Dubai, UAE, 28th December 2021: In 2021, more than one billion people turned to TikTok this year to be entertained, and part of that entertainment was brands. Today, TikTok is celebrating the brands that embraced authenticity to reach new audiences, tapped into and started new trends within the community and unlocked real-world opportunity for commerce through the power of discovery.

Shant Oknayan, Head of Global Business Solutions, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa said, “This year, we were inspired and humbled to see trends and culture come to life through the TikTok community and businesses no doubt, played a huge role in this. Brands across the MENA region brought us joy and encouraged us to get creative. They reminded us of the importance of being authentic when connecting with the community and were able to engage with a wide global audience. 2021 was the year that TikTok became a launchpad for must-have brands and products that the community loves”.

TikTok is a unique place where culture, community and commerce come together to inspire a creative community that spends a movie’s worth of time consuming content every day. 61% of our users say videos on TikTok are more unique than on any other platform and 7 out of 10 say TikTok ads are enjoyable. This makes brands are an inspiring part of the TikTok experience, and the end of the year is the perfect time to look back on stand out – and sold out – moments of 2021.

From #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt moments and hilarious interactions between competitor brands to small businesses who have found a new customer base, the TikTok community found inspiration in the authenticity and creativity that brands brought to the platform this year. The opportunity for new and innovative content on TikTok knows no bounds, and the community is eager to see how brands and small businesses will look to these moments to define next year’s biggest conversations. 

While this list could have been much longer, these brands from across the GCC were just a few of the many moments that touched the communities hearts (and shopping lists) in 2021. 

  1. Small businesses finding new customers 

Small businesses persevered through unique challenges this year, all the while remaining the souls of our local communities. We’re always looking for new ways to help them share their inspiring stories with the TikTok community, and are humbled that our platform helps give them the global visibility (and sales) they deserve. From sharing family recipes to inspiring testaments of what it takes to be a businessowner, here are a few of the small businesses that touched the community’s hearts this year. 

Uncle Fluffy 

Uncle Fluffy, a Japanese cheesecake company based in Dubai, amassed an impressive following as soon as the brand debuted on TikTok. Alaa Morra, Uncle Fluffy’s owner, credits the win to trying something completely new. 

2. Fostering community co-creation 

On TikTok, anyone can be part of a brand campaign. With access to TikTok’s suite of in-app tools and solutions like Duet and Branded Effects, it’s easier than ever for brands to inspire the community to co-create alongside them. These interactive co-creation campaigns had us hungry, well-dressed, and imaginative this year.

Starbucks # حب_من _اول_ فنجان

Starbucks created a Ramadan campaign with a twist. Users got to show how much they missed their cup of Starbucks during the fasting hours with an Oscar-worthy lipsync.

Nike # AirMaxYourWay

On Air Max Day, we asked people to flaunt their favorite Air Max that represents them the most, with a Nike Air Max unique HTC soundtrack and transition.The video amassed a whopping 3.9b views and sparked a cultural movement.

Floward #SurpriseMomWith

Premium flower delivery service, Floward, created a branded filter “Roulette” under the name, “Surprise a Mother, which TikTok users engaged to surprise their mothers with little nice gestures on Mother’s Day. 

PDO #WorldsCoolestWinter

Creators invited people to discover the hidden gems of the seven Emirates. TikTokers showed us their favorite hidden spots using a hand gesture shaped like the number “7” in Arabic and the shape of the Emirates Logo. 

3. Brands thinking like creators 

By simply embracing the community’s culture using trending sounds and memes, brands and businesses are engaging with their audiences in ways the industry has never seen before. They’ve learned to speak the TikTok community’s language and it’s paying off. Here are the brands whose new and creative content always has the community constantly refreshing their For You Feeds. 


Kraft Remixes – 3 to 4 different recipe tracks modeled over familiar tracks and rhythms. The lyrics are detailed instructions of the recipe, yet still bumpy enough for the creators to boogie on as they prepare the meals.


White Wednesday – TikTok creators showcased all the different outfits they bought on Max Fashion during White Wednesday, curating many outfits for super reasonable and tempting prices. 

4. LIVE streams the community couldn’t miss 

It doesn’t get more authentic than a LIVE stream, and brands have mastered the art of live entertainment and engagement on TikTok. Whether they’re once in a while or regularly scheduled programming, these are the LIVE streams that just couldn’t be missed this year. 

TikTok +Alshaya 

#ShopTillYouTok was Alshaya’s first ever online shopping event, consisting of eight days of great deals and content that drove people to the platform to shop from 15 global brands. Each day, different brands ran lives on the MENA TikTok channel with the best deals for Black Friday.