The Year in Spotify

If 2020 was the year that flipped the world on its head, 2021 was the year that we got used to seeing things upside down. With “normal” thrown out the window, we embraced the unknown and championed all the things that make each of us unique. Audio streaming service Spotify’s 2021 Wrapped is a celebration of this – the millions of weird and wonderful ways to listen and live in a world that continues to keep us on our toes. Spotify unveiled the top MENA artists and songs from the creators that helped soundtrack the year for more than 381 million users worldwide.

So, how did the Arab world listen this year? Here’s what Spotify saw:

Most streamed Arab artists in MENA:

  1. ElGrandeToto
  2. Wegz
  3. Inkonnu
  4. Amr Diab
  5. Tagne
  6. Marwan Pablo
  7. Mohamed Hamaki
  8. Didine Canon 16
  9. Stormy
  10. Marwan Moussa

Most streamed Arabic songs in MENA:

  1. ElGrandeToto – Mghayer
  2. Tagne – Nadi Canadi
  3. Issam Alnajjar – Hadal Ahbek
  4. Abdullah Al Farwan – ليه الجفا
  5. Abdullah Al Mukhles – اشكر جمالك
  6. Inkonnu – 7ali Ya 7ali
  7. ElGrandeToto – Haram (Pablo II)
  8. Marwan Pablo – Ghaba
  9. Hamza Namira – Fady Shewaya
  10. ElGrandeToto – Aloha!

Saudi Arabia

Saudis love international music, with Masked Wolf’s ‘Astronaut In The Ocean’ becoming the most-streamed song of 2021 and BTS becoming the most-streamed artist this year. But beyond international music, Sheilat – a traditional genre that has been evolving recently –  has been striking a chord with local listeners. Abdullah Alfarwan, an eminent figure in the genre who is leading the way with bringing poetry that was sung amongst tribes in previous generations to an upbeat beat that is enjoyed by the youth, has earned his spot as the most-streamed Saudi artist in the country for Wrapped 2021. He also bags two spots in the most-streamed songs top 10 list with ‘Leh El Jafa’ coming in second and ‘Wesh Ozark’ coming in ninth. Commenting on the news, Abdullah Al Farwan said: “I want to thank my fans for their support and love. I am thrilled to be the most-streamed Saudi artist for Wrapped 2021 on Spotify.”

KSA’s most streamed artists:

  1. BTS
  2. Abdullah Farwan
  3. The Weeknd
  4. Travis Scott
  5. Drake
  6. Doja Cat
  7. Xxxtentacion
  8. Justin Bieber
  9. Ariana Grande
  10. Gharib Al Mukhlis

KSA’s most streamed songs:

  1. Masked Wolf – Astronaut In The Ocean
  2. Abdullah Al Farwan – Leh El Gafa
  3. Lil Nas X – Montero (Call Me By Your Name)
  4. Abdullah Al Mukhles – Ashkor Jamalik
  5. Tom Odell – Another Love
  6. Doja Cat – Kiss Me More (feat. SZA)
  7. The Kid Laroi – Stay (with Justin Bieber)
  8. Måneskin – Beggin’
  9. Abdullah Al Farwan – Wesh Ozark
  10. Bader el Ghazi – El Donia Dawara

KSA’s most-streamed albums:

  1. Future Nostalgia by Dua Lipa
  2. Planet Her by Doja Cat
  3. Sour by Olivia Rodrigo
  4. ? by Xxxtentacion
  5. After Hours by The Weeknd
  6. Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon by Pop Smoke
  7. Justice by Justin Bieber
  8. Positions  by Ariana Grande
  9. Be by BTS
  10. Map of the Soul by BTS

KSA’s most popular Spotify playlists:

  1. Best Sheilat
  2. Top Khaliji Songs
  3. Top Gaming Tracks
  4. Today’s Top Hits
  5. Top Iraqi songs
  6. Hot Hits Gulf
  7. Soft Pop Hits
  8. 90s Love Songs
  9. Chill Hits
  10. Hip Hop Controller


For the second year in a row, the globally beloved K-Pop group BTS is the most-streamed artist in the UAE and the third most-streamed worldwide. Canadian powerhouses Drake (who released Certified Lover Boy in September), Justin Bieber (whose 2021 album Justice featured collaborations with artists from across the globe) and The Weeknd take spots two, three and four, respectively. They are swiftly followed by singer-songwriter Taylor Swift, whose Red (Taylor’s Version) gave old and new fans alike a reason to relive the artist’s early groundbreaking work and who is the second-most streamed artist globally.

The top song of 2021 in UAE is Lil Nas X’s viral ‘Montero (Call Me By Your Name)’. Masked Wolf’s ‘Astronaut in The Ocean’ comes in second. The Kid Laroi enters the ranks for the first time, with his Justin
Bieber collaboration ‘Stay’ taking third place both in the UAE and globally. The fourth spot is Dua Lipa with ‘Levitating (feat. DaBaby)’, and Olivia Rodrigo comes in
fifth, with ‘Good 4 U,’ which also earned
the title of 2021 Spotify Song of the
Summer globally.

UAE’s most-streamed artists:

  1. BTS
  2. Drake
  3. Justin Bieber
  4. The Weeknd
  5. Taylor Swift

UAE’s most-streamed albums:

  1. Sour by Olivia Rodrigo
  2.   Future Nostalgia by Dua Lipa
  3. Justice by Justin Bieber
  4. Planet Her by Doja Cat
  5. “=” by Ed Sheeran

UAE’s Most Streamed Songs:

  1. Montero (Call Me by Your Name)’ by Lil Nas
  2. ‘Astronaut in The Ocea’ by Masked Wolf
  3. ‘Stay’ by The Kid Laroi and Justin Bieber
  4. ‘Levitating’ (feat. DaBaby) by Dua Lipa
  5. ‘Drivers License’ by Olivia Rodrigo

UAE’s most popular podcasts:

  1. The Joe Rogan Experience
  2. Audice Wellness Services
  3. TED Talks Daily
  4. The Mindset Mentor
  5. Let’s Find Out ASMR