Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 17 October 2019

UAE fans among the biggest K-pop lovers in the Mena region

K-pop is most popular among females aged 18 to 24, says Spotify

K-pop stars BTS are the most popular Korean band in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, according to Spotify. AP 
K-pop stars BTS are the most popular Korean band in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, according to Spotify. AP 

There is no doubt that K-pop has a loyal UAE fanbase, but a new survey confirms that the country's fans are among the most loyal. According to Spotify, fans in Saudi Arabia and the UAE are the top streamers in the Mena region.

BTS is the most streamed K-pop artist regionally, while the fans are predominantly females, with a gender split of 76 to 24. The main age group of listeners is the 18 to 24 bracket, according to the streaming service.

The popularity of BTS is no surprise, particularly as the region prepares for the band's upcoming concert in Saudi Arabia on Friday, October 11.

“Witnessing the massive popularity and demand that Korean pop music enjoys in the region is just mind-blowing! Despite the fact that K-pop is coming from a different culture and is in a different language, its catchy and engaging style has managed to mesmerise hundreds of thousands of people from Saudi Arabia and the UAE," says Claudius Boller, Middle East and Africa managing director at Spotify. “At Spotify, with more than 3 billion playlists, we are here to let everyone discover new and different music cultures from around the world.”

Of the most popular artists, Blackpink and Twice round out the top three in the UAE. The band Seventeen comes in as the ninth most popular; Seventeen is set to play in Dubai at the Korean Brand and Content Expo at the Dubai World Trade Centre on Thursday, October 17.

K-pop boy band Seventeen has arrived in Dubai. Getty
K-pop band Seventeen is coming to Dubai for the Korean Brand and Content Expo. Held at the Dubai World Trade Centre on Thursday, October 17. Getty Images

The band Exo also makes the top 10. The seven-piece outfit's song Power was on at The Dubai Fountain throughout September 2018.

Despite filming their video in Dubai, newly formed K-pop supergroup SuperM does not yet make either the top 10 most streamed bands, nor the most streamed songs.

The video for SuperM's Jopping shows band members – Shinee's Taemin, Exo's Baekhyun, Kai, NCT 127's Mark and Taeyong, WayV's Lucas and Ten – riding motorbikes around Happiness Street in Business Bay and Al Khail Road, driving down Meydan Bridge, and performing on a stretch of highway in the desert. One of the members, Taemin, sings and dances to his verse in a vast desert expanse with the Dubai skyline in the background.

The UAE's most streamed K-pop artists

  1. BTS
  2. Blackpink
  3. Twice
  4. iKon
  5. Stray Kids
  6. RM
  7. Red Velvet
  8. Got7
  9. Seventeen
  10. Exo

The UAE's most streamed K-pop songs

  1. Boy With Luv, BTS featuring Halsey
  2. Kill This Love, Blackpink
  3. Dream Glow – (BTS World Original Soundtrack) Part 1, BTS and Charli XCX
  4. Love Scenario, iKon
  5. Kiss and Make Up, Blackpink and Dua Lipa
  6. A Brand New Day – (BTS World Original Soundtrack) Part 2, BTS and Zara Larsson
  7. Fake Love, BTS
  8. Ddu-Du Ddu-Du, Blackpink
  9. Make It Right, BTS
  10. Heartbeat (BTS World Original Soundtrack), BTS

Updated: October 10, 2019 06:41 PM

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