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Kuwait must harness media’s untapped potential like UAE, Saudi: Sheikha Abrar

America’s prominent news platforms such as Washington Daily, Yahoo Finance, Market Watch, and many other international renowned news platforms such as UK Times have highly praised the journey of Kuwaiti media entrepreneur and producer, Sheikha Abrar Khaled Jaber Al-Ali Al-Sabah, as a Kuwaiti Royal family member who is contributing to the Arab cinema and drama content through her company Abbey’s Productions, a Kuwait-based production house that is dedicated to elevate the cinematic and new media content in Kuwait and the region.

“It is an honor to be making headlines and recognized by regional and international reputable news platforms. My goal from the get-go was to set a benchmark to the media content produced by our region and expose our authentic and raw stories to the global audience. I believe that being recognized by such platforms is an initial step towards achieving this goal,” stated Sheikha Abrar Al-Sabah.

The coverage report discussed three main impacts of Sheikha Abrar Al-Sabah’s production work on the industry: the impact of her work on the representation of Arab women (specifically women in the Gulf), the advancement of the film-making equipment and technicalities used in her work, and her contribution to the concept of media entrepreneurship as a Kuwaiti female.

In the article, she stated: “Female filmmakers in the Gulf are breaking the stereotypical roles of women in our region and they are highly contributing to the industry. However, more women in Kuwait need to explore other fields than acting because we are in need of Kuwaiti female writers, directors, and producers depicting accurate pictures and narrating raw stories of women in our country and the region,” explained Sheikha Abrar Al-Sabah.

She added that women in the Gulf have the power to eradicate the misrepresentation of the region on global motions, and that Kuwaiti women can reshape the nation’s policies and contribute to the country’s global position by capitalizing on this wide-open window that will expose the real power of Kuwaiti women in different areas of life.

Kuwait’s royal family member affirmed that her goal is to elevate the media content produced in the Gulf to align with the international standard of cinema and television. Accordingly, her production house, Abbey’s productions, focuses on the technicalities of the produced content by adopting the most authentic stories and well-written scripts, using latest film-making and production equipment, and producing the highest quality of content.

In her statement, Sheikha Abrar Al-Sabah also highlighted Kuwait’s key role in the Gulf’s drama and film industry, and stressed on the importance of capitalizing on this untapped non-oil economic opportunity to diversify Kuwait’s economy saying: “Kuwait needs to invest in this field and reposition itself in the ‘Khaleeji-wood.” She also explained the importance of nurturing Kuwait’s film-makers, storytellers and content creators; noting how Kuwaiti film-makers are currently being acquired by Saudi Arabia and contributing to the Kingdom’s emerging film industry.

“Kuwaiti film-makers have had their prints in the region’s film and drama industry. In addition to so many Khaleeji (Gulf) drama and movies, Al-Sattar (2022) on Netflix is a Saudi film but was directed by the prominent Kuwaiti director, Abdullah Al-Arak. Kuwait’s TV drama industry is considered to be the largest and most active drama industry in the Gulf. Our film-makers, actors, and actresses were the first to pave the way for TV drama and film in the region. Our country must capitalize on this opportunity and reposition itself through Kuwaiti media professionals,” she added.

As for media entrepreneurship, Sheikha Abrar Al-Sabah elucidated the significance of supporting media entrepreneurs and empowering them through prominent and key festivals such as the Red Sea Film Festival and Gona Film Festival. “We always hear about tech entrepreneurs, startups, social media influencers, and lifestyle businesses. However, media entrepreneurship is rarely tackled in our region despite this field’s hulking revenues,” she noted.

The article also featured the recent outlook conducted by the international company, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), on MENA’s cinema revenue and taps onto the large revenues that this industry makes in the region. The outlook report forecasts MENA’s cinema revenue to increase by 4% in 2024 compared to the global cinema revenue, which is to decrease by 2.4%. The report also showed that the revenue of MENA alone constitutes almost 2% of the global cinema revenue (including Asia).

“I don’t see that there is any contradiction between working in the media and being an Arab woman. I come from a Royal family and I am still committed and dedicated towards my mission and hopes for my country, Kuwait, to be globally positioned through the Global ‘wood,” concluded Sheikha Abrar Al-Sabah.

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