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Two Abu Dhabi Companies Acquire StarzPlay Arabia

E-Vision and Abu Dhabi holding company ADQ have bought a 57% portion of video streaming service StarzPlay Arabia.

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two abu dhabi companies acquire starzplay arabia

A consortium led by telecoms operator e& has completed a deal to acquire a majority share in the video streaming service StarzPlay Arabia.

The deal has meant that E-Vision, the entertainment arm of e&, along with Abu Dhabi holding company ADQ, now owns 57% of the MENA region’s fastest-growing video streaming service. After filing on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) on Tuesday, e& issued a statement, which read:

“This acquisition is in line with e&’s strategy to scale up the entertainment segment of e& life consumer digital vertical by accelerating E-Vision’s development on the video streaming segment, and significantly enhances StarzPlay Arabia’s positioning across the entire MENA region,” says e&.

The acquisition follows an initial announcement back in March that a deal would be taking place. Starz and parent company Lionsgate will maintain commercial agreements for content licensing.

Netflix, Shahid VIP, and the UAE-based StarzPlay Arabia currently control two-thirds of the MENA region’s over-the-top services (OTT) market, with StarzPlay controlling 20%.

Also Read: How To Watch Arabic Channels In USA, Canada & Australia

The recent deal, which values StarzPlay at $420 million, will inject up to $130 million into the platform for new content acquisition and original programming from around the region, as well as Italy’s Serie A, AFC (Asian Football Confederation) games, UFC and Asia Cup cricket matches.

The video streaming service expects annual revenue to climb by 40% from the previous year, with subscribers increasing by 20% to 2.1 million.

StarzPlay aims to reach profitability by the second quarter of 2024, and for e&, the collaboration will allow custom content options for customers, who will be able to utilize 5G download speeds to watch content on the go, with future plans for immersive VR experiences and augmented reality-based shows.

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Binance Receives Virtual Assets License To Operate In Dubai

As its user base nears 200 million, CEO Richard Teng believes crypto adoption will soar over the next half of the decade.

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binance receives virtual assets license to operate in dubai

Global crypto exchange Binance has been granted a full operational license in Dubai, in a move that’s expected to accelerate digital asset adoption and strengthen the UAE’s regulatory landscape.

The virtual asset service provider license (VASP) was granted by the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) and will allow Binance to extend its current range of services to retail investors, the company announced yesterday.

The move by Dubai authorities will be critical to Binance’s strategy of growing its user base globally. The crypto exchange expects to pass the 200 million user mark “quite shortly”, according to Richard Teng, the company’s CEO.

Once that milestone is achieved, Binance will have around twice as many users as rival platform Coinbase. Meanwhile, Crypto.com, another popular exchange with 80 million users, received a Dubai VASP license last week.

“We’re seeing much greater institutional adoption and institutional money coming into this space [along with] much greater regulatory clarity and a lot more jurisdictions approving [digital asset] products that bring in new investor classes,” Binance’s Richard Tang explained, adding: “As of now, we stand at about 5% crypto adoption globally, but that will become much faster moving forward”.

Also Read: Microsoft Invests $1.5 Billion In Abu Dhabi AI Tech Firm G42

Dubai and the UAE are extremely supportive of technologies like digital assets, and have already launched initiatives to boost adoption. The UAE has ambitious plans to become a world leader in the crypto economy of the future, with Dubai in particular being noteworthy for passing a new law to regulate virtual assets to support investors and exchanges.

“Global crypto regulation is currently showing diverging signs. Some developed countries have long suffered from crypto-related frauds and illegal exchanges. On the other hand, emerging nations like the UAE and Singapore have enacted crypto laws at faced pace,” said Vijay Valecha, chief investment officer of Dubai-based Century Financial.

As the UAE gears up to become one of the fastest-growing crypto capitals worldwide, investors and talent are flocking to places like Dubai. During 2023, the Emirates as a whole realized $204 million in capital gains from cryptocurrency investments, according to blockchain data analysts Chainalysis.

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