Post Malone, BTS, Billie Eilish and Amr Diab: what the Arab world is listening to on Spotify

Spotify release data on the listening habits across the Arab world

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 20: Post Malone performs onstage at The Forum on November 20, 2019 in Inglewood, California.   Emma McIntyre/Getty Images/AFP

Post Malone is the most streamed artist in the UAE, according to Spotify.

The online music platform made the announcement as part of its end of year wrap. Released annually, the online report provides details into the listening habits of respective regions.

The UAE is in tune with modern pop tastes

When it comes to the UAE, our tastes is pretty much in line with what’s happening globally, as Post Malone is also the most streamed artist on Spotify internationally.

With the exception of RnB singer Khalid, the UAE’s top five streamed artists also match the global standings, although in different order. Coming in second place in the UAE is Ed Sheeran (fourth globally), followed by Khalid, Ariana Grande (third globally) and Billie Eilish, who is also second in the global standings.

Interestingly, despite the high profile launch of Taylor Swift's seventh album Lover, the diva didn't crack the top five global and UAE artist list. And with Swift snubbed from next year's Grammy Award's marquee prizes of Album of the Year and Record of the Year, perhaps the Spotify data indicates we are already heading into a post-Swift music landscape.

When it comes to the most streamed songs, UAE users are also in step with today's pop trends. Senorita by pop love birds Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes leads both the UAE and global standings. Other songs included on both charts are Sun Flower by Post Malone and Swae Lee, Old Town Road by Lil Nas X and the Billie Eilish hit, Bad Guy.

Saudis are huge fans of Iraqi pop

When it comes to neighbouring Saudi Arabia, the streaming year belongs to Aseel Hamim. The popular Iraqi singer did a complete sweep of the Saudi Arabian Spotify charts: she is the most streamed artist and her single Al Mafrood is the most streamed track in the kingdom.

She is not alone as Saudis love Iraqi pop. Joining Al Mafrood on the top 10 is Waed Menni by Rahma Riad (third place), La Ya Qalb by twins Raad and Methaq (seventh place) and Sah Alnooma by Housamm Al Rassam rounding off at 10th.

The BTS fandom is still strong in the kingdom. The K-pop band, who performed in Riyadh in October, are the third most streamed band in Saudi Arabia. Other acts on the list are the late rapper XXXTentacion in second place and EDM star Marshmello, who came in at number nine.

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A mostly western affair in Lebanon

With Lebanon being known as a citadel of Arabic pop music industry, it is interesting to note that there are no songs by a major Arab star in the country's most streamed top 10. Senorita by Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes came up top, followed by Two of Us by Louis Tomlinson and Lalala by Y2K and Bbno$ in second and third place respectively.

The only Arab representation can be found, however, in the country's most streamed artist list with Syrian singer Nassif Zeytoun at number six.

Amr Diab still the pop music king of Egypt

Nearly four decades into his career, Amr Diab has now conquered his country’s streaming landscape in addition to physical sales. Fresh from having in a digitised billboard in New York’s Time Square, the 58-year-old Diab is the most streamed artist in Egypt. Also on that list is Egyptian indie rock group Cairokee and pop star Mohammed Hamaki in fourth and six place respectively.

When it comes to singles streamed, once again Senorita Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes came on top. However, three Arabic pop songs made the top 10:  Kan Lak Ma'aya by Cairokee (fourth), Mafia by film star and sometime singer Mohamed Ramadan and Mel Bedaya by Mohammed Hamaki.

French hip-hop takes over Morocco

In Morocco it was a typical Francophone affair with French-Algerian hip-hop duo PNL topping both the most streamed artist and song category – the latter for their single Au DD.

The online result capped of a great year for the group, their fourth album, Deux Freres, sold over 100,000 in its first week, which is a record for the French hip-hop scene.