The inflatable Disney + logo was drawn at a press event at the Dubai Opera on June 7, 2022 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.Reuters / Youssef Saba

Dubai: Disney + launched streaming services in the Middle East and North Africa on Wednesday, competing for market share in areas with a young population but so far few people are using such services.

Disney + said it has been published in 16 Arab countries and is tailoring content for the region, including providing Arabic subtitles for most services, especially popular content.

According to Digital TV Research, Netflix is ​​currently leading the region with more than 6.8 million subscribers. Abu Dhabi-based competitor Starz play ranks second with just under 2 million, followed by Amazon with 1.4 million.

Some competitors offer original Arabic content. Netflix is ​​already working on the second season of the popular series “Al Rawabi School for Girls” and “Finding Ola”.

Shahid, the MBC Group’s streaming platform, has ordered the Arabic version of the British comedy The Office. OSN, a regional competitor, has an Arabic version of the US law series “Suit.”

OSN previously had the right to carry Disney + original content.

Starz play is also working on the original Arabic content, its CEO Maaz Sheikh told Reuters last week. With a streaming penetration of 10%, he said there was plenty of room for growth in the region.

Digital TV Research predicts that Netflix will expand its base to 11 million by 2027 and Disney + will win the second spot at around 6.5 million by then. Amazon is expected to reach 4.8 million subscribers by 2027, and Starz Play is expected to reach just under 3 million.

“In my opinion, Disney + is entering the Middle East and North Africa at a great time. Compared to other streaming markets, our market is still in its infancy and is unique to grow with it. We have the opportunity, “said Tamim Fares, director of Disney +. He told Reuters in an email statement for the region.

At the Disney + pre-launch event at the Dubai Opera, Mohamed Diab, the Egyptian director of Marvel Studios’ Moon Knight, advertised the original superhero series making their regional debut.

His wife, Sarah Gohel, was also the producer of a series featuring ancient Egyptian gods.

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