It’s no secret that the podcast scene in the Middle East is booming! Aptly enough – given the Middle East’s rich history that is steeped in oral tradition. Have you ever met an Arab who doesn’t love a good story?
Some of the best podcasts of 2019 spent the year looking backward — at the empowering of women, at companies that imploded, at important thinkers and at the shifting Middle Eastern culture. Podcast hosts retold their parents’ stories, re-investigated weird and wonderful cultural phenomena, and dived right in business and strategies.
Perhaps reaching the end of the decade has made podcasters more reflective and insightful than ever before, or perhaps we as listeners are just craving an explanation for our current moment and turning to the past to find it. Whatever the reason, it made for great listening.
Here are Podio’s 12 best podcasts of 2019.
The Dukkan Show
In this English-language podcast, Omar Tom, Reem Hameed, and Mohamed Akkaoui discuss ‘third culture kid’ experiences in the Arab world. Highly relatable to many millennial Arabs – or Neo-Bedouins, as they call them – the show covers the impact of this third culture kid upbringing on various aspects of life, including business, music, and relationships.
Every week, Mahdi Suliman gets together with Omar Hussein and Khaled Alawadhi to break down the week in football – from match results and player performances to predictions of future matches and what will happen across the season. From European leagues to local Arab leagues and international games, this new show is anything and everything football. Have a seat and join the guys on Al Sa7a!
In this Arabic-language podcast, Oman based hosts Salim Al Bashir and Sami Awlad take you to a world of inspiring ideas and entertain you with the joyous colors of life.
Man 2 Man
The Middle East’s first Arabic-language sports podcast where Dubai based hosts, OJ and Dweece, tackle NBA matches. They talk about gameplay, analysis, players and their opinions on the matches. Man 2 Man has topped Sports charts in KSA and UAE.
When Women Win
When Women Win is a podcast where female role models from around the world share their inspirational stories and practical tools for personal and professional success. In each episode, creator and host Rana Nawas draws out the stories and deconstructs the strategies of remarkable ladies making an impact.
The podcast features business leaders, celebrities and inspirational figures with guests including Beth Comstock, Kristina Kuzmic, Hala Gorani, Michelle Peluso, Marshall Goldsmith, Leslie Berland, and many more.
A Saudi Arabic-language podcast covering all things pop culture, including literature, anime, TV, comic, manga, video games, and more.
Kerning Cultures is a leading Middle East podcast network on a mission to tell stories that the MENA region can relate to. From the region for the region, these podcasts aspire to tell stories that you’d want to discuss with friends and family.
The Kerning Cultures Network features 2 English shows, Kerning Cultures (stories from the Middle East and the spaces in between) and Al Empire (stories of exceptional Arabs around the world and their journeys to the top).
Another podcast network making waves in the region is the Saudi Mstdfr network. The Arabic word “mstdfr” translates to geek and reflects the founder’s vision to embrace and celebrate the term.
Let’s Take This Online
Host, Hussam ElHage, chats with his guests about their interesting journeys that saw them end up in the fascinating world of media and marketing.
Fnjan is an Arabic-language podcast covering a variety of topics that explore the idea of diversity and differences. Saudi Founder and host, Abdulrahman Abumalih, releases weekly episodes and has interviewed an impressive line-up of guests so far including CEO of KBW Ventures Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud and art collector, lecturer, and writer Sheikh Sultan bin Sooud Al Qassemi.
The podcast is available on a range of platforms but, most interestingly, is now accessible on Saudi Airlines flights too as part of their inflight entertainment system.
This Arabic language podcast is based out of Kuwait and hosted by a certified relationship coach, Dalal Al-Janaie. Dalal uses the platform to help people improve their relationships with friends, family and themselves.
The Drive to Succeed
This podcast features inspiring and raw conversations from the world of entrepreneurship and personal development. It features successful entrepreneurs, startup founders, life coaches, and business influencers.
The podcast aims to share tips and tricks on how to overcome problems and how to achieve goals while maintaining a balanced and fulfilling life.
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