‘The Office’ Is Getting a Saudi Arabian Version

MBC Studios is producing the show after striking a deal with BBC Studios

Ricky Gervais in "The Office" (BBC)
Ricky Gervais in "The Office" (BBC)

Saudi Arabia is getting its own version of “The Office.”

“Al Maktab,” the name of the Saudi Arabian version, will span 20 episodes. MBC Studios is producing the show, after making a deal with BBC Studios, which licenses the franchise.

The new version, which begins production in June, is set at a courier company.

It will star Saleh Abuamrh, who will play the boss – Malik Al-Tuwaifi. Egyptian director Hisham Fathi helms the series. Alessandro Martella is director of photography. AFLAM Productions’ Shadi Mcdad is line producer.

Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant created the series, which premiered in the U.K. in 2001. Gervias originated the boss role of David Brent, which Steve Carell’s Michael Scott was modeled on in the U.S. version. The new show is the 12th version of “The Office” franchise.

“Although office working may look slightly different for many of us in 2022, the familiarity of these well-observed characters as they navigate petty rivalries, moments of friendship and humour, and a boss that sometimes makes a fool of themselves still rings just as true,” André Renaud, SVP of format sales for BBCS, said in a statement.

“Audiences around the world, including in the MENA region, are no strangers to ‘The Office,’ and given its huge success over the past two decades, it’s incredibly exciting for us to now be bringing the very first Arabic version of the comedy to MBC’s screens very soon,” Zeinab Abul Alsamh, GM of MBC Studios, said in a statement.