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DUBAI: BBC Studios and Dubai-based MBC Studios have teamed up for the first Arabic adaptation of the award-winning British comedy series ‘The Office’.

Titled “Al Maktab,” the Arabic edition of the series directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant will be set in Saudi Arabia. The 20-episode show will be directed by Egyptian filmmaker Hisham Fathi alongside Alessandro Martella as director of photography.

Set in a courier service company, “Al Maktab” follows the company’s self-centered boss, Malik Al-Tuwaifi, who is played by actor Saleh Abuamrh.

Fahad Albutairi, Nawaf Alshobaili, Saad Aziz, Adhwa Fahad, Razan Mansour, Reem Busati and Hisham Hawsawi, among other local talents, are also joining the cast.

Production on the MBC Studios original is set to begin in June, as it is set to air on MBC’s TV channels and air on its Shahid VIP streaming platform later this year.

“While office work may feel slightly different for many of us in 2022, the familiarity of these well-watched characters as they navigate petty rivalries, moments of friendship and humor, and a boss who sometimes makes a fool of himself always rings so true, ”said André Renaud, SVP Format Sales for BBC Studios in a published statement.

“I’m sure audiences in the Middle East and the Gulf will take Malik and his team to heart as much as audiences did with David Brent in the UK over twenty years ago,” he said. added.

“”Al Maktab” features a highly talented cast from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and beyond who will bring to life the stories of this eccentric group of colleagues and their boss, re-imagined for audiences in the Middle East and the Gulf for the entire first time. It’s definitely one of the history books,” said Zeinab Abul Alsamh, Managing Director of MBC Studios KSA.

“Al Maktab” marks the twelfth international adaptation of “The Office” format, following the United States, Canada, Chile, France, India and, most recently, Poland.

The upcoming show is the latest Arabic-language adaptation of a popular English television series.

An Arabic remake of the hit legal drama “Suits” was launched in April.

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