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Living in the Middle East? Your Google Searches for 2018 Revealed

Photo: Rex

Earlier last week, Google released the results of its annual ‘A Year in Search’, spotlighting the people, places, and trends the Internet has been stalking online throughout 2018. Featuring everyone from Meghan Markle (the most searched person in the UAE) to Black Panther (the most searched movie), these results represent an aggregation of trillions of searches users asked Google throughout the year. Below, we break down some of the top Google searches of 2018 in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.


World Cup
When it came to the top things UAE residents were searching in 2018, sports topped the list. The number one trending search was the “World Cup”, which was held in Russia in June. Although the UAE did not qualify for the month-long sports tournament, neighboring countries including Saudi Arabia and Egypt both took part, in addition to other Arab nations Morocco and Tunisia.

 IPL 2018
It appears that there are more cricket lovers in the UAE than one would think. The Indian Premiere League 2018 was the second most searched term in the Emirates. Also known as the IPL, the 11th edition of the annual cricket tournament ran in India from April 7 to May 27 and saw the Chennai Super Kings win their third title.

It can be assumed that Sridevi Kapoor’s untimely death in Dubai in February led to users looking her name up online. The late Bollywood actress arrived in the UAE from Mumbai to attend the wedding of her nephew, and is believed to have passed away from cardiac arrest. Indeed, Kapoor’s death sent shockwaves around the world. Known as the “first female superstar” of Indian cinema, the late actress, who made her on-screen debut at the age of four, has starred in over 130 movies throughout her highly-successful decades-long career.

Other notable searches include Priyanka Chopra, who came in at fourth place on the list. Chopra’s name most likely saw spikes in searches due to the actresses highly-publicized engagement and wedding to Nick Jonas, who was the second most searched person on the list this year, following the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle. Meanwhile, the fifth most searched term was “Passport Index”, as the country climbed up the global rankings for having the most powerful passport in the world, followed by “Bitcoin” with people still trying to figure out how it works.

Some unexpected names to feature in the top five most searched people include YouTuber Logan Paul, American actor Sylvester Stallone, and Queen’s Freddie Mercury.

Black Panther, Infinity War, and Race 3 topped the list when it came to the most looked up movies of 2018 in the UAE.

Saudi Arabia

National Adress System
In February, banks in Saudi Arabia were asking customers to input their address details in compliance with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority’s directive to implement the National Address System, which was the most searched term in the Kingdom in 2018. People were most likely looking up the query to avoid facing issues with their local financial institutions. The National Address System is a unified address data storage, and consists of one’s building number, street name, neighborhood, city, postal or zip code, and additional phone number. It’s the first of its kind in Saudi Arabia.

It appears that more Saudi residents are interested in applying for government positions, with Jadara, an E-employment program for Saudi’s seeking government jobs can register with all of their details, coming in on the list as the second most looked up query online. The program is in line with Vision 2030, the country’s post-oil economic plan, that aims to increase work force participation. Launched by The Ministry of Civil Service, Jadara is one of the several programs that utilizes information technology in the recruitment process, which brings us to the next most searched term.

Also known as Total Technology Solutions, Hulool was established by a number of Information Technology professionals in 2002 with the aim of offering world-class IT solutions to the Saudi market. The company likely saw an increase in searches from people looking for potential jobs within the organization, or those who were simply seeking tech services within the kingdom.

Another trending topic in the kingdom this year was the E-commerce giant noon, which launched in the Gulf country last December. Kalam Asfar, a Kuwaiti TV series also proved to be heavily popular in the kingdom, appearing in the top things that Saudi Arabia was searching for in 2018.


High School Results 2018
According to the searches, Egyptians haven’t lost focus in the important things in life, including their education, as the top searched item on Google in 2018 was “High school results in 2018”. “Industrial school diploma results” and “Teachers First website” also made the list.

Naturally, Egyptians were most interested in anything sports-related, with their national team qualifying for the World Cup held earlier this year. Liverpool was the country’s second-most searched term in 2018. This is likely because the nation’s most-searched person, Mohamed Salah, is a forward for the Premier League club.

Nisr Al Sa’eed TV series
Egyptian’s love their soap operas, and Google’s annual ‘A Year in Search’ list proves it. Among the top things that Egyptians were searching in 2018 was the TV series, Nesr Al Sa’eed, a television show released at the start of Ramadan that stars Mohamed Ramadan, Dorra Zarrouk, and Sayed Ragab. It tells the story of a police officer named Zain who suddenly turns into a a prisoner.

There were similarities in the trending queries of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, with football being a common theme (Both countries competed in the World Cup 2018). Traditional songs also dominated the top songs list for both nations.

You can view all the top trending searches here, or view them in this video.

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