A scene from the TV show Zain. Courtesy Abu Dhabi TV
A scene from the TV show Zain. Courtesy Abu Dhabi TV

Abu Dhabi TV relaunches two channels



The UAE's 42nd anniversary is on Monday and the spirit of renewal is not only felt by the population but also the local television landscape. Abu Dhabi TV (owned by Abu Dhabi Media, which also owns The National) is getting a make-over, with a slick new look and content that appeals to all segments of society.
Leading the pack of nearly 20 new programmes is Abu Dhabi Al Emarat's twin flagship variety programmes, the morning talk show Sabah Al Dar, and the evening current affairs broadcast, Uloum Al Dar.
The latter, which is broadcast at 8pm daily, focuses on news relating to Emirati life spanning the seven Emirates. From Sunday onwards, the show introduces a new team of hosts and will be presented from a new studio designed and developed by Abu Dhabi Media's broadcasting partners Sky News Arabia, Sky News UK and twofour54.
Sabah Al Dar screens on Abu Dhabi Al Emarat, Sunday to Thursday, 8am to 10am and on Friday and Saturday, 9am to 11am. Produced live in the capital, the variety show features morning talk-show staples,with health, fashion and beauty segments interspersed with news and weather reports.
The new game show So'alna wa Jawab (Catch the Answer) also makes its debut on Monday. The fast-paced entertainment programme has four contestants battling it out to win a Dh40,000 prize and broadcasts at 7.30pm from Sunday to Thursday. At the end of each episode, the contestant with the highest score will be asked the winning question. They can choose to not answer, leave with Dh4,000, and return for a further episode. Answer it incorrectly and the contestant leaves the show with no prize at all.
While the quiz focuses on general topics, the charm of So'alna wa Jawab lies in the answers being much easier than you think.
"They are actually in the questions themselves," says the host Abdullah Al Ghamdi.
So'alna wa Jawab makes its debut on Sunday with a special National Day edition featuring Emirati personalities, including the singer Faiz Al Saeed and the actor Marwan Abdallah Salah.
The special episode focuses on different aspects of UAE ­culture.
"It will be a special show and it is a great way to start the programme," Al Ghamdi says. "We will really test the local knowledge of these big stars and the best part is all of the money that is won goes to a charity of their choice." Al Ghamdi hopes the tricky questions will become a source of animated discussions in local households.
"It is definitely a show for the whole family and for people from all nationalities," he says.
"I am sure people will be arguing with the screen saying: 'look the answer is right there.'"
We look at some of the key shows starting next week, from regional dramas to cooking shows
1 Zain 
7pm, Sunday to Thursday, Abu Dhabi Al Oula
A 30-episode drama on the lives of the little Zain and her family. The Jordanian drama, starring Qais Al Shaikh Najib, has a fresh, modern look, quite different from the Bedouin-inspired TV shows the country is well-known for.
2 Matlloub Chef (Request a Chef)
10pm, Monday, Abu Dhabi Al Emarat
This culinary programme has viewers visiting some of the leading Emirati restaurants in Abu Dhabi as the chef showcases some of the finest local and regional cuisine.
3 What's Up Academy
7pm, Sunday to Thursday, Abu Dhabi Al Emarat
An Emirati sitcom following eight local traders who realise the only way to get ahead in the world is to embrace technology. The crew enrols in a computer course and chaos ensues.
4 Bain Nareen (Between Two Flames)
9pm, Sunday, Abu Dhabi Al Oula
A culinary show where temperatures - and tempers - are bound to soar. Each week, a man is put on the spot and made to taste a variety of dishes. The bottom line? He has to decide who is the better cook, his wife or his mother.
5 Il Ain Al Youm (Where to Today?)
11pm, Sunday to Thursday, Abu Dhabi Al Oula
A Gulf ensemble about a family whose members face daily struggles. Each character has his own set of challenges and the decisions they make affect everyone - for better or worse.
6 Mushabeh Aleik (I Get That a Lot)
9pm, Thursdays, Abu Dhabi Al Oula
An innovative take on the candid camera format where Arab stars are found working menial jobs and the public comment on their celebrity resemblance.
7 Samt Al Bouh (The Spoken Silence)
9pm, Sunday to Thursday, Abu DhabiAl Emarat
Trust an Emirati melodrama to leave you reaching for the Kleenex. Nashwa Moustafa and Mohammaed Al Amary play star-crossed lovers who struggle to maintain a relationship while going against family and societal norms. The show marks the first series to be fully produced in Abu Dhabi.
8 Joonon Al Ouloum (Crazy Science)
7pm, Fridays, Abu Dhabi Al Emarat
A programme that tries to bring the fun back in education. Its hosts, Nancy Iskender and Hassan Abdullah Al Malla, examine different cultural and scientific concepts each week through a mix of interviews and practical demonstrations.
9 Stories from Al Ain Zoo
9pm, Saturdays, Abu Dhabi Al Emarat
A family programme on the various animals inhabiting the UAE's most famous zoo. As well as getting up close to cute and furry creatures, the show goes behind the scenes and follows the staff as they feed and care for the animals.
. For more information, visit www.adtv.ae
sasaeed@thenational.ae

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