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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 February 2021

Lebanese singer Elissa set to launch an exclusive new podcast on Anghami

The move marks the star's first collaboration with the streaming service since 2018

Elissa will return to Anghami with a new podcast. Supplied 
Elissa will return to Anghami with a new podcast. Supplied 

Elissa is set to host her own podcast on Anghami.

The streaming platform confirmed on Wednesday that the Lebanese pop star will helm her own audio series, which will be available exclusively on the site.

While neither Elissa nor Anghami gave further details on the content of the podcast and its launch date, the platform did post a preview video on Instagram and Twitter showing Elissa walking into the company’s studios.

The move marks the singer's first collaboration with Anghami since the majority of her music catalogue was removed from the platform and streaming sites Spotify and Apple Music in favour of rivals Deezer, as part of a 2018 exclusive distribution deal.

Elissa decried the move, as a result of which about 500 million streams wiped away, in a social media post following the announcement of the agreement.

"It's true. My content is being blocked by Rotana because of their new agreement with Deezer," she tweeted. "I am devastated to see my efforts vanish after all these years."

With Elissa’s latest Rotana-released album Sahbit Raey exclusively available on Deezer, it remains to be seen whether this new tie-up with Anghami is limited to the podcast series or is part of a wider distribution deal.

Anghami has big plans for Abu Dhabi

Elissa’s return to the platform comes after Anghami chief executive Elie Habib announced the relocation of the company's headquarters from the Lebanese capital Beirut to Abu Dhabi.

As part of a Dh2 billion ($545 million) partnership with Abu Dhabi Investment Office, Anghami will set up a research and development centre in the UAE capital.

Anghami's Lebanese co-founders Eddy Maroun, left, and Elie Habib at their headquarter in Beirut. Natalie Naccache for The National
Anghami's Lebanese co-founders Eddy Maroun, left, and Elie Habib at their headquarters in Beirut. Natalie Naccache for The National

Speaking to The National about the agreement, Habib says Anghami will take up offices in Abu Dhabi Global Market on Al Maryah Island later in the year.

He said the first batch of 50 engineers will relocate from the Beirut office to Abu Dhabi in February.

Habib says the partnership with ADIO reflects Anghami’s ambition to be the region’s leading tech company.

“We have been positioned as a Lebanese start-up company; now we are saying we are not that any more and we are something bigger,” he says.

“By moving to Abu Dhabi, we will have access to skills, talent and investors to take the company to the next level.”

Updated: February 4, 2021 05:27 PM

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