UAE's top Google searches for 2020 revealed

Coronavirus pandemic was top trend in Google list covering the biggest events of an unforgettable year

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Google announced its top trending online searches for the UAE in 2020 – a year in which the nation joined a global hunt for answers about the Covid-19 pandemic.

It comes as little surprise that coronavirus led the way for online queries during a tumultuous 12 months in which the virus rapidly spread around the world, infecting close to 70 million people, leading to widespread stay-home measures and causing major economic and social disruption.

Google's Year in Search results encompasses the top trending queries, people, events, sports, series and movies, generated from trillions of searches.

The list paints a picture of the pressing issues that captivated the Emirates, with a huge interest in events abroad highlighting the global outlook of the country.

“I’m personally inspired by the top trending queries, because they reflect the adaptability and resilience of people, regardless of the circumstances," said Dalia El Fiki, communications and public affairs manager for the Mena region at Google.

"We’re glad that Google Search was able to help Emiratis and UAE residents to access the information they needed during these exceptional times and we hope to continue helping our users”.

The 2020 chart covers "top trending queries", "people", "news and events" and "movies and series".

The UAE's most popular queries

The coronavirus outbreak was top of the charts as people sought out information on a fast-moving subject as the ramifications of the pandemic swiftly unfolded, governments grappled with the fallout and the race for a vaccine gathered pace.

But it was not the only major international event to grab the attention of UAE residents.

The bitterly contested US election was ranked in second place, as the UAE watched on with great interest as Republican incumbent Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden vied for the White House hot seat.

As Mr Trump still refuses to formally concede the election, it could stay a popular search well into 2021.

The Indian Premier League – held in the UAE this year because of the surge in Covid-19 cases in India – was third on the list.

A search for Covid-19 tips was in fourth spot, demonstrating a desire among the public for a greater understanding of the virus and how to guard against infection.

Joe Biden rounded up the top five, again highlighting the appeal of the US election battle.

India's Bihar elections also made the top 10, with sport also featured in the form of football's Champions League and the premier basketball league, the NBA.

People in the spotlight

When we think of celebrity, we may conjure up images of movie stars and sporting greats, but it was politicians who were thrust into the limelight in 2020.

US President-elect Joe Biden won the vote here, with Donald Trump second. No call for a recount of Google's search results has yet been requested.

History-making Kamala Harris – due to be confirmed as America's first female vice president in January – was in third spot ahead of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who made headlines when unfounded rumours of his death began to circulate.

Other politicians included the Sultan of Oman, Haitham bin Tariq, who succeeded the revered Sultan Qaboos as leader after his death in January, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who had an eventful 2020 during which he caught Covid-19 as he led the country's response to the pandemic.

News and events

Major news stories from home and abroad inspired the UAE to put finger to keyboard to find out more.

The No 1 search in this category was the US elections, followed by the Bihar elections and Iran's coronavirus battle.

The port blast in Lebabon was fourth, with Australia's devastating bushfires seventh.

The UAE's landmark Hope probe mission to Mars was eighth, as enterprising achievements in the Emirates resonated with the public.

Movies and Series

Stay-home measures and remote working practices brought about by Covid-19 allowed people more time to catch up on their favourite shows in 2020.

Netflix's Spanish crime drama Money Heist stole the top spot in this category, ahead of movies Soorari Pottru, Contagion and Del Bechara.

Bigg Boss 13 (series), Parasite (movie), Ertugrul (series), Gunjan Saxena (movie), Extraction (movie) and Shakuntala Devi (movie) make up the top 10.