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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

Spotify looks to launch its music streaming services in the UAE

Job listings have indicated that candidates would work from the company's “Dubai office”

Spotify is looking to open up regional offices around the world, including the UAE. Lucas Jackson / Reuters   
Spotify is looking to open up regional offices around the world, including the UAE. Lucas Jackson / Reuters   

Spotify is planning to start streaming its music services in the UAE, The National has learnt, after job listings posted to LinkedIn indicated that candidates would work from the company’s “Dubai office”.

Although no time frame was given, the Stockholm-based service has indicated its interest in the region’s robust music-streaming market.

In February, Spotify said in a public document – available through the US Securities and Exchange Commission – that it had leased regional offices in dozens of countries, including the UAE.

The National contacted Spotify, and the company said it would open in the Emirates but could not confirm when. “Spotify’s long-term goal is to be available in every country but we don’t have any news to share on future launches at this time,” a spokesperson said.

The advert on LinkedIn said whoever fills the position offered will “join Spotify’s shows and editorial team in Dubai”.

The company, which has more than 170 million users, will compete with other music streaming services in the Middle East and North Africa including Apple Music and Anghami, which launched pay-to-play services two years ago.

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The three streaming services are among many in the region vying to acquire exclusive media rights.

It is not yet clear if Spotify’s licensing rights to songs and music videos in the Arab world will differ from the services it provides in other countries.

Music fans in the UAE that want to use Spotify have previously had to prove their residency in another country, through a credit card.

Although the app can be downloaded from the UAE Apple store, unlike its Android counterpart, the free streaming service remains unavailable.

Launched from Sweden in 2006, Spotify was geared towards providing people free access to music with a premium paid option.

Premium users can listen to the entire 35 million song catalogue and download any songs and tunes for offline listening.

The streaming service operates in 65 countries but has yet to tap into the Arab market.