Warner Music Invests in Dubai-Based Talent Agency HuManagement, Aims To Sign ‘Many More Potential Superstars’ in MENA

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Warner Music Group and HuManagement execs including WMG president of emerging markets Alfonso Perez-Soto (center). Photo Credit: WMG

Amid continued growth throughout MENA’s music market and broader entertainment space, Warner Music Group (WMG) has invested in Dubai-based talent agency HuManagement.

The major label revealed its “strategic investment” in HuManagement today, after purchasing Dubai-headquartered distributor Qanawat Music in 2022 and debuting a joint-venture label with Five Hotel and Resorts (which likewise operates out of Dubai) earlier in 2023.

While Warner Music opted against disclosing the exact financial and ownership details of its HuManagement investment – the Big Three label also possesses a substantial interest in Rotana Music, it’s worth noting – execs did tout the agency’s regional reach. (HuManagement co-founder Hady Hajjar was for more than 12 years marketing director for the overarching Rotana, whereas fellow co-founder Tarek Abou Jaoude is a veteran music manager.)

With a “distinguished” client roster of more than 300 individuals, HuManagement is said to serve as the professional home of the Middle East’s “most sought-after artists.” To date, HuManagement has scouted two acts, Riyadh-born singer Dalia Mubarak and Beirut-born vocalist and personality Maya Diab, who were subsequently signed by Warner Music, the businesses noted.

Now, as part of the underlying WMG-HuManagement investment deal, the companies have finalized “a long-term A&R scouting agreement” to identify and sign other talent in the region, with the potential, of course, to market these artists through Warner Music’s “expansive global network.”

On the other side of the equation, WMG’s roster (including international acts) will benefit from the agency’s local marketing and branding initiatives, the entities drove home.

In a statement, Warner Music Middle East general manager Ahmed Nureni emphasized the perceived opportunity to discover “many more potential superstars” via the HuManagement tie-up.

“HuManagement has an incredible relationship with the Middle East’s most exciting artists and through this partnership we will have access to them early on in their careers,” relayed the longtime Qanawat exec Nureni. “We’ve already enjoyed success with Dalia and Maya, and we believe there are many more potential superstars we can identify through this collaboration.”

Predictably, Warner Music isn’t the only music company that’s working to capitalize upon MENA’s well-documented industry growth. Universal Music Group closed out August by scooping up Dubai-headquartered marketing and distribution agency Chabaka Music, for instance.

Meanwhile, the for-profit BMI and Music Nation are coordinating on a “world-class performing rights infrastructure” in the United Arab Emirates, and the government of Saudi Arabia is continuing to invest billions in the development of its domestic music market.