Sales of Korean products in Middle East are brisk
By Kim Jong-chan
People packed the venue for a broadcasting content show organized by the Korea Communications Commission at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Istanbul, Turkey, on Oct. 28 last year.
In particular, the place where actor Lee Seon-ho starring in MBC program “We Married” held a signing event for his fans was crowded with people.
The Korean drama fever in the Middle East was as high as the rising temperatures of the desert. Ratings of “Daejanggeum” and “Jumong,” which aired in Iran in 2007 and 2009, respectively, exceeded 85 percent.
The organizers said it was unbelievable for dramas, based on Korean history, to gain popularity in an Islamic country.
Last year, Park Shin-hye became the hallyu (Korean Wave) queen after the soap opera, titled “You Are a Handsome Man,” aired in Iran and the United Arab Emirates.
A second hallyu event is expected to hit the Middle East soon as other Korean dramas, such as “Boys over Flowers” and “Chuno,” are to air this year.
The Korean drama fever in the region has led to increasing sales of made-in-Korea products there.
An official from Samsung Electronics said it was natural for those, who viewed Korean dramas, to aspire to buy clothes worn by actors starring in those dramas and electronic appliances that appeared in the dramas.
Electronic appliances by Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics were rated high there. Although they were called premium-level goods, Samsung products topped the sales list with 33.2 percent, followed by LG products with 22.3 percent, according to industry sources.