A new Arabic TV channel has hit satellite TV, but Quest Arabiya, the result of a partnership between Image Nation Abu Dhabi and Discovery Communications, is bringing something entirely different to the Middle East.
The channel, which began airing on Monday to 45 million homes in 22 countries across the Middle East and North Africa, is on a quest to bring original factual entertainment content to the region, created by Middle Eastern talents for Middle Eastern audiences.
The channel's core content will focus on six key genres, which are Extreme Outdoor, Turbo, Engineering, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Space and People & Places.
"Quest Arabiya is a new open channel for reality entertainment programs and is the fruit of the partnership between Image Nation AD and Discovery."
The content will also include themes for specific time periods such as "Big Cats" and "Shark Weekend" on weekends and "Saturday Night Specials," featured documentaries of regional interest that will be broadcasted on the first Saturday of each month.
As it is co-produced by the factual entertainment giant Discovery, the channel will be broadcasting MENA-adapted versions of some of its most popular shows including "Deadliest Catch," "Gold Rush" and "Bear Grylls’ Man vs. Wild."
However, Quest's main focus is broadcasting original content of "a quality and breadth that has never been seen before in the region," and is a "much-needed solution to a gap in the Arabic factual entertainment TV market," according to Image Nation's official press release .
"Starting from the most important accomplishments and leading up to the most dangerous arts in their various forms in the Arab region and many others in Hakawi."
"Hakawi", which will run regularly as of this week, is a series of short films that will showcase profiles of interesting subjects in the region, including a Jordanian pigeon keeper, an Egyptian parkour team and a female Bahraini bodybuilder.
"Arabia X," which is still in production, is a series that will follow two presenters across the region as they experience extreme sports in different countries, including deep water soloing in Oman, white water rafting in Morocco and snow paragliding in Lebanon.
“By accessing and regionalizing Discovery’s extensive catalog of internationally-acclaimed shows, as well as commissioning incredible regional programs that give a real insight into in the region and its people, we are creating a unique mix of content," Quest Arabiya's general manager Carl von Doussa said.
Another unique advantage the channel has is being able to benefit from Discovery's international experience in world-class factual entertainment programming to create content with the same quality for the Middle East.
To support its vision of providing a media platform for the MENA region's original voice to be heard, the channel hosted a prelaunch campaign called "Quest For Talent" to select future presenters.
Out of 1,200 applicants from across MENA, 13 Quest Arabiya presenters have been selected and they will now be seen presenting short clips called "Info Bites" which will reveal fascinating facts about the region.
"The Quest Arabiya channel starts airing on Dec. 7, 2015. You can watch all of our programs free on the following frequencies."
In addition to the free-to-air TV service, all of the channel's programs will be available online for seven days after airing on TV on Quest Arabiya's official website, and they can be viewed from any platform without the need to download an application.
“Our social media channels will give us feedback, generate stories and ensure relatable content is consistently shared with our viewers. We will listen to our viewers and understand what our online community wants, and use it to help shape our programming," Doussa said.