Disney+ officially launches across Middle East and North Africa

The time has finally arrived. Disney+ has officially rolled out across the Middle East and North Africa region, giving users another new

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If you signed up to the pre-launch offer, you will have received instructions on how to redeem it. The offer is valid until June 19th for your first year, and then you’ll be paying the standard annual subscription price.

Still Disney+… but with a difference on mobile

Many of you might have tried to access it using VPN for the past year. With the official launch, you tried to access it but you see that it’s unavailable from your mobile device. After registering, I discovered that the mobile app for the MENA region is different. The clue was defintiely in the app’s developer name.

The Disney+ app for the MENA region is a variant of the one used in India (where it’s known as Disney+ Hotstar) and South East Asia region. MENA users will see a field to enter their mobile number; other regions will see a field to enter an email address. Hence, it all depends on the country set for your app store for iOS and Android devices.

Notice the different developer names based on the region of your App Store (top is US and bottom is UAE), hence both are different apps

People in the MENA region will definitely have both a smartphone and an email address, and that gives them flexibility on how they prefer to access their account. As to why The Walt Disney Company thought to use that version of the Disney+ app for the MENA region is to be confirmed (I’ve put this question to them to clarify it and will update once I get a response).

In addition, the streaming quality will be capped to 1080p due to the app’s codebase from regions where bandwidth is an issue.

Does this mean that you can’t access your account when travelling for brief periods? That will only work if and only if you’re roaming across the MENA region (according to their FAQ). As for the content, that will likely stay similar to the region you’re currently present (as long as it’s one of the existing markets).

Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars, and more

Regardless of the mobile app, subscribers still gain access to the vast library encompassing Disney, Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, and more. In addition, you also get the other benefits by just paying one single subscription price:

  • access to high-quality viewing, up to four concurrent streams
  • unlimited downloads on upto ten devices,
  • IMAX Enhanced for selected titles (where available),
  • Setting up to seven different user profiles, including the ability for parents to set Kids Profiles that have an easy-to-navigate child-friendly interface to access age-appropriate content
The Disney+ app supports both an English and Arabic interface

The regional launch also celebrated the global release of the newest Originals from Marvel Studios – none other than Ms. Marvel that connects to the upcoming The Marvels movie.

On the bright side, the app does have an Arabic interface for users in the region. As for Arabic dubbing for the content, that will still take time but expect it in modern standard Arabic (i.e. Fusha) or Egyptian Arabic. Most of the content already has Arabic subtitles.

With the global subscriber numbers currently at 137.7M (as of April 2022), the Middle East expansion puts them on the path to cross the 150M mark. Don’t forget that there are many more shows releasing in the coming months.

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Published by Yasser Masood

Think of me as a grassroots community evangelist. Juggling social media while covering technology/digital trends across the Middle East and crossroads of society and culture, while unearthing other perspectives that pique my interests.

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