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Sony Music Publishing Debuts MENA Division, Taps Former Anghami Exec As MD: ‘There Couldn’t Be a More Opportune Moment to Launch’

sony music publishing mena

Dounia Chaaban, the managing director of Sony Music Publishing’s newly established MENA division. Photo Credit: Sony Music Publishing

As music markets throughout North Africa and the Middle East continue to expand, Sony Music Publishing (SMP) has officially launched a MENA division.

SMP announced its MENA operation’s formal debut via a brief release today. Based out of a new office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Sony Music Publishing MENA has tapped Dounia Chaaban to serve as its managing director.

A veteran of Believe and Anghami – the latter of which partnered with the overarching Sony Music on a label called Vibe Music Arabia back in December of 2021 – Chaaban will report to SMP SVP of international Dan Nelson.

“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,” Chaaban relayed. “Together, we will create an environment that nurtures creativity, fosters innovation, and unlocks the boundless potential of the region’s musical landscape.”

Meanwhile, in remarks of his own, Nelson highlighted in general terms Sony Music Publishing’s wider MENA expansion ambitions.

“We are excited to welcome Dounia to the Sony Music Publishing team,” communicated the SMP exec of close to two decades. “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.”

Predictably, Craft Media-partnered Sony Music is hardly alone in working to capitalize upon MENA’s quick-developing (and highly streaming-driven) music space, which the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) previously declared the world’s “fastest growing music region.”

In recent years, Warner Music Group has worked particularly hard to bolster its presence in the region, where nations such as the aforementioned United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt are experiencing especially rapid industry growth.

As it stands, the company possesses an interest in Dubai-based talent agency HuManagement and a major stake in Rotana Music, to name some, besides owning Dubai-headquartered distributor Qanawat Music outright.

Not to be excluded, Universal Music Group, having rolled out Universal Arabic Music in April of 2021, scooped up marketing and distribution business Chabaka Music this past August. According to its website, United Arab Emirates-based Chabaka has a presence in countries including Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia.

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