Zee Entertainment Enterprises has announced the launch of Zee Alwan, its second Arabic channel, on September 12, 2012 in Middle East.
Zee Alwan will have over 180 hours of original programming monthly with three Arabic series offered exclusively on the free-to-air channel. The programme roster also includes popular Indian serials that have been dubbed into Arabic, in addition to a range of lifestyle shows including cookery, yoga, and travel – all carefully structured to appeal to Arab audiences.
Commenting on the launch, Punit Goenka, MD and CEO, Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEE) said, “As a part of our global strategy, Zee Alwan is a step towards strengthening our presence in the Middle East. After the success of Zee Aflam, this new channel will help us to further consolidate our share and enhance ZEE’s reach.”
Zee Alwan follows the launch of Zee Aflam, a dedicated 24x7 movie channel beaming Bollywood movies dubbed in Arabic. The two Arabic channels underline Zee’s long-term commitment to the Arab world and leverage the growing popularity of Bollywood and Indian television content among Arab audiences.
Zee Alwan’s line-up of Arabic serials includes Hindustani, the first Saudi Arabian musical and comedy show. Other Arabic serials are Khaleeji series Banaat Al Jameaa, depicting the story of life after high school, and the Syrian drama Banat Al Alilah, a tale of a guarded secret shared by an aunt and her niece.
Mukund Cairae, CEO, Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan said, “Zee Alwan has received overwhelming response from Arab audiences across the Gulf region, particularly in the UAE and Saudi Arabia following its soft launch. With the grand roll-out, we are further strengthening the programming of Zee Alwan, with a focus on providing original Arabic content. Zee Alwan’s niche of providing exclusive Arabic series produced in the Gulf region as well as the dubbed Indian productions sets a new trend in family television entertainment in the Middle East.”
Cairae added, “With Zee Alwan, we are also creating a new platform for talent collaboration between the Arab world and India. This will benefit the creative community in the region, and add to the historic cultural linkages that have existed between Arabia and India for over several centuries.”
The popular Indian serials that have amassed millions in viewership, and have been dubbed in Arabic for Zee Alwan include Malekat Jhansi, which narrates the tale of Rani Laxmi Bai; Alwa’ad, which follows the lives of three sisters; and Lalli, in which the protagonist discovers the positive side of life despite being subject to a life of poverty.
The array of lifestyle shows on Zee Alwan include celebrated Indian chef Sanjeev Kapoor’s Konooz Khanaa, Yoga for You, and travel show Full Circle.
All the programmes respect the sensitivities of Arab audiences, especially women. Zee Alwan also has several Arab female anchors to present the shows, provide recaps on earlier episodes, and present vignettes from upcoming episodes.