A camel drive-thru, changing tyres whilst driving and new Youtube regulations for Saudi

Not only does the Gulf have a 24/7 addiction to watching YouTube, but it seems the content out there is becoming ever more ‘interesting’ to say the least. Two new videos may tickle your fancy. The first is from Saudi, and could be construed as a Dummies Guide on how to change your car’s tyres whilst driving.

The second fun clip is slower-pace. The video, highlighted by Doha News, is more a spoof clip (even in Saudi I never saw an example of this) by a well-known Qatari comedian. If I was the burger chain I’d be paying to promote this online.

On a more serious note, Saudi Arabia’s government is planning to more closely monitor video content produced locally and meant for uploading to channels such as YouTube according to a fascinating report by the Wall Street Journal.

To quote from the piece:

The General Commission for Audiovisual Media will monitor the quality and quantity of content produced in Saudi Arabia on platforms such as YouTube via a code that will include guidelines on alcohol, tobacco, nudity and sexual acts, said Riyadh Najm, the commission’s president. It will also promote private-sector-led investment in the media industry.

“We will make them aware of what’s acceptable in Saudi Arabia and what’s not acceptable,” Mr. Najm said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “Criticism is acceptable as long as it’s professional and constructive.”

The irony of the above is that while Saudi Arabia has become one of the most important markets in the world for online video consumption via the likes of YouTube, Keek, Vine and other social media sites, Saudi content produced for mass entertainment has generally steered clear of Saudi taboos such as alcohol and sex. Will the above help or hinder the explosive growth of locally-produced content (you could even argue that censorship isn’t typically undertaken in parallel with promoting the industry to potential investors).

In the meantime, I hope you’ll continue to enjoy uncensored YouTube in Saudi. And if you still can’t get over the two-wheel tyre change, check out this video. Shisha-to-go? No problem. I just want to know why the choice of music!

A German Woman for Every Saudi – a new type of teaser campaign?

Being a Brit, I’m used to sexual innuendos being used in advertising. Nothing sells better than sex. But this type of thing normally gets pulled up at immigration when it comes to Saudi. So image my surprise at the below advert, which can be interpreted as ‘a German woman for every Saudi man’. The adverts were seen yesterday in Jeddah and I’ll be intrigued to see how long they’re up for. It certainly redefines the concept of a teaser campaign.

A Geman woman for every Saudi man. It's as simple as that.

A Geman woman for every Saudi man. It’s as simple as that.

Saudi Arabia and the Penguin Dance Craze

Saudis and penguins? As they say, opposites attract. And nothing attracts more than moments of random fun. The Wall Street Journal’s Ellen Knickmeyer has written a wonderful piece about how the Penguin dance has taken the country by storm. Read her piece and the watch the video. Don’t ask why and just enjoy!

Is Mugabe’s DMCC visit a PR coup or disaster?


There’s few people who have been more vilified in the Western media than the President of Zimbabwe for events in the African country over the past couple of decades. Robert Mugabe is a pariah in the West. But he’s been over in Dubai, and his government is set to open up a ‘diamond embassy’ in Dubai. Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), where the embassy will be based, put out a press release and photo op. I’ll leave it to you to answer the title question, namely was chasing media coverage the right or wrong thing for DMCC to do when it comes to Mugabe?

Will the press release and the above image of the visit backfire on DMCC and erode public trust in the organization? Or it is a sign of pragmatism and a coup for the country’s diamond business (image source: arabianbusiness.com)

Arabtec and its executive hiring campaign in Saudi

After a couple of weeks hiatus from blogging due to studies I thought I’d get back into the mix with a short and yet intriguing look at an advertising campaign run by one of the largest construction companies in the Gulf. The company that built the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, has been expanding of late. As part of its drive to grow its business in Saudi Arabia, the firm placed the below advert in most of the largest newspapers in Saudi Arabia.

Aside from costing what I guess to be about a million Riyals/Dirhams, my question would be what was the purpose of the campaign? Was it to hire a local executives, or was it to drive awareness? If you know, then please do tell!

What's the reason for this advert? And will it help in attracting the right candidate or a couple of thousand CVs?

What’s the reason for this advert? And will it help in attracting the right candidate or a couple of thousand CVs?