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Meet Njoud Al-Shammari, Saudi Arabia’s top vlogger

Saudi lifestyle creator Njoud Al-Shammari has over 800,000 subscribers on YouTube alone

Published: Updated:

Online video intelligence company Tubular Labs has ranked the most influential female YouTube creators in Saudi Arabia in the last 90 days, placing 21-year-old Saudi lifestyle creator Njoud Al-Shammari in the lead with over 800,000 subscribers.

Lifestyle and beauty vlogger Asrar Aref came in second, followed by Amal Elmziryahi, Hessa Al-Awad, and Juhara Al-Sajer.

The top five names on the list scored the highest on the Tubular Influencer Score (TIS), which takes into account 10 different metrics when generating the rankings such as the creator’s reach, engagement with viewers and subscribers and the channel’s activity.

The report comes as female-content on YouTube continues to grow as total number of hours spent watching female-related videos grew by 50 percent last year (2014-2015) in the Middle East and North Africa.

In Saudi Arabia, total watch time on YouTube grew by 50 percent between 2014 and 2015. Saudi Arabia also has the highest watch time per capita globally.

Denis Crushell, vice president at Tubular Labs, said: “Online video is more global than ever before, with creators around the world making content that resonates with their audiences. These top female Saudi creators deliver content that engages their audience, providing both entertainment value and inspiration. Collectively their content has drawn more than 184 million views all time with an Engagement Rating (ER 30) that is 5x more engaging than average video.”

“I am happy to see these women’s hard work recognized by hard data. Each of these creators continue to make high-quality content that is not only useful but is also an expression of their creativity. They are telling their own stories to their audience and the world, and will continue to utilize YouTube’s reach to more than 1 billion daily users to grow their channels,” head of YouTube Partnerships in the Middle East and North Africa Diana Baddar said.

In October, YouTube launched Batala, a dedicated channel which features the region’s top female creators, featuring more than 100 women from across the Middle East and North Africa. All five channels in the Tubular Labs list are on Batala.

Tubular is the worldwide leader in online video intelligence. It powers the world’s best media companies, brands, and agencies.

Launched in May 2005, YouTube allows billions of people to discover, watch and share originally-created videos. YouTube, a Google company, provides a forum for people to connect, inform and inspire others across the globe and acts as a distribution platform for original content creators and advertisers large and small.

Female Saudis who made waves on YouTube

Njoud Al-Shammari, a 21-year-old Saudi lifestyle and comedy vlogger, has been on YouTube for a little more than a year. Her videos range from comedy and tips to fun tutorials.

She often features her brother who is also a widely-followed YouTuber on her channel. She has 890,000 subscribers and 52 million views as of November.

Asrar Arif has been on YouTube since 2012. Her channel has a wide variety of content, from videos about travel and beauty tips to challenges and recipes. She has 505,000 subscribers and 44 million views as of November.

Amal Elmziryahi is a Moroccan creator and the first non-Saudi on the list. Amal’s channel is a collection of recipes with a focus on Middle Eastern and Western dessert with some savory recipes as well. Despite having never shown her face on camera, Amal’s subscribers continue to grow. Her most popular video is from 2013 in which she teaches her viewers how to make crepes. As of November, she has 255,000 subscribers and 45 million views.

Hessa Al-Awad is a 24-year-old Saudi beauty creator and an avid fan of Japanese pop culture. Her videos range from hair tutorials to personal hygiene tips.

Hessa produces, shoots and edits all of her videos in her house. She is the second creator on the list who has never revealed her face, which hasn’t stopped her growth on YouTube. Hessa has 469,000 subscriptions and 60 million views as of November.

Al-Juhara Sajer, 25, started her YouTube channel in 2012. With 423,000 subscribers and 48 million videos as of November, Juhara’s videos range from travel vlogs to fun challenges featuring different members of her family to self-improvement talks.

This article was originally published on Saudi Gazette on Nov. 25, 2016.