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The year in Twitter

As 2020 draws to a close, Twitter’s end-of-year reflection showcases the unique way the year unfolded across the platform. Through a data pull of Tweets, hashtags and handles, Twitter highlights the stories that have led public conversations across UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

THE UAE

During a tumultuous year, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum took the lead in Tweets, with the high engagement in the UAE throughout 2020. His most liked Tweet of the year was sharing his prayers and condolences with the people of Lebanon, following the Beirut explosion.

Life has taught me (علمتني_الحياة‭#‬)

In a continuation of previous years, His Highness shared his knowledge and experiences with the public, accompanied by the hashtag ‭#‬علمتني‭_‬الحياة. Here is his most liked Tweet:

#Life_has_ taught_me that life goes on… as one stage ends, another begins… and things pass you by only for another opportunity to present itself… just as night and day interchange… life is renewed… and man always returns to the path God sets.. .he does not despair, he does not cease. Rather, he lives with a continued determination of creating a life.

Initiatives announced by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid on Twitter

His Highness also announced a number of initiatives through his official Twitter account, which is followed by over 10 million people. Here are some of the most Retweeted highlights of what His Highness announced through Twitter:

  1. The inauguration of Al Wasl Plaza, the heart of the Expo 2020 Dubai site:

  2. The launch of a ‘Mystery Shopper’ app to rate government services:<

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  3. The completion of the Hope probe’s transfer to its launch site at the space station on Tanegashima Island in Japan:<

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  4. The conclusion of the 10 Million Meals initiative, that easily exceeded its target figure:<

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  5. The launch of the New Media Academy:<

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  6. The successful launch of the Hope Mars probe:<

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  7. The launch of the UAE’s first independent biomedical research centre, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Medical Research:<

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  8. The signing of an agreement with NASA to train Emirati astronauts for potential missions to the International Space Station (ISS):<

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  9. The launch of the first Emirati and Arab mission to explore the moon, the Emirates Lunar Mission:<

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  10. The announcement of the second Emirati satellite, MBZ-SAT:<

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  11. Announcement of the exact arrival date and time of the country’s Hope probe:<

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Fastest growing UAE government accounts

2020 also witnessed a fast-paced growth for the Twitter accounts of UAE government entities, as communities looked for greater connection while staying up-to-date. Here are some of the fastest-growing UAE handles of the year:

  1. The official UAE Government (@UAEGov)
  2. Dubai Police (@DubaiPoliceHQ)
  3. Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice)
  4. Ministry of Interior, UAE (@MOIUAE)
  5. Abu Dhabi Police (@ADPoliceHQ)
  6. Dubai Health Authority (@DHA_Dubai)

The most Tweeted hashtags relating to events in the UAE

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic was the dominant event of 2020, as evidenced by the most prominent event hashtags in the UAE in 2020, which covered general updates surrounding the pandemic, as well as community campaigns and initiatives designed to help stem the outbreak:

  1. #Coronavirus*
  2. #فيروس_كورونا *(Coronavirus)
  3. #انت_مسؤول (You Are Responsible)
  4. #StayHome*
  5. #YouAreResponsible

EGYPT

While the world was faced with unprecedented times in 2020, Egyptians took to the platform to laugh their way through it, with humorous Tweets and memes. Some of the top Retweets include:

  1. Comedian Mohahmed Henedy (@OfficialHenedy) jokes about the warm weather: <

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  2. Tazz Muhammed (@TazzMuhammed) shares a video of himself singing Disney’s Hakunna Matata: <

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  3. Aml Osama Wahbi (@WahbiAmi) shares a funny video of children arguing with one another: <

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The most liked celebrity Tweets in Egypt

Many of this year’s most liked celebrity Tweets were in reference to the pandemic. While some celebs urged people to stay safe, others focused on staying positive while making their followers smile. The most liked celebrity Tweets include:

  1. Egyptain actor Youssef El Sherif (@ElSherif) shares a photo of himself at an office:<

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  2. Egyptian actor Ahmed Helmy (@ahelmy) shares a photo of himself joking about the summer that does not seem to be in sight due to Covid-19:<

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  3. Professional football player at Al-Ahly SC Moamen Zakaria (@MoamenZakaria) shares a thankful message with his followers, following their prayers and support while he was sick with Covid-19:<

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  4. Tunisian professional football player Ferjani Sassi (@FerjaniSassi) celebrates testing negative for Covid-19:<

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  5. Comedian Mohahmed Henedy (@OfficialHenedy) urges his followers to stay home:<

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 The fastest-growing celebrity accounts in Egypt

This year also witnessed fast-paced growth for the Twitter accounts of Egyptian celebrities, as communities looked to them for support, entertainment, and humour. Here are some of the fastest-growing Egyptian handles of the year in terms of following:

Here are the top actor handles:

  1. Mohamed Henedy (@OfficialHenedy)
  2. Ahmed Helmy (@ahelmy)
  3. Yasmine Sabri (@yasminesabri)
  4. Youssef El Sherif (@ElSherif)
  5. Amir Karara (@AmirKarara)

The fastest-growing hashtags in Egypt

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic was the dominant event of 2020, as evidenced by the top growing hashtags in Egypt in 2020. The hashtags relate to general community reminders of staying safe and being responsible during the pandemic:

  1. #StayHome
  2. كلنا_مسؤول#
  3. الكورونا#
  4. الحظر_الكلي#
  5. اقعد_في_بيتك#

This year most Tweeted football club hashtags in Egypt were الزمالك# (Zamalek Sporting Club), followed by الاهلي# (Al Ahly Sporting Club).

The most Tweeted footballer related hashtags:

  1. طارق_حامد_ملك_افريقيا# (Zamalek’s Tarek Hamed is Africa’s king)
  2. ادعم_الزمالك_ادعم_ساسي# (Support Zamalek, support Ferjani Sassi)
  3. شيكا_ابو_الاهلاويه# (Shikabala is better than Al Al Ahly)
  4. الخطيب_اسطوره_القرن# (Al Ahly’s Mahmoud El Khatib is this century’s legend)
  5. افريقيا_ياايمن_اشرف# (Africa with Ahly’s Ayman Ashraf)

Mohamed Salah’s most liked Tweet

Egyptian footballer Mohammad Salah ruled the platform yet again. His most liked Tweet in Egypt saw @MoSalah tweet a photo thanking his fans, his country, and the Arab world who have stood by him and supported him:


KSA

Dominated by Al Hilal football club, here are the most Retweeted sports Tweets in Saudi Arabia per month:

  1. January – @ssuwailm congratulates Al Nassr football team:<

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  2. February – The official AFC Champions League account (@theAFCCL_ar) congratulates the Al Hilal football team:<

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  3. March – Al Hilal club (@Alhilal_fc) celebrating their win of the AFC:<

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  4. May – (@SSuwailm) posting a good luck message by (@PauDybala_JR):<

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  5. June – Al Nasser player abderrazak Hamdallah (@hamedallah_9) wishing luck before a massive game:<

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  6. July – Al Hilal club (@alhilal_FC) celebrating winning the AFC 2 years in a row:<

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  7. August – Al Hilal club (@Alhilal_FC) celebrating the win of the Mohammed Bin Salman Cup:<

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  8. September – Al Hilal player Mohammad Al Shalhoub (@mbsh_10) celebrating his time with Al Hilal before he retires:<

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  9. October – Al Hilal club (@Alhilal_FC) celebrating the joining of a new team member:<

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  10. November – Al Nasser club (@AlnassrFC) sending through a victory note:<

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The most Tweeted football club hashtags:

  1. الهلال# (Al Hilal football club)
  2. النصر# (Al Nassr football club)
  3. الاتحاد# (Al Ittihad football club)
  4. الشباب# (Al Shabab football club)
  5. الأهلي# (Al Ahli football club)

The most Tweeted football matches

  1. #النصر_التعاون (Al Nassr_Al Taawon)
  2. #الهلال_النصر (Al Hilal_Al Nassr)
  3. #الهلال_الاتفاق (Al Hilal_ Al Ettifaq)
  4. #الاتحاد_الهلال (Al ittihad_ Al Hilal)
  5. #النصر_الفتح (Al Nassr_Al Fateh)

The most Tweeted football players:

  1. @hamedallah_9 – Abderrazak Hamdallah from Al Nassr
  2. @bafgomis – Bafétimbi Gomis from Al Hilal
  3. @samialjaber – Retired footballer Sami Al Jaber from Al Hilal
  4. @mbsh_10 – Retired footballer Mohammed Al Shalhoub from Al Hilal

Most Retweeted inspirational and heartwarming stories:

With so much happening around the pandemic, here are two of the most Retweeted inspirational and lighthearted stories that took place on Twitter this year

  1. @Zdmhsh highlights his mother’s commitment and drive to their food truck in spite of her illness, asking people to come to visit and show their support by trying the food:<

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  2. @berela_b posts a video promoting her father’s stationery shop, inviting people to come visit the shop:<

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One of the most liked Tweets of 2020 came from @ammj_96 who posted a heartwarming video of a lady known for her giving nature. The video captures her emotional reaction upon being on the receiving end of a gift, as she is given a rose.:

And finally, the top emoji across all markets was the laughing face with tears

😂 (laughing face)

To celebrate the year-end, Twitter has launched its annual emoji, which unlocks when the following English and Arabic hashtags are Tweeted:

  • #ThisHappened
  • #ThisHappened2020
  • حدث_في_2020#

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