Dubai-based American documentary-maker and businesswoman Carla DiBello is reportedly poised to launch Arabia Plus next month, a new streaming platform aimed at providing “authentic” content in terms of Middle Eastern stories.
The new platform will initially feature seven originals produced by DiBello’s team, including a short film and a series, as well as Arab films and content from budding regional filmmakers.
Arabia Plus’s content will include Saudi Arabian documentary about lesser known parts of Seven Wonders of Saudi Arabia; an Abu Dhabi film about the history of the UAE, and psychological thriller Maskoon, which recently premiered at the Red Sea International Film Festival in Saudi Arabia.
DiBello, who produced Keeping up with the Kardashians, moved to Dubai in 2014, having launched CBD Advisory, a consulting firm aimed at bridging connections across private sectors throughout the Middle East and North America.
She is quoted a saying: “The way I describe Dubai back then is like New York City or Manhattan when it was first being developed and you’re at this place where you’re part of the change.
“Potential investors would be saying that they want to bring a brand that doesn’t exist in the GCC yet to the market here and I would be like, I know the owner of that company that can help you. It was just a constant putting the puzzle pieces together,” she added.
Her team shot documentary Electric Kingdom, which told the story of Formula E in Saudi Arabia, and DiBello came to realise that there was a gap in storytelling in the region, which led her to come up with Arabia Plus.
She was quoted as saying: “There are a lot of local productions in Arabic, and that’s great. But there’s so many rich stories from this part of the world that never reach globally, whether that’s because they are in Arabic or just done in a different way.
“All Arabia Plus originals are funded by us. We’re soon going to go out and raise capital for the brand itself and will either find case-by-case partnerships or CO investors to work with on the films,” DiBello added.