Legendary British TV series The Office is soon getting an Arabic spin off marking the 12th international iteration of the show. Much like Suits earlier this year, the cult comedy program will be revisited and granted a Saudi re-do according to recently released statements. 20 years after its first airing on UK TVs, both the BBC and Dubai-based MBC group have green-lit the production of the Middle Eastern remake of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s award-winning brainchild.
Titled Al Maktab, which literally translates to The Office in English, the plot will follow a different trajectory than the original series. Centred around the daily lives of a funny bunch of employees, this Arabic show will come with its own set of novelties as it will be set in a courier services company. The main character will be played by Saleh Abuamrh, the company’s self-absorbed yet endearing boss, whereas the rest of the cast will include the likes of Fahad Albutairi, Saudi Arabia’s first stand-up comedian, Jameel Jedan actor Saad Aziz, Egyptian director Hisham Hawsawi, and more.
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“Audiences around the world, including in the MENA region, are no strangers to ‘The Office’, and given its huge success over the past two decades, it’s incredibly exciting for us to now be bringing the very first Arabic version of the comedy to MBC’s screens very soon,” said Zeinab Abul Alsamh, general manager of MBC Studios KSA.
“Al Maktab features a very talented cast from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and beyond who will bring the stories of this eccentric group of colleagues and their boss to life, reimagined for Middle Eastern and Gulf audiences for the very first time. It’s definitely one for the history books!”, she added.
Set to be filmed later on this month, the twenty-part series is expected to run on all of MBC’s TV networks and be available to stream later this year on Shahid VIP, the world’s leading Arabic streaming platform.