IFPI, representing the recording industry worldwide, has appointed Rawan Al-Dabbas to the newly created role of IFPI Regional Director, Middle East & North Africa (MENA), effective immediately.
Al-Dabbas will lead IFPI’s work across the region to promote the value of recorded music, expand its commercial uses, and campaign for the rights of record producers. Reporting to IFPI Chief Executive, Frances Moore, and based in Abu Dhabi’s media-focused free trade zone (TwoFour54), she will open IFPI’s first office in the MENA region. According to IFPI’s Global Music Report, recorded music industry revenues for the MENA region grew 37.8% in 2020, up to $63.4 million, driven primarily by growth in music streaming.
Prior to joining IFPI, Rawan Al-Dabbas was Head of Legal and International Relations at the Emirates Publishers Association where she facilitated the association’s interaction with local, regional, and international stakeholders on a range of issues pertinent to the United Arab Emirates’ publishing industry, especially in the area of collective management.
Frances Moore, Chief Executive of IFPI, said: “We are very pleased to welcome Rawan to IFPI. Her deep legal and policy experience positions her perfectly to help strengthen the music community in MENA. Our decision to set up in MENA demonstrates the excitement and opportunity we see in the region. With a rapidly growing streaming market, a rich mix of local and international music, and investment from labels and streaming services, the future of MENA’s music market is bright. In recent years we have also seen positive steps taken to properly recognise and value music rights, and we will be continuing to work with governments across the region to ensure this continues.”
Rawan Al-Dabbas said: “It is an exciting time to join IFPI and work with our member record labels to support the continued growth and development of the recording industry in the MENA region – especially now with the thriving music market in the region. Our work will help to accelerate and further drive this regional music evolution.”
Mike Fairburn, General Manager, Sony Music Entertainment Middle East: “We are delighted to welcome Rawan who brings great experience and understanding of creative ecosystems to this exciting new position leading IFPI’s first MENA office. We look forward to helping to deepen IFPI’s relationships in the region through Rawan’s appointment and working collaboratively with her and the wider industry to support regional artists, labels, partners and industry legislators.”
Moe Hamzeh, Managing Director, Warner Music Middle East: “This is a hugely exciting time for the music industry across the Middle East and North Africa. We’ve long been home to amazing artists, but increasing digital penetration means we’re now reaching more of the 400 million people across the region directly and monetising their huge enthusiasm for music. But we can only continue doing that, and generating revenue to invest in the next generation of artists, if countries across the region provide a decent legal framework for us to operate in, and that’s where the role of IFPI MENA will be crucial.”
Patrick Boulos, CEO of Universal Music MENA: “We welcome Rawan’s appointment and the launch of the IFPI MENA regional office with great enthusiasm. These important developments reflect the region’s great potential and incredible cultural diversity. We look forward to working on behalf of the region’s music community, especially our work to support the development of the many talented and exciting artists across the region.”
Notes to editors:
IFPI is the voice of the recording industry worldwide, representing over 8,000 record company members across the globe. We work to promote the value of recorded music, campaign for the rights of record producers and expand the commercial uses of recorded music around the world.
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