Dubai: His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced the launch of the Arab Social Media Influencers Club.
The announcement was made by Mona Al Merri, director of Dubai Press Club, during the Arab Social Media Influencers Summit’s award ceremony.
The club will be a new platform to maximise the role and contribution of Arab social media influencers and expand their participation in the promotion of Arab societies.
The club will also give influencers the chance to affect development and growth in their societies and help enhance creativity among youth through their online reach, as many Arab influencers have millions of followers on social media.
The club’s headquarters will be in Dubai, while other branches will be opened in other Arab countries in the future, through partnerships with leading establishments.
Al Merri pointed out that the presence of one of the most important influencers on social media, Shaikh Mohammad, who has more than 15 million followers around the world, across all platforms, is a source of inspiration for the summit and the participants.
Shaikh Mohammad has a lot of faith in youth and their creativity and capabilities, which led to the appointment of the youngest minister in the world — Shamma Suhail Faris Al Mazroui, Minister of State for Youth — as a part of the recent UAE cabinet, she added.
“Twenty-five per cent of the Arab World are youth, of which 75 per cent are between the ages of 18-24. Youth get their news and information almost exclusively from social media, which has become an alternative to traditional media, as it is more in line with their mentalities and fast-paced lives,” said Al Merri.
The summit’s second edition kicked off today at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
Taking place on December 13-14, this year’s line-up brought together leading Arab and international social media influencers, including TV personality Ahmad Al Shugairi, and singers Hussain Al Jasmi and Balqees.
Organised by the Dubai Press Club (DPC), the sessions highlighted the importance of using social media platforms in the service of society.
This year’s edition included various styles of sessions, one of which is Dardachat. These sessions are 15 minutes long, hosting prominent Arab and international social media influencers from various sectors.
The speakers include Shaikh Majid Al Sabah, who is known for his informative and interactive presence on Snapchat, Dr Travis Stork, celebrity host of the international TV show The Doctors, and Ola Al Fares, a media personality and one of the active social media influencers in the humanitarian field.
Simon Pierro, the internationally famous magician and TV presenter also known as the ‘iPad magician’, performed tricks using the iPad at the summit. Attracting more than 2,500 social media influencers and experts this year, the summit’s second day will see sessions from singer Balqees, Tareq Al Harbi, and Dr Abdullah Al Maglooth.
Emirati superstar Hussain Al Jasmi started off his 15-minute session at the summit by asking the audience to observe a minute of silence in honour of the Egyptian martyrs who died in two recent bombing incidents in Egypt.
The most recent was the bombing at a chapel adjacent to Egypt’s main Coptic Christian cathedral that killed 25 people and wounded another 49 on Sunday, the other incident was on Friday near a mosque killing six police and wounding three.
During the session, Al Jasmi emphasised the importance of the image social media influencers project through social media channels.
“It is very important to me to show the real me on social media and to represent my country, environment and myself. I have to project my Emirati and Arab morals and beliefs,” he said.
He said that the content influencers post determines the kind of followers they get, adding that it is important to choose the kind of content or messages one wants to share, as it is a reflection of their personality.
Shaikh Majid Al Sabah, Kuwaiti royal and social media influencer, said that he always focuses on showing the similarities in the culture of GCC countries through his travels.
Al Sabah, who is also known as ‘The Shaikh of Chic’, said that people need to focus on these similarities, especially during the current political situation.
“We [the GCC] are one nation. All my work and my travels try to convey this message,” he said during a session at the Arab Media Influencers Summit on Tuesday.
He said he also that hopes that people will allow him into their homes to speak to their elderly, as they have great stories and rich heritage that should be preserved and shared.
“Another message that I always emphasised at the end of my travels and work — the high note — which has also become a slogan and a hashtag is ‘Al Khair Moqbel’ [good is around the corner]. This is so people know that even if the situation right now is bad or things are not going their way and they are burdened, they know that god will not leave them alone and that good is coming,” he said.