White Friday in the Middle East: Shocking Numbers from Google Trends

Bet you’ve never heard of White Friday!! Learn All About White Friday in the MENA region, from Google Trends.

It seems the winter holiday season is upon us. Not convinced? The team in our Arabic sister website, موقع كوبون, have started the count down till White Friday by checking Google Trends and showing you the searching habits of shoppers in the Middle East.

White Friday: the Arabic version of the Western Black Friday

Black Friday, an American retail tradition, introduced to the Middle East and Arab World for the first time in 2014 by retail giant SOUQ.com, and named White Friday. With regard to Friday’s cultural / religious significance in the Middle East, being the day of worship and gathering of friends and family. In addition to the fact that the color Black is associated with bad luck/superstition in the region; therefore the introduction of “White Friday” to better suit the Arab world.

SOUQ.com introduced huge sales and deals up to 70% off on a wide variety of their products under the name of “White Friday”. The White Friday offers included discounts on mobiles and electronics in general, clothing and accessories, children toys and many others.

White Friday’s Increasing Popularity as shown by Google Trends

Every year and specifically around late October / beginning of November, all shoppers whether price driven or not, are waiting for the BIG Black Friday Deals! How do we know? Google Trends reveals it all. Expectations this year are even more optimistic than previous years, here’s a chart showing the year by year increase in searches for الجمعة البيضاء (white friday in arabic).

الجمعة البيضاء

As you can see the surge started in 2014 and is exponentially increasing every season. The table below shows you the surges in search volume in more depth:

Week Year Interest over Time
Nov.23 – Nov.29 2014 9
Nov.22 – Nov.28 2015 72
Nov.20 – Nov.26 2016 100


This is more than 11x growth in just 2 years!

With top searches being from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, UAE and Kuwait, consecutively. In the image below you can see the Interest by Region values, calculated on a scale from 0 to 100 where 100 is the location with the most popularity as a fraction of total searches in that location. The following are the top 5 Regions by Interest in White Friday:

بلاك فرايدي

The chart below covers the “White Friday” shopping season in-depth over the past 5 years – revealing the latest trends and various retailers who are known for White Friday sales. Non-Arabic speakers, I got your back:

  • Blue – White Friday
  • Red – Souq.com (most known in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the rest of the gulf)
  • Yellow – Namshi (another online fashion retailer, well known in the Gulf)
  • Green – Amazon (mostly searched for in Saudi Arabia, Libya and Kuwait)
  • Purple – Jumia (e-commerce platform, mostly known in Egypt)

الجمعة السوداء

The Winning E-commerce Retailers in the Middle East

And the award goes to:

  1. Souq.com (searching for: الجمعة البيضاء على موقع سوق دوت كوم)
  2. Amazon.com
  3. Namshi.com
  4. Jumia.com

Clearly, search volumes for these retailers are strongly correlated with the White Friday searches,with Souq.com being significantly way, way ahead!

Based on all the numbers Google Trends has revealed, I think it’s safe to say that white friday sales in the middle east are going to blow last year’s sales out of the water. All I can say is: Middle East, let the games begin! And Souq.com competitors, may the odds be ever in your favor ✌!!

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