$1m prize for best Ramadan drama

Chris Forrester

The ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed, has donated $1m to the producers of the best Ramadan drama. Last year a Turkish-produced show, Nour, was the acknowledged ratings hit during the Holy Month.

This year’s TV efforts are already up and running on all the main entertainment channels. The month of Ramadan started on August 21 and will end on Sept 19. It is the Islamic world’s most popular TV viewing period, helped by the upside-down lifestyle of fasting during the day and breaking the fast with a large family-based evening meal. Then come the TV dramas.

Twelve drama series, which are currently being aired on Dubai channels, are competing for the title. Some of the dramas include “Khas Jidan” (Strictly Confidential) with Egyptian actress Yusra, “Zaman Al Aar” starring Syrian actors Taim Hasan, Basam Kusa, and Muna Wasif, the Gulf drama “Ghashamsham” starring Fahid al Hayan and Haya al Shi’aibi, historical drama “Balqis” starring Jordanian actress Saba Mubarak, and Bedouin drama Jamar Al Ghada” starring Lamita Franjiah.

It is the Dubai Media City which will administer the Best Arabic Drama award to promote Gulf and Arabic drama that are currently being aired on Dubai’s different satellite channels. The award is for four million UAE Dirhams, which is the equivalent of $1m. Ahmad Abdullah Al Shaykh, who is the media representative for Sheikh Mohammad, said that the Media City will hold a poll for the audience in which they vote for their favourite drama being aired during the month of Ramadan.