Arab Men and Women #10: Nescafe

December 21, 2010

So we mentioned Turkish Coffe and Starsucks, here we talk about THEE number one beverage consumed in the Middle East: Nescafe !!!

I can safely say that this is indeed a social phenomena ! And I think Nescafe is making hell lot of money from this region alone.

While Turkish coffee was the defacto standard that you expect when someone offer you “coffee”, now Nescafe is the coffee. In any restaurant or meeting, if you ask for coffee, expect to see some form of Nescafe instant coffee.

It’s fascinating, and I tell you I’m one of those addicted to the disgusting taste of nescafe ! not bad at all, and very convenient for a lazy guy like me who don’t want to bother with other types of coffee.

What’s more amusing is that there are plenty of commerically available instant coffee brands in the Middle East, yet the average Arab consumer is so faithful to Nescafe that they even call other brands of instant coffee as “nescafe”.

Well, there’s always a room for one more cup of nescafe now isn’t there ? 😉


Arab Men and Women #9: FC Barcelona

December 17, 2010

You’d be surprised how many Arab males and females out there who have FC Barcelona logos on their cars, facebook pages, clothes, and basically everywhere! I have seen toilet papers with FC Barcelona logos on !

A rough analysis of FC Barcelona fans in the Middle East will tell you this:

  • 80% of FC Barcelona fans started watching football about 2 to 4 yrs ago, and have actually no business in football or sports in general.
  • 10% root for FC Barcelona because it’s a strong team now. Those same 10% used to root for Real Medrid few yrs ago when it was winning. Sore losers.
  • 5% have no idea what FC Barcelona is, they don’t know the difference between a goal and a penalty, and they have no idea why they root for FC Barcelona. They just have the logo on their facebook page, and they update the status of their facebook pages with things like “we won”, “Barca 4ever”, whenever they hear there’s a match.
  • 5% are actual fans.

Arab Men and Women #8: Brand Names

December 17, 2010

If you’re visiting the Middle East for the first time; you’re up for a surprise here 😎

Forget what you see on TV about wars and religion; it’s just the stupid propaganda.

If you happen to visit one of the famous Arab cities like Dubai (or Posh Dubai if you will), Beirut, Amman, or Cairo; you will notice a rediculous interest in brand names and fashion in general. Since this is the Middle East, so you should already expect the unexpected.

Just because something is trending in New York, Stockholm, and Paris, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s trending in Beirut and Amman for example !  Typically, you will find a certain type of jeans trending, and at least 95% of the girls (and guys – disturbing I know) wearing the same type of jeans. It’s the cool thing, and everybody will have to wear and if you don’t wear the same jeans then you are a loser – uncool – geek.

A typical stylish guy should have at least 18 different jeans, and a girl would have double or triple that – depends on her budget.  Believe me, it’s nothing you will see anywhere, because usually a  girl doesn’t have to provide for herself or for her family in the Middle East, so basically her budget is her entire salary.

Guys however, depends on their money, and that can be a bitch. So just like the rest of the world, cool and rich go hand in hand here. Diesel, Pull & bear, and so many brands, some of which are actually not stylish anywhere save for the Middle East. And since the whole concept and sense of beauty is damaged (read my earlier posts to understand), so the degree of beauty and coolness is primarily related to clothing in the Middle East.

Speaking of Brand Names, you should also notice that the average (15 to 60) yrs old Arab citizen usually have the latest cell phone out there. Be it the new iphone(s), blackberry, Nokia, or whatever brand that’s trending – in the Middle East. It doesn’t matter if they don’t use 98% of the features in those “smart” phones, it’s all about the looks, and being cool to attract the opposite sex (now don’t argue and say that it’s for some other holier puporse, there isn’t any other logical reason that I can think of).

On a personal ranking, I think Beirut & Dubai are the winners for the most over-dressed girls, and I gotta tell you, an eye candy isn’t always a bad idea 😉 ; just don’t get dragged to the world of “fashion in the Middle East” because you need a lot of time, money, and plenty of airhead to catch up with the madness.