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Spacetoon Group Celebrates 40 Years of Bringing Anime to the MENA

Spacetoon Group Celebrates 40 Years of Bringing Anime to the MENA

Spacetoon Group, a media and entertainment powerhouse known for introducing anime to the region, has recently marked 40 years of bringing beloved anime to MENA audiences with a star-studded event at Dubai’s Sofitel the Palm.

Over 200 guests, including senior leaders from top Japanese studios and regional media, entertainment, and government entities, gathered to celebrate Spacetoon Group’s anime legacy and exciting plans for the future of anime in the MENA region.

Back to 1980s, Spacetoon Group emerged as a leader during the surge of anime’s popularity. They played a critical role by acquiring licenses, distributing, and dubbing anime. Most importantly, they adapted these shows to resonate with Arab culture, ensuring a warm reception from Arab audiences. This dedication culminated in the launch of their own channel in the 2000s, a revolutionary 24-hour network that became the first of its kind to broadcast Arabic-dubbed anime around the clock.

“It was truly an honor to be a part of this momentous occasion celebrating Spacetoon Group’s remarkable 40-year anime journey. Congratulations on this incredible milestone.” said Jun Imanishi, the Consul General of Japan in Dubai.

He added: “It is heartening to see how Japanese animation transcends borders and facilitates the spread of familiarity and understanding of Japanese culture in the UAE, MENA and worldwide. Animation isn’t just about entertainment; it is a soft power that can influence values, lifestyles and inspire the minds of the youth. We look forward to a future where even more people can find joy and dreams through animation”.

From Grendizer to, Captain Tsubasa, Detective Conan, and Dragon Ball, Spacetoon Group revolutionized the MENA’s anime landscape. By securing broadcast and licensing rights for beloved anime franchises, they ignited a pop culture phenomenon that continues to this day.

Commenting on this landmark event, Fayez Al-Sabbagh, the CEO & Founder of Spacetoon Group said that: “We are thrilled to celebrate this achievement alongside our friends and partners in Japan. For over four decades, we have shared a commitment to bringing the best of Japanese anime to Arab audiences, and this milestone is a testament to that dedication.”

Highlighting its enduring impact, Spacetoon Group revealed it holds the most extensive library of Arabic-dubbed anime in the MENA region. The company boasts 30,000 dubbed episodes, showcasing its commitment to providing a vast selection of content that continues to entertain viewers of all ages.

Expansion Plans and New Releases:

The celebratory event wasn’t just about nostalgia. Spacetoon Group shared a roadmap for expanding its anime offerings across various platforms. This includes ventures into merchandising, licensing, and events.

“The MENA anime industry is undergoing a significant transformation,” said Al-Sabbagh. “We plan to continue being at the forefront, providing even more experiences for our region’s passionate otaku fans.”

He added: “Spacetoon Group’s commitment is fueled by experience and strong partnerships. Our focus remains the Arab audience, and we promise to deliver unparalleled anime experiences that will captivate generations to come.”

Spacetoon Group announced a slate of upcoming treats. Moviegoers will catch screenings of the iconic Mobile Suit Gundam SEED FREEDOM in the MENA movie theatres in July. Anime fans can also look forward to the launch of the highly anticipated “Beyblade X” this year.

On the market front, Spacetoon Group is setting its sights on expanding its reach in the Turkish market. They’ve already established a new office in Turkey to spearhead operations for exciting new ventures. This includes SpaceToon Türkiye TV channel, and expanding SpaceToon Go online streaming in the Turkish language, with plans also to distribute anime and kids’ movies in Turkish cinemas. Additionally, Spacetoon is exploring licensing and merchandising opportunities, bringing the world of Spacetoon to Turkish audiences.

The event also celebrated the phenomenal box office performance of Spacetoon’s distributed anime film, Detective Conan: The One Million Pentagram. The 27th movie in the popular Detective Conan franchise dominated cinemas across the MENA region and topped charts in Saudi Arabia. Notably, it became the highest-grossing movie ever among all the Detective Conan films released in the MENA.

The day concluded with a special performance by the Grammy-nominated singer Rasha Rizk, the iconic voice behind many Arabic anime theme songs. Her performances have garnered millions of views on YouTube, making her a cherished part of many generations’ childhood memories.

About The Author

Rebecca Ash

Rebecca is the Editorial Director at Total Licensing Ltd. She can be reached at

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