Forbes Middle East has unveiled its list of the Top 10 Arab Women Social Media Influencers, and the results might surprise you.
The prestigious power list ranks the most influential Arab women across various social media platforms. Topping the list is none other than beauty mogul Huda Kattan, who has almost 10 times more Instagram followers than the entire population of Dubai (a staggering 20.9 million and counting). The social media star, who has been dominating international and regional rankings for years, is also the founder of a highly successful international beauty empire and was recently named as one of Time magazine’s most influential faces on the internet.
The Hollywood-trained make-up artist was followed by another beauty powerhouse and celebrity, Lebanese TV host and makeup artist Joelle Mardinian. A successful businesswoman, Mardinian is the founder of beauty centers Maison de Joelle and Clinica Joelle, and has her own range of Joelle Paris products.
Third place went to Syrian YouTube star Hayla Al Ghazal. The Dubai-based 21-year-old has more than 4 million followers on her video channel, HaylaTV, on which she posts comical muses of modern life. Ghazal’s humor and down-to-earth nature has garnered her a vast following, making her the biggest female YouTube star in the MENA region. However, after four years, the star posted her last video on August 6, announcing she will be concentrating on “new beginnings,” including her role as Change Ambassador for Gender Equality for the United Nations. If that wasn’t impressive enough, she’s also the founder of Hayla Couture, a bridal and evening gown boutique.
It’s interesting to note that the country with the highest number of influential women is the United Arab Emirates. In addition to Kattan, Al Ghazal, and Mardinian, the list also includes Dubai-based chef Manal Alalem and Emirati vlogger and filmmaker Taim AlFalasi, who claimed the fourth and seventh spot, respectively.
The UAE accounted for half of the list, followed by Saudi Arabia with three influencers and Kuwait with two.
Other women featured include lifestyle influencer Noha Nabil at number five and Kuwaiti fashion and makeup artist Sondos Alqattan in ninth place. Sixth place was claimed by Saudi-based content creator and comic star Darin Al Bayed, Saudi YouTuber Njoud Al Shammari held eighth position, and Saudi-based Nora Bo Awadh closed the list in the 10th spot.
The ranking by Forbes was determined by calculating the number of subscribers on YouTube, and followers on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to compile the final score for each influencer.