Millennial-focused media company Vice Media is continuing its global expansion with the launch of a Middle Eastern regional headquarters.
Anchoring the unveiling of Vice Arabia is its first original production, a documentary titled Bil Arabi (In Arabic; pictured).
The hour-long project will look to highlight Arab youth perspectives on modern-day life in the Middle East and North Africa. Spanning 12 cities throughout the region, the film documents visual landscapes and wide-ranging opinions in an effort to spotlight a variety of topics including religion, politics, love and money, as well as how it feels to be an Arab millennial in 2017.
Islam Alrayyes, editor-in-chief Vice MENA, said that Bil Arabi serves as a “testament to the important work we’ll aim to do at Vice Arabia in representing the many voices of young people across the region.”
Vice’s Middle Eastern expansion was announced earlier this year following a partnership with the Moby Group. The regional hub is based in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and is headed by Alrayyes, who will lead a team of regional writers, editors, directors and producers. The Arabic team will push original content spanning Arabic lifestyle and entertainment in several languages including Arabic, English, Farsi, Turkish and Urdu, which will then be translated and published across all of Vice’s global platforms.
Alrayyes previously oversaw Sport360′s digital operations as editor-in-chief, served as head of digital content at Abu Dhabi Media, and co-founded media consultancy firm Gravity Seven.
Elsewhere, Jason Leavy has been appointed as managing director for the Vice MENA operation. He will be responsible for overseeing the creative and strategic development across all mediums for Vice Arabia. Most recently, Leavy served as MD of UAE-based agency Edelman DABO.
The move follows a wave of recent global rollouts from Vice Media, with its video content slated to reach 80 territories by the beginning of 2018. Earlier this year, the youth-focused company inked deals that saw its presence expand across South Africa (Econet Media), Israel (Partner TV), Brazil (Globosat), the Middle East (Moby Group), India (Times of India), and Iberia (AMC Networks International).