White Friday: Middle East’s Answer to Black Friday?

Gary Greer 12/13/2021
Arab Culture

Recently, Westerners celebrated the second most important holiday of the Christmas season – Black Friday.

Okay, so now some of you may be asking “What is Black Friday?”

Although its origins are up for debate, the most often repeated story can be traced to mid-twentieth-century retailers. It was around this time American merchants declared the Friday after Thanksgiving the official start of the Christmas shopping season. As a result, Americans started spending a lot of money on discounted items that stores offered on that special day. Shoppers spent so much, in fact, stores often moved out of the “red” (lost profits) and into the black (making profit). (By the way, the “red” and “black” come from the colors of ink accountants used when writing in the company’s ledger. Red was used when the company was in debt. Black for when the company was making a profit.) Thus, the day became known as “Black Friday” because the retailers made a huge profit on that day.

When is Black Friday 2021? Well, you just missed it because, unfortunately, Black Friday fell on November 26 this year. However, next year Black Friday will fall on Friday, November 25, 2022, so mark your calendars now. You have nearly a year to make a list of what you want and take advantage of those discounts!

Nevertheless, all of this talk about Black Friday got us thinking: Do they have Black Fridays in the Middle East? The answer is no, but they do have something called “White Friday”.

White Friday vs. Black Friday

In a nutshell, White Friday is the Middle East’s answer to the West’s Black Friday. The major difference between the two, however, is that Black Friday is only on Friday after Thanksgiving. On the other hand, White Friday in the Middle East generally lasts for four days. Both however always start the Friday after America’s Thanksgiving Day celebration. For example, the White Friday UAE date for White Friday 2020 was Friday, November 27. Likewise, for those wondering when is White Friday 2021, the answer is White Friday Dubai 2021 also started November 26 this year. As a result, you already missed it this year. Again, however, now you have plenty of time to think about your White Friday shopping for next year.

What’s more, White Friday is also a relatively new idea in the Middle East. It was started it in 2014 by the online e-commerce website souq.com’s CEO and co-founder Ronaldo Mouchawar. He saw how Americans went crazy for these special days of discounts and decided to try it on the Arabs. 

Why “White” Friday?

Black Friday is so closely linked to Thanksgiving in the United States. Thus, Mouchawar knew it couldn’t be the same in the Middle East where the holiday is not observed. What’s more, Friday is considered the holiest day of the week for millions of Muslims. Black is a color generally linked to something negative such as funerals. Therefore, it would not be right to connect this color with the Islamic Friday. On the other hand, white is seen as a positive word suggesting that something is pure and good. As a result, Arab merchants changed the name to White Friday which they believe denotes everything happy and positive.  

Today, White Friday sales can be found not only online, but also in malls, shops and markets all over the Middle East. So start planning your visit to the Middle East for White Friday 2022 and take advantage of all those discounts.

You don’t need to wait for White Friday to start reaping the benefits of learning Arabic, however. Start today by downloading Kaleela Arabic Learning App. At the grocery store, at the mall, or in the comfort of your own home, you can start learning Arabic at Christmas and be speaking it by the New Year.

With holidays around the corner, why not give your loved ones (or yourself) the gift of language this year? Find out how at www.kaleela.com.

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