Dubai: Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and in the presence of Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Media Council, winners of the 20th edition of the Arab Journalism Award (AJA) were honoured on Sunday night at a ceremony held at Expo 2020 Dubai’s Al Wasl Plaza.
Sheikh Mohammed tweeted: “Twenty years ago, we launched the ‘Arab Journalism Award’, and it has so far celebrated 300 creative people out of 100,000 participants from our Arab world. Today, we honoured the winners of its 20th edition and directed the Dubai Press Club to turn it into the ‘Arab Media Award’ to include Arab journalism, visual media and digital media.”
Meeting council members
Sheikh Mohammed met with members of the Dubai Media Council on the sidelines of the ceremony held to honour winners of the Arab Journalism Award at Expo 2020 Dubai.
During the meeting, Sheikh Mohammed issued directives to further enhance efforts to develop the emirate’s media sector to ensure it keeps pace with advancements in different sectors, as the country prepares for the next 50 years.
The meeting was held in the presence of Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance; Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Media Council; and Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Media part of UAE’s progress
Sheikh Mohammed said: “We place the highest priority on the development of the media, which plays a key role in the UAE’s development journey. To support the UAE’s march towards greater progress, the media needs to keep pace with the various transformations taking place across industries.”
He added that new technologies can help the media advance its capabilities. However, it should not come at the expense of its ethical principles. The UAE media continues to receive recognition for its objectivity, Sheikh Mohammed said, noting that any media’s power is measured by the positive impact it has on people’s lives.
Investing in talent
“Media organisations today are leveraging technology to expand their audience and their reach, but they should also invest in developing their talent to better tap the power of new advancements,” he added.
Sheikh Mohammed praised the UAE media for its coverage and contributions amidst the challenging global circumstances over the last two years. The UAE media has demonstrated exemplary professionalism in highlighting the country’s efforts to combat COVID-19 and sharing positive stories on the UAE’s recovery from the global pandemic.
During the meeting, which was also attended by Mona Al Marri, Vice Chairperson and Managing Director of the Dubai Media Council, Sheikh Mohammed was briefed on the Council’s overall strategy to accelerate the development of the media sector and ensure it stays ahead of a rapidly evolving environment.
His Highness was also briefed on the Council’s plans focused on developing the media industry in Dubai.
The awards ceremony, organised by Dubai Press Club (DPC), the General Secretariat of the Award, was attended Mona Al Marri, President of DPC and Secretary-General of the AJA; Diaa Rashwan, Chairman of the Board of the AJA; editors-in-chief of local and Arab media organisations as well as prominent Arab journalists.
The AJA celebrates print and online journalism excellence in 13 different categories.
The award ceremony started with a short video about recent events worldwide. Singer Latifa sang a song during the event, whose lyrics were written by Sheikh Mohammed.
The winners of the AJA came from daily newspapers, magazines, online web portals and media organisations from across the Arab world.
Sheikh Ahmed honoured Emad El Din Adib, a prominent media figure, with the ‘Media Personality of the Year Award’ for his contributions to journalism in Egypt and the Arab media landscape.
Sheikh Ahmed also honoured author and journalist Dr Abdelilah Belkeziz with the ‘Best Column Award’. Dr Belkeziz has published numerous articles and op-eds in major Arab and regional newspapers. Belkeziz’s works include more than 50 books spanning several genres including philosophy, humanity and Islamic studies, in addition to several literary works.
During the ceremony, the Chairman of the Dubai Media Council also honoured Sabq online newspaper with the ‘Smart Journalism Award’ for using advanced technologies in promoting content.
Diaa Rashwan, Chairman of the Board of the AJA, congratulated the journalists and media institutions who were recognised in the prestigious award. He said that the winners were selected based on an assessment process that followed the highest standards of practice.
Congratulating the winners in the 13 categories, Maitha Buhumaid, Director of DPC, said the guidance of Sheikh Mohammed and the AJA’s Board have played an instrumental role in its success over the last 20 years.
Buhumaid underlined the role of the award in stimulating creativity in the region and improving the quality of journalism and media in the Arab world.
Other winners include:
-Political Journalism Award: Camille Tawil, Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, UK.
-Investigative Reporting Award: Al Bayan newspaper, UAE.
-Cultural Journalism Award: Azmy Abdelwahab, Al Ahram Magazine, Egypt.
-Humanitarian Journalism Award: Hoda Zakaria, from Youm 7 newspaper Egypt.
-Economic Journalism Award: Kifaya Ollier, Independent Arabia newspaper, UK.
-Press Interview Award: Hamad Alduraihim, Al Jazirah newspaper, KSA.
-Sports Journalism Award: Atef Abdelwahed, Al Ahram Sport, Egypt.
-Photojournalism Award: Mohammed Muhaisen, Palestinian Press Agency (SAFA), Palestine.
-Outstanding Cartoonist Award: Nawaf AlMulla, Al Bilad Newspaper, Bahrain.
-Young Journalist Award: Shehab Tarek, from Akhbar Al-Adab literary magazine, Egypt; Abdullah Ewies, from Masrawy news web portal, Egypt; and Zyad Alfaifi, from Independent Arabia, KSA.