Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 2 June 2020

From Saudi Arabia's first soap opera to the return of Ramez Galal: MBC reveals star-studded Ramadan TV line-up

The great Egyptian comic Adel Imam also returns to the small screen with a new series this holy month

Nasser Al Qasabi is one of Saudi Arabia's greatest comic actors. MBC
Nasser Al Qasabi is one of Saudi Arabia's greatest comic actors. MBC

Pan-Arab broadcaster MBC has revealed another bumper television line-up for Ramadan.

More than 30 new shows will screen across MBC’s five channels this holy month, featuring some of the biggest stars from the region. Included in the mix is what is being dubbed as the Arab world’s first soap opera series, an action-packed account of an Egyptian military hero and the return of the Egyptian comedy king Adel Imam.

Broadcast times will be announced a few days before Ramadan begins, which is estimated to be around Thursday, April 23.

Here are some of the key shows coming your way during the holy month:

'Al Mirath' (MBC 1)

This is a Saudi Arabian production with an Abu Dhabi twist. Al Mirath (The Inheritance), dubbed the Arab world's first soap opera, will continue daily throughout Ramadan and beyond.

The series – developed by MBC Studios, twofour54 and Image Nation Abu Dhabi – aims to showcase the modern day realities of life in the kingdom through the experiences of a Saudi family. Since this is a soap opera, expect the usual rivalries and the occasional scandal.

'Valentino' (MBC 1)

The Ramadan TV landscape just wasn’t the same last year due to the absence of Adel Imam. After sitting out 2019’s batch of shows, the legendary Egyptian actor and comic returns as the star of Valentino.

In this comedy, Imam plays the title character, who owns a large school franchise in Egypt. It doesn’t take long to realise that Valentino is a shady businessman. However, that gravy train is about to stop once his headmistress wife (Dalia Elbeheri) – a disciplinarian both at home and in the classroom – finds out about his schemes.

'Al Ikhtiyar' (MBC Drama)

In one of the most anticipated dramas of the year, Amir Karara channels his trademark intensity in this biopic of Egyptian army colonel Ahmed Al Mansi. Renowned as the leader of elite tactical group The Thunderbolt Forces, the series traces his career and his tragic death in a 2017 terrorist attack in Northern Sinai.

'Makhraj 7' (MBC 1)

One of the greatest comedic chroniclers of Saudi Arabian life is back with another Ramadan offering. After giving us a glimpse of the kingdom before its oil boom in last year’s Al Assouf, Nasser Al Qasabi returns with the sitcom Makhraj 7.

Translated as Exit 7, the series has Al Qasabi playing a lowly government clerk stuck working in the complaints department. Set in present-day Saudi Arabia, even the coronavirus gets a mention in the show, with the actor's character juggling concerns heard both at work and home.

'El Prince' (MBC 1)

After the success of 2016’s high voltage thriller Al Ostoura, Egyptian action man Mohamed Ramadan teams up, once again, with director Mohamed Sami in what is promised to be an exciting crime family saga.

'Ramez Galal Returns' (MBC 1)

Will you laugh or cry? That has always been the line notorious Egyptian prankster Ramez Galal skirted with during his popular yet controversial series. Once again, expect Galal to lure his A-list guests(past episodes include a flight gone wrong with Paris Hilton) into what they think is a benign meeting before drama ensues and celebrities are reduced to a teary mess.

'Mahadesh Fahem Haga' (MBC 1)

If Ramez Galal’s hair-raising shtick doesn’t tickle your funny bone, then you might enjoy this charming and low-key affair. Translated as "no one understands a thing”, celebrity comic Mohamed Tharwat hits the street in disguise and asks ordinary people to do unusual things.

Manaber Al-Nour (MBC 1)

Esteemed Islamic scholar Saleh Al Maghamsi is the star of this 30-part interview series, where he will explore modern-day issues through an encouraging spiritual lens.

'Ihsan Men El Mostakbal' (MBC 1)

Popular Saudi youth personality and best-selling author Ahmad Al Shugairi fronts another educational Ramadan series. This time around, his subject of interest is technology and, through his interviews and investigations, Al Shugairi looks at the rise of artificial intelligence.

'Hala B Ramadan' (MBC 1)

Learn to prepare your favourite regional dish from some of the Arab world’s finest cooks. Each episode will host a celebrity Arab chef as they provide tips on how to elevate simple dishes into Instagram-ready fare.

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Read more:

From dramas to game shows: Abu Dhabi TV and Emarat TV reveal colourful Ramadan line-up

Ramadan line-up: Sharjah to release more than 90 new radio and TV shows in time for the holy month

Why 'Inheritance', the world's first Arabic soap opera 'lives, breathes and speaks Saudi'

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Updated: April 16, 2020 01:33 PM

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