NAT 230920 Arab Media Forum PC VSAKLANI-3009-1695231152337
Mona Al Marri (centre), Vice-Chairperson and Managing Director of the Dubai Media Council with Maitha Buhumaid, Director of Dubai Press Club and Mohammed Swaidan addressing media ahead of Arab Media Forum in 2020. The 21st Arab Media Forum this year will bring together some of the brightest minds in the industry to share their perspectives on new directions for the region’s media. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News
Mona Ghanem Al Marri

The media industry in the Arab world is at a crossroads in its evolution. Advances in technology, the spread of digital platforms and changes in consumer behaviour are among the many factors bringing major changes to the way the media functions. The future belongs to those who can skillfully move through this changing landscape, using new technologies and models to innovate rapidly and meet the needs of audiences.

Some of the brightest minds in the industry will come together at the 21st Arab Media Forum on September 26 and 27 to share their perspectives on new directions for the region’s media. Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, this year’s forum brings together 3,000 delegates to explore the forces shaping the industry’s path in the decades ahead.

As the region’s media hub, Dubai has always taken the lead in fostering a dialogue on how the sector can navigate new trends and tap emerging opportunities. This year’s unprecedented participation again demonstrates the forum’s reputation as the best platform for insight into the Arab media industry’s prospects. Thought leaders, decision-makers, influencers, technocrats, entertainers and content creators are joining the two-day forum themed ‘The Future of Arab Media’ to examine the vast possibilities that await the media in the years to come.

In the lead-up to the forum, the AMF Organising Committee and the Dubai Press Club had many conversations with the Arab media community to curate an agenda that captures the big changes happening in the industry. This engagement reflects the value placed by the UAE leadership on the media’s role in achieving its development vision outlined in the Dubai Economic Agenda D33. The Dubai Media Council, under the leadership of Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Second Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Media Council, has been leading the way in working with the media to reset goals and increase the industry’s economic contributions.

Empowering generation next

This year, the Arab Media Forum has set a new tone for its discussions with an event that sought to harness the potential of up-and-coming talent. Ahead of the main forum, we held the inaugural Youth Media Forum to celebrate the capabilities of young media innovators.

The one-day forum was aimed at empowering tomorrow’s media leaders with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in an evolving environment. With media giants like Netflix and TikTok offering masterclasses on storytelling through digital platforms and building new careers in this domain, the Youth Media Forum facilitated practical insights for a new generation of professionals.

Commemorative stamps issued with 'Dubai: Capital of Arab Media 2020' logo
Commemorative stamps issued with 'Dubai: Capital of Arab Media 2020' logo Image Credit: Supplied

AI, the game changer

Technology is redrawing the media landscape. Over the next two days, the Arab Media Forum will take a close look at how Artificial Intelligence is driving fundamental changes in the industry. We will examine how AI is impacting every aspect of media content — from creating to sharing to consuming it.

The forum will also analyse how AI is giving a fresh boost to entertainment, including cinema and television dramas, and its potential to enhance creative storytelling. These exchanges will put the spotlight on the growth and innovation that the interplay between technology and content creation brings.

The forum will also investigate the role of digital platforms in moulding the future of media and entertainment. Diverse sessions will probe how emerging technologies like the metaverse are reshaping the landscape of journalism.

Media and sustainability

As the UAE is poised to bring the world together in the coming months to shape a new agenda for climate action at COP28, the AMF seeks to highlight the media’s essential role in promoting sustainability and environmental consciousness.

The forum seeks to build united efforts to embed issues affecting the future of our planet in Arab media narratives. The event will inspire journalists, influencers and the wider public to engage more closely with sustainability concerns.

A new dawn for creativity

This year’s AMF will also seek to better understand the fascinating relationship between media and culture and the social impact of cinema and drama, generating new perspectives on the evolution of Arab media.

read more

Over the last two decades, Dubai’s media institutions have sought to work closely with talent across the Arab world to foster a creative renaissance in the region’s media. Continuing this spirit, the forum will reflect on the future of TV dramas and film production in the Arab world. These discussions recognise the enduring impact of traditional entertainment forms on society and culture.

The 2023 AMF is more than just a meeting of media personalities; it’s a hub for ideas and a catalyst for change. With an extensive array of topics, diverse stakeholder participation, and a blend of discussions on traditional and new media, the Arab Media Forum promises to help shape an ambitious vision for transforming the regional industry.

— Mona Ghanem Al Marri, Vice-President and Managing Director of the Dubai Media Council and President of the Dubai Press Club, the organiser of the Arab Media Forum