The Academy Awards event is a big night for people in the MENA region, with a whopping 87% planning to tune in online or on TV to watch the Oscars, according to the latest survey in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region by Yahoo! Maktoob Research. Whilst the majority says interest stems from a love of movies, 39% hope to spot their favorite stars and 23% are taking note of the latest red carpet fashions. Amidst mounting anticipation for the Academy Awards' ceremony on Sunday 26th February, Yahoo! Maktoob has launched the ultimate Oscars destination to satisfy the region's appetite for gossip, news, photos, videos and interviews.
"There is keen interest in the Oscars in our region, and as the premier digital media company, we are ensuring that we provide the most compelling and relevant content on all the big events throughout the year. We package it in a way that keeps people entertained and informed, while enabling them to engage and share," said Hosam El Sokkari, Head of Audience, Yahoo! Middle East.
Big plans for Oscar night
Oscars night is providing a highlight in many of the region's households this week, with six out of ten people busy making plans to watch the awards. 44% will be stocking up on the traditional popcorn and diets are put to one side, as people also opt for candy and fast food to accompany movies' biggest night.
Predicting the winners
In this week's countdown to the ceremony on Sunday, 51% of those surveyed in MENA will be keeping up with nominations and 53% will cast a vote on who will be taking the trophies. Yahoo! Maktoob's Oscars destination is providing a printable ballot for people to easily record their predictions, and start a competition with friends and colleagues.
The Yahoo! Maktoob Research survey also asked who is expected to win, and responses predicted the following:
Best Picture – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 2)
Best Actor – Brad Pitt, in Moneyball
Best Actress – Elizabeth Olsen, in Martha Marcy May Marlene, OR Emma Stone in The Help
Best Animated Feature – Kung Fu Panda
Best Documentary Feature – Paradise Lost 3
Fashion focus on the red carpet
Away from the ceremony itself, 39% will be eagerly watching the red carpet, where Nicole Kidman is a favorite to win the unofficial best dressed accolade this year. And post awards, 56% admit they will be searching online to find out what the critics have to say and taking another look at the fashion trends and who gets named for best and worst fashions.
Available in Arabic and English, the Oscars coverage site on Yahoo! Maktoob offers an array of news, photo and video galleries, reader polls and commentary to inform and entertain. The news and insight continues after the event so that those looking for post-ceremony critique, fashion trends and backstage gossip know where to find it!
The online survey was carried out by Yahoo! Maktoob Research among 2,235 residents of the GCC, Levant and North Africa.