Dubai: For the first time in the region, ministers and senior government officials will attend media briefings to explain policies and comment on current issues related to their institutions.
The move, which was ordered by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to enhance transparency and secure the flow of information, will become a regular feature from September this year,
Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs, announced on Monday that the government briefing will offer first-hand information about issues relating to the daily lives of people in the UAE.
“The new channel of information aims to develop a clear periodical mechanism that allows direct and transparent dialogue between government and local media organisations,” he said.
There will be a concrete schedule for the media briefings sector by sector and on a weekly basis.
“The media plays a very important role in reflecting the social, political and economic situation of the country and we are seeking to create a distinguished relationship with media organisations,” said Al Gergawi.
He said Shaikh Mohammad believes in the media and its role as partners in success and building the future as well as enhancing the development process and social services.
The first media briefing was held on Monday at the General Secretariat of the Cabinet in Dubai and attended by representatives from different local media organisations in the UAE.
Through this new channel, journalists and government officials will discuss matters of public importance in a transparent and engaging way, he added.
According to Al Gergawi, ministers, undersecretaries and directors-general of different ministries will meet representatives from the local media to discuss the latest developments, projects and services taking place in the country as well as respond to all comments and inquiries raised by the public.
“Ministers and top government officials across all government entities will be meeting media professionals on a regular basis to strengthen the relationship between the two partners and eliminate all barriers and clarify vagueness by answering all questions,” Al Gergawi said.
Pointing to the significant role of the media in the UAE, Al Gergawi said that according to a recent survey 87 per cent of the UAE public said that their main sources of information were from the television and the newspaper.
The UAE has become an important country on a regional and global level and people from all over the world would like to learn more about it.
“We need to build strong partnerships with local media to convey the message of the government and highlight the development taking place in the UAE,” he said.
He added he wanted media institutions to play a role in listing the achievements of the UAE.
He said the new system was a development of the current media spokesperson system introduced in various ministries three years ago.
“It aims to give people fresh and credible news,” he said
Recently, the government trained almost 160 spokespeople to represent the government entities in the media.
He said Shaikh Mohammad, the chief government spokesperson, has always proved that he spares no efforts in letting people know about developments and decisions taking place in the country.
“Through a social media connection with more than 2.7 million people, Shaikh Mohammad is dispensing information to the public whenever he sees this is useful for the people and the work of the government.”