MENA Deals for BBC Studios Formats


BBC Studios has sold the first international format licenses for No Kitchen Required and Astronauts: Toughest Job in the Universe to the Middle East.

No Kitchen Required has been licensed as a format to Quest Arabiya, an Arabic-language factual entertainment channel in the UAE. The ten-part series was produced across Saudi Arabia, UAE, Morocco, Oman, Jordan and Romania through a collaboration between Image Nation Abu Dhabi, In Media Plus and Marc Lorber. The local version of No Kitchen Required will feature top chefs from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and Egypt as Dabbir Aklak.

Astronauts: Toughest Job in the Universe will make its debut as a local format with Dubai Media. Filming in 2019, this local format will air on free-to-air channel Dubai TV.

Natasha Hussain, VP and meneral Manager for the Middle East and Mediterranean at BBC Studios, said: “Audiences across the Middle East are increasingly looking for programs that offer high-quality production values mixed with a local flavor. No Kitchen Required and Astronauts deliver on this promise with their exciting combination of competition and local personalities, alongside both familiar and unexplored locations. BBC Studios’ catalogue contains some of the world’s most talked-about, intelligent and high-impact formats. With the formation of BBC Studios and our increased production capability, we also see great potential to explore more production partnership opportunities in the region.”

Khalid Khouri, general manager at Quest Arabiya, said: “We are thrilled to be the first channel in the region to license No Kitchen Required from BBC Studios. The localized production of such an international format affirms our tremendous efforts to continuously provide creative and exciting content from the Middle East as never seen before. Following the success of the American version of No Kitchen Required, we are confident that the upcoming version, tailored to our region, will follow the same path especially with the growing interest in the outdoor and adventure genre in this region.”

Sarah Al Jarman, general channels director for Dubai Media, said: “This is in line with the UAE’s mission for the future in the space field which includes the mission to Mars and recently revealed UAE Astronaut program. In support, Dubai TV is partnering with BBC studios to produce the Astronauts format and show our audience the journey and experience required for a space mission in an informative and entertaining way.”