28 Arabic shows to watch in the UAE this Ramadan: 'Al Mishwar' to ‘Suits’

From food shows to drama, comedy and variety entertainment, the television scene makes a strong return for Ramadan

Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Ramadan is the Arab world’s blockbuster season for television.

While offerings in the previous two years were somewhat hampered by the Covid-19 pandemic, the industry has returned strong, with several promising titles across comedy, drama and variety. There's actually quite a bit to keep track of.

To help, we’ve put together a master list of 28 shows to tune in to from the UAE this holy month.

Food:

‘Shu Biyheb Al Orf: Lahme w Bas’

Red meat is at the heart of every recipe in this cooking show by chef Mohamad Orfali. Photo: Fatafeat

Chef Mohamad Orfali is back with a Ramadan show that fuses traditional and international cuisines with red meat at the heart of its ingredients. Each episode will feature a unique selection of starters, sides, and main course perfect for both iftar and suhoor.

Where to watch: beIN channel 251 and Jawwy channel 54

‘Tabkhetna Ghair’

Find new and innovative spins on Arabic food staples in this fast-moving cooking show. Bahraini and Saudi chefs Naseem Rasrummani and Abdulaziz Alhumedan team up to present their new versions and old classics to showcase the dynamism of Arabic cuisine.

Where to watch: Abu Dhabi TV

‘Ajeen w T’heen’

Popular for her quick and easy recipes, chef Chahrazad will take on the Fatafeat Kitchen to share her baked specialities with viewers. Photo: Fatafeat

This is a new series in which Fatafeat will introduce the internet sensation chef Chahrazad as part of its celebrated lineup of chefs.

Popular for her quick and easy recipes, Chahrazad will take to the Fatafeat Kitchen to share her baked specialities with viewers, including a wide range of sweet and savoury creations. Each episode will consist of four segments featuring an appetiser, a side, a main course and dessert.

Where to watch: beIN channel 251 and Jawwy channel 54

‘Iftarna Gheir’

Syrian chef Hala Ayash returns and collaborates with some of the Arab world’s leading cooks and foodies to create new and traditional dishes from Saudi Arabia and the wider Levant.

Where to watch: MBC 1, MBC Iraq and Shahid

Drama:

‘Al Mishwar’

Mohamed Ramadan in the crime series 'Al Mishwar'. Photo: Instagram / @mohamedramadanws

In one of the most anticipated shows of the season, Egyptian stars Mohamed Ramadan and Dina Elsherbiny team up for a high-stakes crime series.

In the series, which translates as "The Journey", Ramadan plays Maher, a taxi driver who is accused of trafficking antiquities, and goes on the run with his wife, Ward (Elsherbiny).

Where to watch: MBC 1, MBC Iraq and Shahid

‘Suits’

The Arabic-language adaptation of the hit US drama Suits will be launched across the Middle East during Ramadan. The legal drama, which ran for nine seasons from 2011 to 2019, was a ratings success for NBCUniversal Formats, and also made a star out of Meghan Markle.

Egyptian star Asser Yassin will play the lead in the remake, in the role of Harvey Specter, the smooth-talking senior lawyer, made famous by actor Gabriel Macht. Actor Ahmed Dawood will play Mike Ross, Harvey's mentee and whose photographic memory makes him a great lawyer despite his lack of qualifications. Actress Tara Emad will play Rachel Zane, a paralegal who aspires to be lawyer, in the role made famous by Markle.

Where to watch: OSN Plus

‘Al Zaqoum’

Kuwaiti’s Saad Al-Faraj and Bahrain’s Qahtan Al Qahtani play ageing friends who swindled a rich man of his inheritance seven decades ago. As they reach the twilight of their lives, the repercussions of the crime become apparent.

Where to watch: Abu Dhabi TV

‘Al Asouf 3’

Nasser Al Qasabi in 'Al Asouf 3' which depicts life in Saudi Arabia before the oil boom. Photo: MBC

Veteran Saudi comic Nasser Al Qasabi returns for the third season of this modern historical drama that looks at the family and social character of the kingdom in the 1970s.

The drama has been praised for highlighting a different side of Saudi Arabia — a simpler time before the oil boom when family life was at the centre of society.

Where to watch: MBC 1 and Shahid

‘Al Aedun’

Egyptian actor Amir Karara plays the lead role in Al Aedun, a series that revolves around covert operations by Egyptian security against terrorist cells.

The series is reportedly based on true stories of Egyptian intelligence forces tracking down ISIS fighters who returned to Egypt between 2018 and 2020.

Where to watch: Dubai TV

‘Mohammad Ali Road’

Named after a main thoroughfare in Kuwait City, the ensemble drama is inspired by the famous saying of the late Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez: “All human beings have three lives: public, private and secret.”

The second season features a new plot that centres on Yassin, a mysterious seaman who arrives in Kuwait on an abandoned ship. Thought to have drowned, Yassin worries his family with his insistent belief about possessing supernatural powers.

Where to watch: Abu Dhabi TV

‘Min Share’ Al Haram Ela…’

The show is an unfolding mystery featuring an ensemble cast led by Kuwait’s Huda Hussein and Khaled Al-Buraiki. Set in Cairo, the opening episode begins with Abla (Hussein) celebrating her son’s wedding.

Things go increasingly wry, however, when the belly dancer hired for the event cannot return to her country owing to what she says are faulty travel documents. How long can Abla host her surprise guest and does her story hold up?

Where to watch: MBC 1 and Shahid

‘Faten Amal Harbi’

The series revolves around the custody issues faced by divorced mothers as they plan to remarry. Egyptian actress Nelly Karim stars as a real estate agent who enters into a conflict with her former husband and mother-in-law over the custody of her two daughters.

Faten Amal Harbi is directed by Mohamed El Adl, and stars Sherif Salama, Hala Sedki, Khaled Sarhan and Mohammed Tharwat.

Where to watch: Dubai TV

‘Aa’ilat Abdulhamid Hafez’

Obsessed by the late Egyptian crooner Abdel Halim Hafez, aspiring singer Abdulhamid Al Sarhan decides to live his dream and launch a music career in his sixties, to strong objections from family and friends.

Where to watch: Abu Dhabi TV

‘Kasr Adem’

Boasting a stellar cast that includes Rashid Assaf and Karess Bashar, the topical drama deals with the corruption in aspects of Syrian society. From suspect businessmen to shady government officials, Kasr Adem aims to show the far-reaching effects of such insidious practices.

Where to watch: Abu Dhabi TV

‘Tooba’

Amr Saad in 'Tooba' plays a man with a dark past. Photo: MBC

The past and present weave together in this psychological drama. Egyptian actor Amr Saad plays a man who leaves a criminal life for a quieter existence. However, the darkness of his past is never far behind and leads to dire consequences.

Where to watch: MBC1, MBC 5, MBC Iraq, MBC Masr and Shahid

‘Pablo’

The show stars Hassan El Raddad in the title role about a tenacious social justice warrior who gets more than he bargains for when tackling a human trafficking ring in Cairo. El Raddad is joined by fellow Egyptian actors Ahmed Zaher and Nabil Al Hilfawi in what promises to be a hard-hitting drama.

Where to watch: Abu Dhabi TV

Comedy:

‘Studio 22’

From left, Alanoud Saud, Abdel Aziz El Nassar, Habib Al-Habib and Khaled Al-Muzaffar in 'Studio 22'. Photo: MBC

The follow-up to last year’s successful Saudi sitcom Studio 21, the new series stars Habib Al-Habib as the manager of a bankrupt satellite television channel trying to handle the competitiveness and jealousy of rival staff members.

Where to watch: MBC 1 and Shahid

‘Bokaat Daw’

The hit Syrian social comedy series returns for its 15th season after a two-year hiatus. The show’s skits are famed for comically depicting social and political issues in Syria and the Arab world.

Where to watch: Syrian Drama TV

‘Shughl Aali’

Popular Egyptian comedic actors Fifi Abdou, Shereen Reda and Ahmad Bayoumi team up in a story about two friends from different backgrounds brought together, after being respectively dumped by their partners. Eager to settle scores, they set up a company consulting women on how to deal with manipulative men.

Where to watch: Abu Dhabi TV

‘Kaid Al Harim’

This romantic comedy that tells the story of Sumaya, played by Kuwaiti actress Hanadi Alkanderi, a divorced woman with children whose second husband dies on the night of their wedding.

Flush with cash from his inheritance, she must battle the devious plots of her in-laws, as well as raise her mischievous stepchildren.

Where to watch: Abu Dhabi TV

‘Ahlam Saeida’

A series starring Youssra, Ghada Adel, Mai Kassab and Nabil Nour El Deen, Ahlam Saeida follows three middle-aged women who suffer from insomnia. After a chance encounter brings them together, they become entangled in a series of problems that forces them to work together.

Where to watch: Dubai TV

‘Minho Waladna?’

Loosely based on Mark Twain's 1937 novel The Prince and the Pauper, the dark Saudi comedy (translated to Who is our Son?) follows two men whose lives change after they learn they were mistakenly given to the wrong families as newborns.

One grows up to become a high-flying chief executive while the other is unemployed and can barely make ends meet. After discovering the mix-up, both try to work together to reconcile with their respective families.

Where to watch: MBC 1 and Shahid

Variety:

‘Ramez Movie Star’

Ramez Galal has been skirting that fine line between entertainment and cruelty for nearly a decade, to great success.

The Arab world's most notorious television prankster returns with another elaborate stunt to scare regional and international celebrities.

While details of this year’s set-up is tightly under wraps, what we do know is the show is done with the support of Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority, so we can expect the action to take place within the kingdom.

Where to watch: MBC1, MBC 5, MBC Iraq, MBC Masr and Shahid

‘Al Sadma: Season 4’

A popular candid camera show with a purpose. Egypt’s Karim Kojak and Saudi Arabia’s Raed Abu Fityan present a series where members of the public in the Arab world are put in socially fraught situations, to see how they react.

The show aims to provide “an insight into human psychology” as to how societal norms and standards affect our behaviours.

Where to watch: MBC1 and Shahid

'Ahlan Simsim'

Puppeteer Leen Sorsok stands near 'Ameera' the new muppet character who uses a purple wheelchair or crutches to get around owing to a spinal cord injury, on the set of the children's TV show 'Ahlan Simsim'. Reuters

Ahlan Simsim, the award-winning children’s show from the creators of Iftah Ya Simsim and Sesame Street shows around the world, returns with a new season this Ramadan.

The fifth season will focus on the social-emotional skills of kindness towards oneself and others. It will also introduce a new muppet character named Ameera.

She is an inquisitive, spunky, confident girl aged 8, who also happens to have a spinal cord injury and uses a wheelchair and crutches. She’s everyone’s favourite comedian, and her great sense of humour serves her well as a natural leader who encourages others with her bright personality.

Where to watch: MBC3

‘Al Ruwaad with Ahmad AlShugairi’

Influential Saudi social commentator Ahmad AlShugairi returns with a new Ramadan series exploring the lives and achievements of a variety of international pioneers from countries including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Jordan, the US and Germany.

Where to watch: MBC1 and Shahid

‘Hadith Al Imam Al Tayyeb’

Dr Ahmad El Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, hosts this daily spiritual show in which he details the various lessons and insights Muslims can learn during Ramadan and beyond.

Where to watch: Abu Dhabi TV

‘Al Dunya B’Khair — Awnak’

Presented by Ahmed Al Yammahi, this heartwarming series takes an inside look at the UAE's Red Crescent and sheds light on their work across the Arab world. Shot in various locations across the region, the series also features profound interviews with those struggling at the margins, in order to raise awareness of their plight.

Where to watch: Abu Dhabi TV

Updated: May 01, 2022, 11:09 AM