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The Annual 2022: The Year in Spotify

Lynn Fattouh, senior marketing manager at Spotify, says: “Across the region, we saw new names join our top lists for the first time, such as Muslim and Essam Sasa, demonstrating how the music industry is growing and diversifying. For the first time, the most-streamed artist in the Arab world was Wegz. In addition, we saw more Egyptian household names, such as Marwan Moussa and Marwan Pablo, join the shortlist. We also saw solid Moroccan representation with ElGrandeToto and Tagne in the top five most-listened-to artists in the Arab world. 

“2022 is emergent. We’re emerging into a reality of culture hyperdrive, where everything is happening all at once. As we climb out of our safe bubbles and dust off our ‘nice clothes’, we question everything. What is it that we want? Do we have to follow someone else’s sense of fashion, music or taste as we come out of the pandemic? We find that we are empowered to rediscover our personal tastes and redefine what we are really into.” 

Top 10 Arab artists in the region:

1. Wegz

2. ElGrandeToto

3. Marwan Mousa

4. Marwan Pablo

5. Tagne

6. Essam Sasa

7. Muslim – مُسلِم

8. Mohamed Hamaki

9. Cairokee

10. Ahmed Saad

Top 10 Arabic tracks in the region: 

1. ‘El Bakht’ by Wegz

2. ‘Etnaset’ by Muslim –‭ ‬مُسلِم

3. ‘Aleky Eyoun’ by Ahmed Saad

4. ‘Matkhafeesh Yamma’ by Ali Loka and Ouzzy

5. ’Elghazala Ray2a’ by Karim Mahmoud Abdelaziz and
Mohamed Osama

6. ‘Barbary’ by Marwan Pablo

7. ‘Love Nwantiti North African Remix’ by ElGrandeToto and CKay

8. ‘Magic’ By Kouz1

9. ‘Min Awel Dekika’ by Elissa and Saad LMjarred

10. ‘B3ouda ya Belady’ by Wegz

Saudi Arabia

2022 was the year of The Weeknd, with the Canadian superstar becoming Saudi Arabia’s artist of the year. As a close second is genre-bending artist Taylor Swift, followed by the beloved K-Pop group BTS. At number four and five on the list stood Canadian powerhouse Drake and legendary rapper Eminem, whose music soundtracked the teenage years
of millennials.

As far as genres go, music listeners in Saudi have eclectic tastes, with genres such as Pop, Dance, Hip Hop, Rap, and K-Pop, along with Khaleeji music becoming some of their favourite sounds.

Local artists also made waves, with Abdullah Al-Farwan being the most-streamed Saudi artist in the country, followed by Abdul Majeed Abdullah and Sheilat artist Badr ElEzzi in the second and third spots, respectively.

The top artist list saw more Sheilat names this year, with Ghareeb Al-Mukhles, Fahd bin Fasla, Abdullah Al-Mukhles, and Mohammed bin Grman making it to the top 10 most-streamed artists list. There is also a strong presence of iconic household names such as Abdul Majeed Abdullah, Mohamed Abdu and Rashed Al Majed. 

When it comes to top songs, ‘Ya Ibn Khamash’ by Mohammed Al Najm is the most-streamed Khaleeji song in Saudi this year. Assala Nasri made two special appearances on the list with her songs ‘Henain’ and ‘Al Sourah”. Also on the most-streamed song list are newcomers including Lamiya Almalk with her single ‘Shoft El Nejoum’.

Several educational, motivational, cultural, and society podcasts have been making waves in Saudi Arabia this year, including Kanabet El Sebt, Finjan and Podcast Tanafuss. 

Most-Streamed Artists in Saudi Arabia:

1. The Weeknd

2. Taylor Swift

3. BTS

4. Drake

5. Eminem

6. Billie Eilish

7. The Neighbourhood

8. Justin Bieber

9. Imagine Dragons

10. Lana Del Rey

Most-Streamed Tracks in Saudi Arabia:

1. ‘Another Love’ byTom Odell

2. ‘As It Was’ by Harry Styles

3. ‘Middle Of The Night’ by Elley Duhé

4. ‘Enemy (with JID)’ – from the series Arcane League of Legends – by Imagine Dragons

5.  ‘Heat Waves’ by Glass Animals

6. ‘Sweater Weather’ by The Neighbourhood

7. ‘After Dark’ by Mr. Kitty

8. ‘Close Eyes’ by DVRST

9. ‘Save Your Tears’ by The Weeknd

10. ‘Industry Baby’ by Lil Nas X featuring Jack Harlow

Most-Streamed Saudi Artists in Saudi Arabia: 

1. Abdullah Al-Farwan

2. Abdul Majeed Abdullah

3. Badr Elezzi

4. Ghareeb Al Mukhles

5. Mohamed Abdu 

6. Rashed Al Majed

7. Khaled Abdul Rahman

8. Fahd Bin Fasla

9. Abdullah Al Mukhles

10. Mohammed Bin Grman

Most-Streamed Khaleeji Songs in Saudi Arabia:

1. ‘Ya Ibn Khamash’ by Mohammed Al Najm

2. ‘Kalemni’ by Badr Elezzi 

3. ‘Henain’ by Assala Nasri 

4. ‘Al Sourah’ by Assala Nasri 

5. ‘Ghazal Ma Yensady’ by Abdul Majeed Abdallah 

6. ‘Shoft El Nejoum’ by Lamiya Almalki 

7. ‘Qalby Jobarny’ by Yasser Abdul Wahab 

8. ‘Ashofak Kil Youm’ by Mohamed Abdu

9. ‘Adaaj Oyoun’ by Majd Al Raslani 

10. ‘Zikrayat’ by Badr Elezzi 

Saudi Arabia’s Most Popular Spotify Playlists: 

1. Best Khaleeji Songs

2. Best Sheilat

3. Wesh Al Trend وش‭ ‬الترند

4. The Top 

5. Tarab Khaleeji  ‭ ‬طرب خليجي 

6. Hot Hit Gulf

7. Hiwayah Iraqi

8. Throw Now

9. New Khaleeji

10. Hot Arabic Hit- Yalla

Most popular Podcasts in Saudi Arabia:

1. Kanabet El Sebt

2. Finjan


4. Abajoura

5. Sa7eb

6. E7tiyal- احتيال

7. Al- Salfah – السالفة

8. Jinayah – جناية

9. Sokrat

10. Areeka – بودكاست أريكة


Canadian powerhouse The Weeknd is the UAE’s most-streamed artist of 2022. The Weeknd was followed by Taylor Swift, Drake, BTS and
Justin Bieber. 

The top songs of 2022 were Harry Styles’ ‘As It Was’, followed by ‘Heat Waves’ by Glass Animals, and ‘Stay’ by The Kid Laroi in collaboration with Justin Bieber. Justin Bieber’s hit ‘Ghost’ took the fourth spot, making it Bieber’ s second appearance on the UAE’s top songs lists. Elton John’s ‘Cold Heart’ (PNAU Remix) came
in fifth. 

The love of K-Pop remains strong among the most streamed albums, with BTS’ Proof becoming the most-streamed album in the UAE, followed by Ed Sheeran’s =. Dawn FM by The Weeknd comes in at number three. Harry’s House by Harry Styles, and Justice by Justin Bieber land at numbers four and five, respectively. 

This year, in particular, more artists from Egypt have topped the most-streamed Arab artists’ list across the region, with Wegz becoming the most-streamed Arab artist of the year. Other names on the top Arab artist list include ElGrandeToto, Marwan Mousa, Marwan Pablo and Tagne. 

Wegz again tops the list of most-streamed Arabic songs, with ‘El Bakht’ becoming the region’s most-streamed song. The second and third spots are ‘Etnaset’ by Muslim and ‘Aleky Eyoun’ by Ahmed Saad. ‘Matkhafeesh Yamma’ by RADAR artist Ali Loka and Ouzzy and ‘Elghazala Ray2a’  by Karim Mahmoud Abdelaziz and Mohamed Osama come in fourth and fifth, respectively. 

As for Podcasts, The Joe Rogan Experience takes the number one slot for the most popular podcast of the year in UAE. Coming in second and third are Think Fast, Talk Smart: Communication Techniques and Call Her Daddyfollowed by Anything Goes with Emma Chamberlain and On Purpose with Jay Shetty.

Most Streamed Artists in the UAE: 

1. The Weeknd

2. Taylor Swift

3. Drake

4. BTS

5. Justin Bieber

6. Ed Sheeran

7. Arijit Singh

8. Pritam

9. Kanye West

10. Dua Lipa

Most Streamed Songs in the UAE: 

1. ‘As It Was’ by Harry Styles 

2. ‘Heat Waves’ by Glass Animals 

3. ‘Stay’ by The Kid Laroi (with
Justin Bieber)

4. ‘Ghost’ by Justin Bieber 

5. ‘Cold Heart’ (PNAU Remix) by Elton John

6. ‘Enemy’ – from the series Arcane League of Legends – byImagine Dragon with JID and Arcane 

7. ‘ Middle of the Night’ by Elley Duhé

8. ‘Industry Baby’ by Lil Nas X with Jack Harlo w

9. ‘Under the Influence’ by Chris Brown

10. ‘Love Nwantiti (Ah Ah Ah)’ by CKay

Most Streamed Albums in the UAE: 

1. Proof by BTS

2.  = by Ed Sheeran

3. Dawn FM by The Weeknd

4. Harry’s House by Harry Styles

5. Justice by Justin Bieber

6. Sour by Olivia Rodrigo

7. After Hours by The Weeknd

8. Planet Her by Doja Cat

9. Starboy by The Weeknd

10. Future Nostalgia by Dua Lipa

Most Popular Podcasts on Spotify in the UAE:

1. The Joe Rogan Experience

2. Think Fast, Talk Smart 3: Communication Techniques

3. Call Her Daddy

4. Anything Goes with Emma Chamberlain

5. On Purpose with Jay Shetty

6. The Mindset Mentor

7. TED Talks Daily 

8. Jayasree’s World

9. Superhuman with Wil Dasovich

10. The Diary Of A CEO with Steven Bartlett