Ugly Betty to get an Arabic makeover

DUBAI - An Arabic version of the hit US comedy 'Ugly Betty' is set to entertain Middle East audiences thanks to TV network Dubai Media Incorporated.

The broadcaster is currently in negotiations with Disney to bring the show to the region, with the possibility that it may be filmed at Dubai Studio City.

Hussain Lootah, CEO of DMI, which includes Dubai TV, Dubai One, Dubai Sports and Sama Dubai, said: "Our strategy is to produce local, GCC and Arabic series to international standards, and we have started with that. For example, we are in the process of negotiation right now with Disney to produce a version of 'Ugly Betty' in Arabic, with Disney standards."

A dubbed version of 'Ugly Betty' currently runs on pay-TV channel Show Shasha, but this would be the first time the series has been adapted for an Arabic-speaking audience.

The move is part of a strategy by DMI, alongside partners such as Dubai Studio City, to make Dubai the centre for Arab drama production.

Lootah said: "One of our objectives and our strategies is to combine all of our production from the Arab world and centralise it here in Dubai.

"How we are going to do it? We are partnering with Dubai Studio City to build up studios that can facilitate our needs for such production, because there is a lack of studio space for production in Dubai so far, this is why we go to Lebanon, to Egypt for example, to do some of our production for our programmes."