Ykone, the international influencer marketing agency in the fields of luxury and beauty, continues to expand in the Middle East. Present in Dubai since 2016, the agency announces the opening of two new offices in the region’s most dynamic cities, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi.
Already established in Dubai for the past six years, Ykone has developed a regional hub through which to work alongside brands on influence campaigns and content creation. In the Middle East, Ykone already counts among its clients Procter & Gamble, L’Oréal, Coty, Canon, and Marriott. At the heart of the Dubai Design District, its local office will continue to collaborate with fashion, beauty, and lifestyle brands.
This expansion is strategic as the Middle East is a true social media powerhouse supported by quality content creation due to a soaring and sophisticated influencer marketing industry. Indeed, the region is among the most active global regions in terms of social media consumption. According to a recent study by YouGov, 3 in 4 UAE residents follow some kind of social media influencer while nearly 80% of the population in KSA is active social media user. The population connected to these networks is also very young, especially in Saudi Arabia where the majority of users are under the age of 30, regularly placing the Middle East at the top of consumer ranking figures for TikTok, Snapchat, and YouTube content. Having the government investing in economic, social, and cultural diversification in line with the ambitious and progressive Vision 2030, has been a real game-changer for the region that became a trend-setter for the whole world in a lot of key categories such as entertainment, travel, lifestyle, arts and culture, fashion and beauty. This couldn’t have been possible without an emerging local community of content creators that kept their audience updated with the latest trends working with some of the biggest brands to better address the market’s needs and likes.
“The opening of our agencies in Abu Dhabi and Riyadh allows Ykone to respond not only to the needs of a rapidly growing market but also to the ambitious vision that the Gulf states display in terms of tourism and luxury. Our Abu Dhabi agency is already operational and working with Visit Abu Dhabi for its influencer marketing campaigns, with a first wave involving over 400 influencers already launched earlier this year. Our new Riyadh office reinforces our leading position within the field of influence in the Middle East, and will support the development of major projects, such as the launch of the new travel destination The 'Red Sea', which is the first client of our new agency,” states Olivier Billon, founder of Ykone.
The Parisian-based agency is willing to explore the promising opportunities offered by the GCC market in the Travel, Tourism, and Entertainment sector to better shed light on the booming leisure activities supported by the development of megaprojects that are willing to transform the region into a major global travel destination. As evidenced, for example, by the recent three-year Digital Tourism Strategy announced by the Saudi Ministry of Tourism which aims to target 100 million new visits and increase tourism contribution to the GDP to 10 percent. Those projects designed to enhance the nation’s international standing aim to connect and engage more with millennials to be places of discovery and inspiration, as already mirrored by eye-catching social media campaigns.
To accompany its development in the Middle East, Ykone has recruited a dozen new talents, mainly originating from the region, including Mohamed Moharrak, Business Director Saudi Arabia, and Ali Cha’aban, Creative Director Middle East.