x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Gangnam Style top of trends in UAE Google searches for 2012

The South Korean YouTube hit Gangnam Style was the most-searched Web term this year, followed by the iPad 3 and Olympics, according to Google.

Gangnam Style, by the South Korean pop sensation Psy, was the UAE’s top Web search term, according to Google. Greg Wood / AFP
Gangnam Style, by the South Korean pop sensation Psy, was the UAE’s top Web search term, according to Google. Greg Wood / AFP

The average UAE internet user is obsessed with Gangnam Style, the iPad 3 and baklava, according to Google's annual ranking of popular search terms.

The American web giant's Zeitgeist report, which analysed 1 trillion web searches worldwide, found that interest in electronic gadgets, entertainment and global events was especially evident in the UAE.

But the South Korean pop sensation Psy managed to beat every other search term, topping Google's list with his music video Gangnam Style. The clip has become the most-watched video on YouTube, garnering almost 1 billion views and making a millionaire out of the singer.

English dominates Google searches in the UAE, in contrast with Egypt and Saudi Arabia, where Arabic is the primary language. Most of these searches were conducted on mobile phones, reflective of the high mobile penetration rates across the region.

Other search terms that generated the highest amount of trafficincluded the London Olympics 2012, followed by the Samsung Galaxy S3 and The Avengers and Skyfall films.

UAE internet users also showed interest in political and social events.

Hurricane Sandy, Kony 2012 - a short film by a campaign group about the Ugandan militia leader Joseph Kony - and the Syrian Revolution rounded out the list of the UAE's most popular search terms.

The late Whitney Houston topped the list of the most searched people, followed by the Arabs Got Talent star Shama Hamdan and Kate Middleton.

Egyptians were mostly concerned with the events of Port Said, the Higher Council for Elections, Tahrir Square and pictures of the Egyptian flag, said Google. Internet users in Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, searched mostly for student results, insurance and Arab Idol - with flowers topping the image search list.

The Zeitgeist report is a collation of queries that people type into the Google search engine every year. The top search trend in the world was Whitney Houston, followed by Gangnam Style and Hurricane Sandy. The British boy band One Direction came out top for image searches, followed by American singer Selena Gomez and the iPhone 5.

thamid@thenational.ae