Warner Music Middle East has a new general manager, with Ahmed Nureni chosen to replace a departing Moe Hamzeh. Nuhreni arrives from music distribution company Qanawat Music, which WMG acquired earlier this year, and will continue to be based in Dubai — though WMME’s headquarters and staff will remain in Beirut.
Nuhreni, who’ll report to Alfonso Perez-Soto, president of emerging markets at Warner Recorded Music, will continue to run Qanawat in tandem with his duties at Warner. In a statement, he said his “dual role will allow me to harness synergies from both businesses and be thoughtful and strategic in the way we grow Warner Music Middle East’s artist roster,” adding, “There’s so much creative potential in our region and we’re only just beginning to tap into it.”
WMME’s mandate is sprawling, covering a total of 17 markets: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
Hamzeh helped launch Warner Music Middle East in 2018; the company now says he is moving on to pursue other projects in music. He had previously been head of content at digital streaming platform m.media and, earlier in his career, worked at Temple Entertainment and Virgin Megastores.
Perez-Soto called Nureni a “brilliant exec who combines an amazing ear for music with a brilliant strategic mind,” adding, “With the support of our amazing team in Beirut, he’ll champion artists from the region and help them connect with a global audience. I’d also like to thank Moe Hamzeh for all his amazing support over the last five years and wish him good luck in his next adventures.”
Simon Robson, president of International at Warner Recorded Music, called the Middle East and North Africa a “priority market for us” as “highlighted by our accelerated activity in MENA in the last 18 months” — in early 2021 WMG invested in the region’s largest indie label, Rotana Music — “but we have further ambitious growth plans, which Ahmed will help us deliver.”