Photo 3 UMG x Chabaka

The Middle East and North Africa continues to be a region of strong interest for the global major labels.

Universal Music Group’s latest expansion move there is a deal to buy Chakaba Music, a jack-of-all-trades UAE-based company involved in digital distribution, marketing, publishing and label and artist services.

The acquisition will see Chakaba become part of UMG’s Virgin Music Group, with key members of its management team remaining in place including CEO Ala’a Makki.

Co-founder Tarek Makki will become an advisor, while continuing to run other companies within Chakaba’s previous parent company CHBK Group.

It’s part of the ongoing excitement around the growth of recorded music in the MENA region. According to the IFPI, revenues there grew by 23.8% to $94.3m in 2022, with streaming accounting for 95.5% of the total.

UMG’s acquisition follows the news earlier this month that the Saudi Arabia-based media group SRMG had invested $5m in MENA-focused streaming service Anghami.

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