Blogging is one of the best and most popular outlets of communication to share content directly with an audience. Blogging comes in different shapes and forms and ranges from ways for people to share their personal story to sites able to promote a business or service.
Blogs have become increasingly mainstream for digital communities and anyone can virtually start publishing content using platform like WordPress with many free options for beginners and the possibility to earn some money for expert communicators.
A blog can be used to produce noticeable content that can help grow traffic or launch a product or service; bloggers often work on making content localized and work with keywords and phrases that help local consumers find information.
Also in many Arab countries, blogs and other forms of new media provide a way for citizens to obtain the information they are interested in, outside of the official channels, and exchange their personal opinion about different topics such as culture, economics, politics and many others. In some Arab countries with stricter rules on news sharing, blogging has represented a great way to diversify information or an option to really present what life really looks like beyond propaganda and stereotypes.
Beyond social and political blogs, in countries like the UAE, content providers are becoming more and more popular to promote brands, aid shopping and publicizing events. According to a 2016 survey by YouGov, 71 percent of UAE residents aged 18-40 seeks advice from social influencers and bloggers before purchases and before booking any services. Many are banking on this trend and are establishing Arabic Internet e-commerce sites for a shopping experience that is easier and localized.
Blogging is also important as a way of sharing info on where to go and what to do. With a large part of the population comprised of expatriates, it is normal that many turn to content providers looking for information on lifestyle, advice on where to find some services and, in general, how to make the most of their stay.
One of the portals that has been taking the lead in the UAE in facilitating cross-cultural discussions, sharing valuable information and providing services to viewers is DubaiBlog, a network of websites about Dubai, UAE and GCC, that is establishing itself as a successful online presence in the Arab World. Thanks to a number of sites in different languages, DubaiBlog network caters to the needs not only of residents, but also of the many expats in the area and of those that are planning their move to the UAE.
Nico de Corato, owner and founder of DubaiBlog started this project as a personal blog in 2009 (although the project started with a different name in 2007) but through the years has been able to create a blogging community in UAE and establish the network as a go-to place for information not only about Dubai. Nico, is today not only a popular Arab blogger, but is also an expert connoisseur of UAE life and lifestyle. His experience as Italian-mother tongue who has been living in Dubai for many years and as expat passionate for Arab culture has naturally flown into another valuable project: the writing of the Italian version of the popular book Spoken Emirati written by Hanan Al Fardan and Abdulla Al Kaabi. Dialetto Emiratino is quickly establishing itself as a book of reference for all those who want to learn a dialect widely spoken in the southern part of the Arabic peninsula and in the Gulf.