Million Dollar Island Set for MENA Adaptation


MBC Group has commissioned a new local version of Talpa’s Million Dollar Island for the Middle East and North Africa.

The regional adaptation of the show will be produced in NEOM, Saudi Arabia, by Talpa’s new partner, Blue Engine Studios. It is set to air on a yet-to-be-announced MBC Group TV channel, as well as on the Arabic SVOD platform Shahid VIP, which is also part of MBC Group.

In Million Dollar Island, 100 people try to stay on a remote desert island for two months for a chance at winning $1 million, with each contestant starting the adventure with a bracelet worth $10,000. While they’re on the island, contestants can gain and lose bracelets by competing in various games and can also receive bracelets from other contestants. In the finale, they’ll each get their chance to cash in their bracelets in a test of nerves—but can also lose everything at the last minute.

Million Dollar Island was created by John de Mol’s Talpa Concepts and Monday Media. Distributed by Talpa Distribution, it was first launched in March on SBS6 in the Netherlands. Amazon Prime has a day-and-date SVOD second window.

Sebastian van Barneveld, director of international sales at Talpa, said: “We are very excited about this project with Blue Engine Studios and MBC Group. The astonishing pace at which this unique and adventurous social experiment is conquering the globe is a testimony to its ingenuity.”

Ali Jaber, group director of TV at MBC Group, added: “Million Dollar Island is a format never seen before in the MENA region, and there’s no doubt that thousands of adventure enthusiasts from around the region will be signing up to experience this one-of-a-kind adventure. We’re excited to see what this show will bring to our audiences. Who will make history as the show’s first winner from the Arab world? It will be exciting to see who makes it to the top!”

Wayne Borg, managing director for media, entertainment and culture at NEOM, said: “We are excited to be working with Talpa and MBC. Our incredible array of stunning locations are the backdrop for the dedicated facility; large-scale sets, workshops and accommodation to support the 200 cast and crew. This is groundbreaking for the region, a production on this scale. It harnesses our world-class offering of studios/stages, equipment inventory and support services at NEOM backed by our international team of renowned industry specialists. Bringing Million Dollar Island to NEOM is further proof of the confidence the industry has in our ability to deliver multiple productions seamlessly.”