Dubai: The first Arab Social Media Summit 2015 plans to bring together over 1,500 social media experts in Dubai on March 17-18.

The two-day summit will include more than 20 interactive sessions and workshops, and will look at ways to enhance the use of social media platforms in serving the Arab community.

Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Chairman of the Organising Committee for the Arab Social Media Influencers Summit (ASMIS), said the summit is in line with the directives of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make it the first platform of its kind to enable young Arabs to employ their innovative ideas to serve the Arab community through optimal use of social media channels.

Speakers at the summit include international influencers such as Brandon Stanton, author of the blog ‘Humans of New York’, Lewis Cole, one of the most active influencers on YouTube, Cole Rice, a professional photographer and instagrammer, and Chris Messina, inventor of the “HashTag” used across social media channels.

The speakers also include a number of prominent Arab influencers such as Ali Jaber, Director of MBC Group and Dean of Mohammad Bin Rashid School of Communication, and Ahmad Shehab Al Deen, independent journalist and social media expert. The two speakers will together deliver sessions on the advent of social media vs traditional media.

Omar Samra, the first Egyptian and youngest Arab to climb Mount Everest and the first Egyptian to travel to space, will also speak during the summit, on the role of social media in addressing challenges.

Other sessions include topics such as ‘Positivity as a method of communication’, ‘Impact of social media platforms on human beings’, and ‘Overcoming challenges through social media’. Some sessions will also focus on the relationship between traditional and new media in shaping the future.

The summit will also see the launch of the Arab Social Media Report which will provide comprehensive statistics of key social media channels across the Arab world. The report will also provide detailed information on the use of social media channels in various Arab countries and the latest trends in this area.


On the first day of the summit, the winners of the Arab Social Media Influencers Awards, launched by Shaikh Mohammad in June 2014, will be announced. The Award, which includes 20 categories, will honour individual and institutional innovators across social media channels who have helped establish a positive environment for creativity.

The second day of the summit will include a number of specialised workshops led by international and Arab social media influencers to discuss best practices and how to take advantage of the expertise available in the field of social media.

The event will also feature the launch of the ‘Buthoor Initiative’ for new projects and initiatives across social media channels. The initiative will provide a platform that brings together business incubators and institutions to support new projects from young entrepreneurs, and will select new initiatives and provide financial support to them through a live competition.

Another event, the Influencers Forum, will be organised on the sidelines of the summit and will feature more than 500 active Arab influencers on various social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.