A guide to advertising on White Friday in the Middle East

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What is White Friday?

White Friday is a November shopping holiday in the Middle East, similar to Black Friday in the US. While Black Friday takes place the day after Thanksgiving in the US, White Friday typically spans four days. In 2014, the website Souq kicked off the first “White Friday” as a four-day shopping event in the Middle East.1 The company’s chief executive, Ronaldo Mouchawar, rebranded the well-known Western retail event Black Friday to “White Friday” in the Middle East. For advertisers, this White Friday holiday could be an ideal time to reach new customers, and to share and explain their offerings with digital marketing.

Where is White Friday celebrated?

White Friday is celebrated in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). It has since expanded and has been adopted in other Middle Eastern countries including Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, and Egypt.

In other nations, similar discount holidays in November are known by other names, for example, Black Week in Germany, Black Friday Week in Switzerland, and El Buen Fin in Mexico.

When is White Friday?

In 2022, White Friday will take place from November 25 to 28. It always begins on the Friday after Thanksgiving in the US, the fourth Thursday in November. While Black Friday is a single day, White Friday typically lasts four days, running until the Monday after Thanksgiving (known as Cyber Monday in the US). It was originally expanded beyond Friday, a religious day for Muslims.

Benefits of advertising on White Friday

Advertising on the shopping holidays in November provides a great opportunity to potentially increase both reach and sales. For example, in 2021, there were record-breaking sales worldwide from Black Friday through Cyber Monday on Amazon.2 Not only could advertising on White Friday help you potentially reach new customers in the UAE and KSA, but you could also expand one-day Black Friday campaigns to include all four days of White Friday.

The benefits of advertising on White Friday also may include helping raise more awareness of your brand, reach new customers, and have an opportunity to distribute new products. Though White Friday began with only online deals, there are now opportunities to provide bargains or promotions in physical stores. Advertising on White Friday can also be a way to diversify your holiday advertising campaigns and reach customers outside the US.

What to keep in mind when advertising on White Friday

Also, keep in mind the Amazon Ads policies on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which are also applicable to White Friday.

Other UAE retail holidays when you could consider reaching new audiences include Ramadan and Singles’ Day.

An example of White Friday advertising

Pampers focused on informing customers

This instance relates to the growth of customers choosing to shop online in the Middle East and North Africa region. In 2021, Pampers launched their Premium Care Night Diapers and sought to further inform their customers. Over the past three years, shoppers in the UAE have increasingly decided to choose to do some of their shopping online, and Pampers wanted to provide resources for their customers.

1 IstiZada, 2020.
2 About Amazon, worldwide, 2021.