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A year on YouTube: 2023’s top trending videos & creators in MENA

Image with text that reads 2023 A year on YouTube explore he most popular videos and creators of 2023
YouTube's annual end of year lists

As the year comes to a close, it’s time to look back at the trending topics, creators and songs across the Middle East and North Africa on YouTube.

2023 was a year of firsts. You brought mental health front and center through the top trending videos and took Bassem Youssef’s viral interview with Piers Morgan to a regional and global audience.

In 2023 you celebrated the depth and breadth of MENA’s talent - whether series and film production in Algeria and Saudi Arabia, top song which came from Iraq for the first time, or our top creators who continue to show the breadth of content in the region.

Gaming creator BanderitaX video about his mental health journey was the top trending video in MENA in 2023
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YouTube's top trending video in MENA was Banderita's story

This year’s Top Trending videos were:

  1. Banderita’s story (10 million views) - One of MENA’s top gaming creators BanderitaX (13.8 million subscribers) shares his raw experience with depression and recovery.
  2. Al Dama (12 million views) - Algerian social drama Al Dama, gained widespread attention in Ramadan 2023.
  3. Firecracker Youth (13 million views) Saudi comedy Firecracker Youth (Shabab Al Bomb)’s eleventh season continued to capture the heart of the region.
  4. Mr. Beast take on the Olympics (147 million views) has the plot twist we never knew we needed, with a Libyan contestant winning the prize.
  5. Egyptian Comedian Bassem Youssef’s viral interview with Piers Morgan about the crisis in Israel and Gaza (21 million views).
  6. Another ode to MENA’s entertainment scene, Egyptian comedy Abo Shanab had over 25 million views.
  7. There’s no doubt football is huge in MENA. When sports creator Mohamed Adnan invited Neymar and Paris Saint Germain players to eat Kabsa, people were all in (13 million views).
  8. YouTuber Ghaith Marwan’s fans were keen to share his special moments as he shared his wedding on YouTube (8 million views)
  9. What happens if you spend a day living out of a pool? Hamdy and Wafaa’s vlog shares this experience (16 million views)
  10. Ron’s unique story telling caught people’s attention in this love story focusing on the importance of mutual understanding and respect in relationships (8.1 million views).

Gaming’s popularity became even more evident in 2023 with three of our top five creators focusing on Gaming Content. AboFlah was YouTube’s top content creator for the third year in a row, while other gamers like SHoNGxBoNg and Abo Noo7 made it to the top five for the first five. This year’s top ten content creators were:

A shorts video by AboFlah - YouTube's top content creator in MENA in 2023

Gaming creator AboFlah was the top YouTube creator in MENA in 2023

  1. Gaming creator AboFlah: One of the region’s largest creators with over 35 million subscribers and over 5 billion views and continues to top YouTube’s top creators across MENA.
  2. Global sensation Mr.Beast with over 215 million subscribers and 37 trillion views
  3. A force in the world of gaming content, Saudi Arabia’s SHoNgxBoNg’s unique gaming style received over 2 billion views and attracted 12.2 million subscribers joining the Diamond Play button club,
  4. Abo Noo7’s creative Shorts gaming content on YouTube helped him capture the attention of over 5 million subscribers and acquire over 547 million views.
  5. UAE-based Majd Alzakout’s content brings together art and Shorts through captivating artwork and attracting over 1 billion views.
  6. Egypt’s comedy creator Esraa Nabil’s short-form videos have caught the attention of her 3.1 million subscribers, with over 1 billion views across the different formats she uses on YouTube.
  7. Ibrahim Abu Khalil is a gamer and entertainment creator from Saudi Arabia who has amassed over 2.68 million subscribers and 299 million views.
  8. Lebanon based entertainment creator SunaJazi has kept millions of people entertained with his engaging Shorts. SunaJazi has 2.71 million subscribers, 582 million views
  9. Alkaisr, an Egyptian comedy content creator, brings the laughs to over 8.6 million subscribers through his channel.
  10. MENA gaming wouldn’t be complete without the Arab Games Network which caught the attention of over 19 million subscribers and 9 billion views.

The diversity of musical talent across the Middle East and North Africa was also evident from Iraq and Bahrain to Morocco, Egypt and beyond. Iraqi artist Mahmod Alturky’s “Ashiq Majnoon” took the region by storm and was the top trending song on YouTube in 2023. The top 10 songs of 2023 were:

Mahmoud Al Turky's "Ashiq Majnoon" was the top song in MENA on YouTube in 2023
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Mahmoud Al Turky's "Ashiq Majnoon" was the top song in MENA on YouTube in 2023

  1. Mahmod AlTurky - Ashiq Majnoon
  2. Mohammed Saeed - Qaalo Alayky
  3. Abdelbaset Hamouda, Mahmoud Ellaithy, Hamdi Bathshan, Ali Rabee, Osos, Hassan Elkholaey - Sultana
  4. Ahmed Saad - Ekhtyaraty
  5. Nawal Abdechaffi - Mekhasmak
  6. Ahmed Saad - Qader Akamil
  7. Maha Ftouni - El Sabr Gameel
  8. Cheba Warda - Galbi Khasah Molah
  9. Mocci - Talet Lghiba
  10. Yasser Abdelwahab - Ali hong

2023’s been a big year for YouTube and the creators and artists on our platform. We can’t wait to see what 2024 has in store.