Sony Music Publishing, the world’s largest music publisher, is expanding its operations across the Middle East and North Africa with a new office in Dubai. The region will be led by managing director Dounia Chaaban, who will report to SMP senior vp of international Dan Nelson.
Chaaban began her career at Anghami, the leading music streamer in the Middle East. After working there for seven years, serving as the Arabic indie community lead, Chaaban then became an artist relations manager at Believe Music. “I look forward to working hand in hand with the incredibly talented team at Sony Music Publishing to propel the MENA music industry to new heights,” says Chaaban of her new appointment. “Together, we will create an environment that nurtures creativity, fosters innovation, and unlocks the boundless potential of the region’s musical landscape.”
The news arrives just a day after Universal Music Group announced the opening of a new Capitol Studios location in the UAE as part of a collaboration with DGMC, a local music organization. The two say they will work together to build a “Music City” that will serve as a regional hub for local and global recording artists and songwriters in the MENA region.
Other music companies have also expanded more into the MENA region in the last year. In October, Warner Music announced its investment in HuManagement, a Dubai-based talent agency; In the last twelve months, Reservoir Media joined with PopArabia to acquire Lebanese music company Voice of Beirut, Egyptian label 100COPIES, and Saudi Arabian label Mashrex; In May, BMI partnered with Music Nation, a UAE music rights management organization.
Billboard also expanded into the region with the launch of Billboard Arabia in June. A partnership with media giant SRMG, Billboard Arabia is a region-specific editorial site, featuing two new global charts to track the success of music from the MENA region.
Nelson says: “We are excited to welcome Dounia to the Sony Music Publishing team. Dounia’s extensive experience working with local talent will be invaluable as we expand opportunities for new and established songwriters and artists across the region. There couldn’t be a more opportune moment to launch our business, and we look forward to growing our presence in the MENA region.”
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