Rawan Al-Dabbas has been appointed to the newly created role of IFPI regional director, Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
In this position, Al-Dabbas will be leading IFPI’s work across the region to promote the value of recorded music, encourage and expand its commercial uses, and campaign for the rights of record productions. Based in Abu Dhabi’s media-focused free trade zone (TwoFour54), Al-Dabbas will be opening IFPI’s first office in the MENA region and will be reporting to IFPI chief executive Frances Moore.
Prior to joining IFPI, Al-Dabbas was head of legal and international relations at the Emirates Publishers Association where she worked to facilitate the association’s interaction with local, regional, and international stakeholders on various issues pertinent to the United Arab Emirates’ publishing industry.
“We are very pleased to welcome Rawan to IFPI,” Moore said. “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.”
Al-Dabbas commented: “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.”
“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,” said Mike Fairburn, the general manager of Sony Music Entertainment Middle East. “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.”
Reflecting on the industry, managing director for Warner Music Middle East Moe Hamzeh stated: “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, also commented: “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.”