UAE | Media

59% of Emirati Twitter users are women

Social network forum highlights its power to counter misguided elements

  • By Noor Nazzal. Special to Gulf News
  • Published: 21:28 September 9, 2012
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News
  • Twitter users attending the first Emirati Tweeps Gathering organised by Al Mezmah Centre for Research and Studies with the support of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority.

Dubai: Females lead males by 59 per cent to 41 per cent when it comes to Emiratis using the twitter social network, according to an independent study.

The study, which set out to understand more about the demographic factors and aims of Emirati Twitter users, involved 854 participants.

The study was conducted by Ahmad Al Mansour, an Emirati journalist working with an Arabic daily in Dubai who presented his findings at the first ever Emirati ‘Tweeps gathering’.

The event which was organised by Al Mezmah Centre for Research and Studies with the support of The Dubai Culture and Arts Authority drew around 100 Emiratis to the Dubai Public Library (Al Twar branch) last Thursday. The event provided a platform for Emirati twitter users to meet each other in person for the very first time,

Among other interesting findings that were presented by Al Mansour are that UAE nationals mainly take to twitter is for social networking and the majority of Emiratis on twitter took to the network in the last couple of years despite the fact that twitter was founded in 2006.

The Tweeps gathering saw different speakers trying to gauge the mood of the audience about the impact that twitter has had in the region.

“The first Emirati Tweeps gathering is considered to be the first of its kind as it was organised by the Tweeps for the Tweeps,” said one of the event hosts, radio presenter Derar Bahloul Al Falasi, who introduced the event that was held in Arabic under the title ‘Reality and Reflections of 140 Characters.’

Host Abdullah Al Habtoor then took the stage for the question-and-answer segment of the event. Members of the audience were asked to share their ideas and thoughts regarding the twitter environment.

A section of the audience sought to highlight the importance of using twitter as a means of answering and educating people who question the UAE’s government and policies. Al Falasi warned the local twitter community of fake accounts that target Emiratis by means of provoking tweets and called on them to ignore them. “Sometimes the best policy to act against these users is through ignoring them as they are simply not worth wasting your time for,” he said.

Chairman and owner of Mezmah Centre Dr Salem Humaid also invited the Emirati audience to participate in a weekly competition: “There is going to be a weekly prize for the person who describes the UAE in the most eloquent way on twitter. So let’s see what you guys will be able to come up with,” he said.

Gulf News talked to some twitter users who attended to learn more about what they thought about the gathering.

Khowla Eisa, an international studies student at Zayed University, 22, said she really enjoyed the gathering and found the research findings insightful. “I really enjoyed the study as it provided me with interesting information about Emiratis who use twitter,” she said.

Law student Noora Thani, 23, also found the research findings interesting. “I found that the gathering was educational because now I have a general idea about the statistics of Emirati twitter users. I also enjoyed listening to people’s opinions about the impact that twitter has had on the region.”

— The writer is an intern at Gulf News

Gulf News
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