Quality over Quantity

Nahla Elmallawany, Head of Content at Discovery Middle East & Africa explains their approach to creating quality Ramadan programming.
Nahla Elmallawany, Head of Content at Discovery Middle East & Africa
Nahla Elmallawany, Head of Content at Discovery Middle East & Africa


Ramadan is an interesting time when it comes to television content, with scheduling and programming adapting to the viewing habits and changing routines of TV audiences. Broadcasters typically witness an increased demand for drama and food programming during the season, altering their primetime schedules accordingly.

On top of this, Ramadan and Eid are also particularly competitive times for broadcasters in terms of securing popular on-screen presenting talent that will ensure their content stands out against their competitors.

With this in mind, the mantra ‘quality over quantity’ rings true during Ramadan, as broadcasters move toward having a small number of extremely high-quality shows, opposed to an excess number of mediocre programmes to keep viewers entertained.

At Discovery, Ramadan is always a crucial period for us, and an opportunity to position Fatafeat – our flagship Arabic food brand – as the key destination for audiences across the Middle East to experience the true meaning of Ramadan, across all our platforms.

Responding to what audiences want – well-executed, quality food programming – each year we place a strong focus on our Fatafeat content strategy when planning for The Holy Month.

This year, we have a tantalising line-up of unmissable shows and tasty recipes, with new formats and talent that will allow us to reach new audiences while still entertaining our core fans. Across the season, we will showcase four new, locally-produced shows on Fatafeat, featuring some of the Arab world’s most well-renowned kitchen superstars, plus a new face to the channel, set to entertain, inspire and delight all throughout the Holy Month.

In total, these stars feature in over 75-hours of specialty programming airing on the channel, joining existing Fatafeat favourites, including Chef Suzzan Moukhtar and her son Yassin Moukhtar in Suzzan & Yassin; food stylist Afnane Moukhtar in Tafaneeno and May Yacoubi in May’s Kitchen, to name just a few.

Spreading the spirit of Ramadan off-screen, as ever, we are also producing a plethora of exclusive, specialised short-form content for our digital platforms. These clips will sit alongside our user generated content – as we encourage fans to share images and videos of them creating their favourite recipes. This has been vastly popular across all our digital platforms, ensuring our fans stay engaged with the Fatafeat brand throughout Ramadan and beyond.

In 2017, the Fatafeat website was the number one food website during Ramadan. This year, we hope to maintain that leadership position, satisfying our passionate fans (which also comprises of over 6 million followers on our social media platforms) with that added dash of culinary inspiration, anytime, and on any screen.

Essentially, our ultimate goal is to leverage the power of Ramadan to strengthen Fatafeat’s legacy as the first and most-loved Arabic food network in the region, ensuring that through our quality local programming and interactive digital offering, we stay ahead of our competitors in the eyes of our loyal viewers. We are glad to once again be sharing in the spirit of the Holy Month with viewers and food-lovers across the region, and look forward to providing many more memorable culinary moments, on and off screen, in the year ahead.

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