Netflix has just dropped the bombshell we’ve all been waiting for— an Arabic version of Love is Blind. Last week, the streaming giant announced that a UAE-based edition of the famed reality series is hitting screens this month, and it is called— wait for it— Love is Blind, Habibi. Despite being filmed in the UAE, the cast will include single Arab men and women from all parts of the Middle East and North Africa who reside in Dubai.
In the US version of the hit series, which debuted in 2020, single men and women blind date in “pods” where they can only hear their date’s voice. The couples only meet if they build an authentic connection across 10 days worth of dates and decide to get engaged, without having ever seen each other. The couples are then whisked away on a romantic holiday before moving in together. They then have a limited number of weeks to get to know their partner and decide if they are compatible enough to proceed with their wedding day. Obviously, for cultural and religious reasons, this premise wouldn’t work in our region so it will be interesting to see what kind of adjustments, if any, showrunners have had to make. Come to think of it though, the idea of getting engaged and married within weeks is very Arab-coded.
The Arabic spin-off will stay true to the dating show’s main premise by following young single Arabs on their quest to find a future spouse who loves them for who they are and not what they look like. Hosted by Saudi actor Elham Ali and her husband Khaled Saqr, Love is Blind, Habibi is the latest rendition of the social experiment, which has been recreated in Japan, Brazil, and Sweden.
It is also the latest reality show targeted to audiences in the Middle East, following the success of the Real Housewives of Dubai and Dubai Bling.
While the release date has yet to be announced, the first season of Love is Blind premiered on Netflix on Feb. 13, with the sixth season slated to hit screens on Feb. 14— Valentine’s Day. In the meantime, you can watch the trailer for the hotly-anticipated Arabic version of the dating show below.
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