UAE Instagram Trend Report 2022

Editorial Team
January 19, 2023
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The popularity of TikTok among social media users and marketers caused a decline in Instagram influencer marketing in the UAE in 2022. Despite this, the country's  nano influencers on Instagram managed to generate a high engagement rate. Millennials in the UAE are more likely to believe nano-influencers than macro and mega-influencers, allowing brands and marketers to connect with the young demographic.

The UAE Instagram trend report deep dives into how 2022 defined influencer marketing in the country. It navigates through data points, such as engagement rate, number of influencers under various categories, and top influencers in the country. 

Table of Content

  1. Influencer Demographics
  2. Number of Influencers by Follower Count
  3. Influencer Engagement Rates
  4. Influencer Posts: 2021 Vs. 2022
  5. Top 10 Influencers With Highest Engagement Rates

1. Influencer Demographics

In the UAE, the male audience is more active on Instagram, as they make up 56.70% of total users, followed by females comprising 40.44% on the platform*. There’s a dominance of the Millennial audience aged 25-32 years, accounting for 36.26% of the user base, indicating that they are fans of Instagram and spend more time on the platform than Gen Zers. Gen Zs make up only 27.66% of the audience. 

[*The data may vary as females in UAE mostly have private accounts.]

2. Number of Influencers by Follower Count

Of all the influencer categories, there is a high demand for micro-influencers (10k-50k followers) on Instagram, counting up to 5249 on the platform. The nano (5k-10k followers) and macro influencers (100k-250k followers) follow them, with their numbers as high as 1966 and 1332, respectively. 

The data indicates that multiple brands in the UAE are tapping into the potential of smaller influencers to build authentic engagement. 

3. Influencer Engagement Rates

Nano influencers generate the highest engagement rate (3.30%) on Instagram despite their low count. Micro-influencers, on the other hand, create an engagement rate of 2.28%. The mid-tier (50k-100k followers) and mega influencers (1M+) win significant engagement rates of 1.78% and 1.71%, respectively, which means they are still an influential voice in the industry. 

We can conclude that although micro-influencers are a top choice, luxury brands still rely on mega or celebrity influencers to reach their target demographic – affluent families of the Middle East. 

4. Influencer Posts: 2021 Vs. 2022

In 2022, UAE influencers published 1.02 million pieces of content on Instagram, which is 9.33% lower than the posts published in 2021. Since Instagram influencer marketing generated only 2.78% engagement in 2022, UAE brands might be shifting towards other social channels for better reach. 

Our UAE TikTok trend report 2022 shows an increase in influencer posts in the past two years, indicating that TikTok is emerging as a go-to choice for brands to carry out influencer marketing. 

Check out our global 2022 report to learn how Meta is making efforts to beat TikTok and YouTube in terms of popularity and if it will win the battle in 2023. 

Top 10 UAE Influencers With Highest Engagement Rates

1. Farheen Khan (@curlsandfurls, 40.3k followers) 

Farheen Khan is a lifestyle blogger living in Dubai. Her Instagram account boasts aesthetic content on parenting, fashion, food, beauty, and lifestyle. With more than 40k followers trusting her content, she gains a high engagement of 18.09%. According to’s profile metrics, 92% of her audience is above 21 years of age, including mainly Millennials. In the last three months, she has posted a fair amount of non-branded content, which speaks for her authenticity. Khan collaborates with real estate, fashion, and service-based businesses, including Danube Properties, Taj Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Eatopia, Soulflower, Just Vegan Jumeirah, and more such companies. 

2. Akif El Sabeh (@akifelsabeh, 44k followers) 

Akif El Sabeh is an entertainment content creator who posts funny couple videos, memes, and vines on his Instagram page. He also creates tons of family-related content with his wife, Sara Karrit, who is also an influencer. His high engagement rate (22.77%) shows how much his followers love his content. Nearly 40% of his audience is 25-32 years old, and 32.89% are aged 19-25 years. Interestingly, around 80% of his audience is female, and only 19.74% is male. In addition to UAE, he has a significant audience from Nigeria and the USA. 

3. نرجس (@nnarrjes, 17.6k followers) 

@nnarrjes is a model and fashion influencer in UAE with more than 17k followers on her page. She mainly posts fashion and accessories and lifestyle content, including snippets from her life in the Middle East. Her content creates an engagement rate of 21.14%. Most of her audience is above the age of 21 years, making up 94.23% of her follower base, of which the majority are male followers. Her social media account has endorsements for  CCC, Tribe Essentials, Vabène, DAFFA, and other beauty and fashion companies. 

4. Jida A. (@raisinggirlsdxb, 14.9k followers)

Jida is a mommy influencer in UAE and posts about kids and family-related content on her page. She also has a second page, @rgdlunchbox, where she posts lunch box ideas for kids. At least 87.80% of her audience is females aged between 26 and 32. She wins an amazingly high engagement rate of 23.2%, which means other UAE-based moms enjoy her content. Besides UAE, she has followers from the US, UK, Germany, and Pakistan. Jida’s brand mentions include Teky Go, PlanetBox, FirstCry AE, Costco, Pillsbury Baking, Spinwheel Plate, and more businesses that target moms on social media. 

5. Aysha (@3yshart, 115k followers) 

Aysha is no less than a celebrity in the creative world. She is a UAE-based content creator who posts her paintings on her Instagram to engage 100k+ followers. She has also appeared in interviews for her artwork and continues influencing people with her content. Aysha is an excellent influencer for brands and agencies looking to promote creative products or services to her art-loving followers. Although she’s a macro-influencer, her engagement rate is as high as 30.47%, higher than other influencers in the same category. Around 71.9% of her audience is female, of which 50.39% are aged 19-25 years. A large part of her audience (40.9%) resides in Saudi Arabia, followed by Egypt, Iraq, UAE, Turkey, the US, and more regions, which shows that she influences the Middle East audience. 

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