International production firm Endemol has appointed Lara Haddad head of production for its Middle East operations.
Haddad has previously worked for Lebanese broadcaster LBC and a Middle East broadcast consultancy, specialising in Arabic-language programming and production.
She will primarily be based in Endemol’s Beirut office, but will also work remotely from the company’s Dubai-based operation.
Haddad will also head up Endemol Middle East’s new scripted fiction department, which is due to launch operations next month. The new department will focus on adapting Endemol series properties for Arabic-language broadcast and distribution.
Endemol Middle East creative director Dany Karam said Haddad would play a pivotal role raising the organisation’s “production values, and in turn, revenues”.
“Lara has the experience to help us improve our business in the Middle East,” he said. “She will manage our production team and help us develop our Arabic-language series production business.”
Despite the ongoing recession, which is squeezing production budgets across the board, Karam said Endemol’s business prospects in the region remained positive.
“Some of our broadcast clients have had their initial budgets revised downwards, which is impacting our production budgets, but we are still doing deals with new clients, so overall our output is up,” he said. “They’re not the best deals we’ve ever done, but we still have plenty of work to focus on.”