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Ramadan 2021: A month filled with support, food, and TV shows on TikTok

Year after year, Ramadan continues to be one of the most engaging seasons for digital platforms, but this year, the Holy Month looked quite different. With the global pandemic and social distancing still amongst us, TikTok continued its efforts to ensure that its MENA community is connected virtually through a series of storytelling and creative content that uplifted user spirit. The TikTok MENA community observed, cooked, laughed, and supported one another from home, to establish creativity and joy in a safe and positive environment.

Unity, generosity, and appreciation triumphed this Ramadan as TikTok saw observers come together virtually to support the underprivileged, recreate dishes with celebrity chefs, and connect with brands. In addition, the platform witnessed favorability of content from MENA users that revolved around food, Ramadan series, video games, and comedy.

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“Ramadan has always been a key moment for brands and consumers in the MENA region. While we started getting accustomed to the lifestyle changes driven by the pandemic, we realized that TikTok has allowed its users to come together and celebrate virtually some of Ramadan’s key traditions. We have seen such great content, talent and brands emerge on TikTok during this special period as the platform has allowed users to create and share meaningful content through the Holy Month. We’re happy to see the light and joy Ramadan on TikTok has given our MENA community and we’re excited to share a round-up of the great efforts that the platform witnessed this year” said Rami Zeidan, head of video and creative at TikTok.

The TikTok community came together virtually by supporting, sharing, creating, and observing some of the simple and best moments. With that in mind, here are some of the best in-app activities, LIVE events, brand campaigns that made TikTok a platform filled with Ramadan Vibes:

Top Trending Hashtags

  • #RamadanCountdown: Users showed off how excited they are for Ramadan and shared the joy and blessings of the holy month!
    • Video Views: 135M / Videos Published: 13k
  • #RamadanCheck: TikTokers shared their daily Ramadan lives and the most special moments of Ramadan’s first days, family gatherings, neighbours’ dishes, and more!
    • Video Views: 250M / Videos Published: 27k
  • #RamadanSwitch: A spin on the #OutfitSwitch where TikTokers show off their outfit or the traditional clothes they love to wear in the Holy Month!
    • Video Views: 61M / Videos Published: 9k

Top Trending Food Hashtags

Arguably the most common Ramadan traditions revolve around food. It is a familiar site to witness families and neighbours exchanging home-cooked dishes, or more fortunate families to share prepared meals with the less fortunate. This trend is carried on TikTok where users from all around the region create different types of meals, discover food spots, and engage in food-related games.

  • #Ramadan_Preps: Users share their favourite preparations for the holy month!
    • Video Views: 245M / Videos Published: 30k
  • #WhereToEat: TikTokers share their favourite local restaurants in town!
    • Video Views: 128M/ Videos published: 12k
  • #CookWithTheStars: The biggest Ramadan competition with the biggest Arab stars on TikTok. Users Create recipes using one or more ingredients of the mystery box for a chance to WIN one of three kitchens from TikTok!
    • Video Views: 254m/ Videos Published: 13k
  • #GuessTheDish: Ramadan foodies had to guess the name of the Ramadan dish through the 3 ingredients that appear on the screen.
    • Video Views: 37M/ Videos Published: 30K

Shows on TikTok 

Viewers in the Middle East watch television shows and series during Ramadan more than any time in the year. The trend came to life on TikTok and favoured clips of the show were posted on the platform, generating major buzz and views by users. Some of the top trending series on TikTok included:

  • Ramez Aqlo Tar – Ramadan’s funniest prank show, where Ramez invites his unsuspecting guests to the launch of an amusement park in Riyadh where they fall victim to a bloodcurdling trap. Aired on MBC Masr.
  • Ana Oheboka Ba’ad – A romantic drama, which sheds light on many social topics that are presented in a light comedic style. Aired on Sama TV Dubai
  • Nasl El Aghrab – Fans were shocked after Assaf’s release from prison, and a conflict flared up when he found out that his relative Ghofran had married his ex-wife, Jaleela. Aired on MBC

CSR Initiative

As another big aspect of the Holy month is giving back to the less privileged, TikTok showcased its support this Ramadan by creating the #Cookforgood challenge, a partnership between TikTok and the Egyptian Food Bank to tackle the issue of food waste and support those in need. For every video created, TikTok donated $3 to the Egyptian Food Bank in the spirit of Ramadan. In addition, TikTok users were encouraged to share the challenge with their friends to spread awareness and support those in need. Overall, the challenge received a total of 27k videos, 170 participants, and over 100M video views. As a result, TikTok donated 50K USD to the Egyptian Food Bank.