• Screening at Alkersal Avenue featured a roster of established and up-and-coming Arabic stars

Dubai, UAE; 10 February, 2023: STARZPLAY and Image Nation Abu Dhabi hosted an exclusive screening of the first two episodes of the highly anticipated STARZPLAY original Kaboos at Cinema Akil at Alserkal Avenue prior to the official streaming debut. 

Cast and crew from the series attended the screening, including Rakeen Saad, Passant Shawky, Kady Al Qaisy, Abdullah Al Muhairi, Mansoor Alfeeli, Mohammed Al Alawi, Hana Kazim, Majid Al Ansari and Yasir Al Yasiri. The event gave guests an opportunity to hear firsthand about the characters and story inspirations and to participate in a live Q&A with the cast and crew. 


While at the screening, Maaz Sheikh, CEO of STARZPLAY, said: “Developing Kaboos has been a labour of love for STARZPLAY and reflects the focus that we have had since our inception; which is to bring high quality shows to the local audience. Kaboos sets new industry standards with excellent production values and bringing an authentic Arab voice to the horror genre. This production shows that STARZPLAY can deliver world-class homegrown content and Kaboos has a place of pride in our portfolio of STARZPLAY Original shows.”

Kaboos, set to stream exclusively on STARZPLAY starting from February 9, is inspired by the rich Arab mythology and storytelling traditions that have passed on tales of horror and dread for generations. The series takes viewers on a journey through frightening urban legends from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt and the UAE, with five standalone episodes depicting a spine-chilling modern retelling of stories inspired by regional mythology. 

In the first episode of the series, Al Ghoul, a remote Bedouin tribe in Saudi Arabia in the 1930s is being stalked by a pack of wild hyenas that is devastating livestock and is suspected to be killing humans. When a child of the tribe is snatched in the night, a chain of horrifying events unfold in the desert.  Directed by Hana Kazim and starring Lamis Al Qahtani, Saeed Saleh and Mansoor Al Feeli. Episodes 1 and 2 premiere exclusively on STARZPLAY on 9 February.

Werewolf (Al Salawa), the second episode, is set in 1920s Egypt in the Valley of the Kings and directed by Yasir Al Yasiri, Warewolf take place among the excavations of ancient Egyptian tombs. These excavations coincide with tales of rabid werewolf-like beasts claiming victims up and down the Nile. The clash between ancient practices and modern ideas polarises the population in the remote Valley of the Kings. Starring Rakeen Saad, Khaled Anwar, Passant Shawky and Alaa Kouka and directed by Yasir Al Yasiri. Episodes 1 and 2 premiere exclusively on STARZPLAY on 9 February.

Episode 3, Al Ghaf, directed by Ahmed Khaled and set in the UAE, tells the tale of a journalist investigating a missing person’s case of a young boy who vanished under unusual circumstances. His search leads him to a mysterious tree which he discovers has a disturbing and ominous history. Starring Abdullah Saeed Bin Haider. Episode 3 premieres exclusively on STARZPLAY on 16 February.

The Donkey of the Afternoon (Himar Al Gaila), the fourth episode of the series, is set in Kuwait in the 1980s and tells the tale of half-donkey, half-human creature that preys on children when they are left alone playing outside while their parents are taking an afternoon nap. Directed by Majid Al Ansari (Zinzana, Paranormal), and starring Abdullah Al Muhairi, Alaa Shaker, Mohammed Al Alawi, Eman Taher, Haidy Ahmad, Ahmad Ragab, Mohammed Alsharbaki, Ehab Al Jainani, Omar Tareq, Sadia and Rasem Abdulfatah. Episodes 4 premieres exclusively on STARZPLAY on 23 February.

The final episode of the series, Umm Al Duwais, explores the legend of a scorned female jinn, and revolves around Khalid and his friends, who meet regularly to cruise the streets and cafes of Dubai. One night while driving around, Khalid gets into a fender bender with a stunning woman named Leila, and they both feel an immediate attraction, but her intentions are far more sinister than what Khalid had anticipated. Directed by Bahraini director Hala Matar and stars Abrar Al Hamad, Kady Al Qaisy, Suhaib Al Hasani and Ahmad Al Saeed. Episodes 5 premieres exclusively on STARZPLAY on 2 March.

Commenting on the production, Ben Ross, Chief Content Officer, Image Nation, said: “We could not have asked for a better partner in STARZPLAY in producing a locally made show that represents audiences in this region by filmmakers in the region. The launch of the series is significant in that it will enable us to present a new perspective of the Arabic horror genre that resonates with regional consumers. Image Nation Abu Dhabi is dedicated to supporting and cultivating local talent, and we are excited for STARZPLAY subscribers to witness the region’s rich story-telling culture through Kaboos.”

Filmed across the UAE and Egypt, and the horror anthology series is produced by Yasir Al Yasiri’s and Mansoor Al Feeli’s production company, Starship Entertainment. 

The launch of Kaboos is a testament to STARZPLAY’s commitment to diversify its content to meet the needs of its audiences. The platform saw a unique opportunity to create Arabic content in a niche category such as the thriller genre with stories from the region which will resonate with MENA viewers. 

With thousands of hours of premium content including blockbuster movies, exclusive TV shows, kids’ content, Arabic series, as well as varied content via add-on channels, STARZPLAY is the number one player in the MENA region. The service is available in 19 countries across the Middle East and North Africa for fans to enjoy quality content anytime, anywhere, and from any device.