […]

Face, Person, Human

Naomi Osaka and LeBron James launch new media company

Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka is launching a new media company in partnership with four-times NBA champion LeBron James aimed at telling stories that cross cultural barriers, the former world number one announced on Tuesday. Hana Kuma, which translates to “flower bear,” will produce stories that are “culturally specific but universal to all audiences” and […]

Airplane, Aircraft, Transportation

Return of the superjumbo: A380 set for a dramatic comeback?

Two years ago, dozens of Airbus A380s set course for storage sites in rural France from the Gulf as the outbreak of COVID-19 accelerated the demise of the world’s largest jets. Now, the iconic European double-decker is gaining a new lease on life as airlines scramble to cope with rising demand and shortages of newer […]

Cannabis

Thailand has high hopes for tourism with legal marijuana

Thailand legalised the growing of marijuana and its consumption in food and drinks last week, with the aim of boosting tourism and agriculture. The government plans to give away 1 million plants to encourage farmers to take up its cultivation as a cash crop It is the first Asian country to take this step, although […]

Disney announces major leadership shakeup

Walt Disney Co Chief Executive Bob Chapek announced a major leadership shift on Thursday, promoting Dana Walden to chairman of general entertainment content as the company works to build its streaming television efforts. Walden replaces veteran Hollywood executive Peter Rice, who is leaving Disney. Both executives joined Disney in 2019 when the company acquired entertainment […]

Disney+ takes aim at Netflix as it goes live in 16 Arab countries

Disney+ launched its streaming service in the Middle East and North Africa yesterday, vying for market share in a region where the population is young but few people so far use such services. Disney+ said it had gone live in 16 Arab countries and was tailoring content for the region, including offering Arabic subtitles on […]

Saudi’s leading cinema group to make films for Arabs by Arabs

The kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced the lifting of its 35-year ban on cinemas four years ago. The industry has since seen exponential growth and Arabic language films have been the most popular among moviegoers. This trend has now prompted Muvi Cinemas, Saudi Arabia’s homegrown cinema brand and the country’s largest theatre operator, to launch […]

Cinemark subscription surge hails post-pandemic cinema rebound

Cinemark Holdings Inc has signed up 1 million paying subscribers to its Movie Club monthly subscription plan, the company said on Wednesday, hailing a rebound in moviegoing after disruptions from the coronavirus pandemic. The third-largest movie theater chain in the United States said it was the first cinema operator to cross the 1 million milestone […]

Damian Lewis, Salman Rushdie and Rio Ferdinand among UK honours list

Actor Damian Lewis, author Ian Rankin and former Northern Ireland first minister Arlene Foster were among more than 1,100 people recognised by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth in her annual birthday honours. The list, which is issued to mark the 96-year-old monarch’s official birthday, honours recipients for their “outstanding” contributions; most awards recognise public service or community […]

Emir Tamim Bin Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani

Some still can’t accept Qatar hosting World Cup, says emir

Qatar’s ruler, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, has told Davos the Middle East has suffered discrimination for decades, in a speech addressing critics of the emirate hosting the World Cup. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, the emir said there were still those who were unable to “accept the idea that an […]