Sheikh Nahyan opens Global Media Congress on Nov 14 in Abu Dhabi
Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, opens the Congress. To his left is Mohammed Jalal Al Rayssi, Director-General of the Emirates News Agency (WAM) and Chairman of the Higher Organising Committee for the Global Media Congress; and to Sheikh Nahyan’s right is Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi Image Credit: WAM

Abu Dhabi: Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, said that under the wise leadership and guidance of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, media and technology have become major areas of economic activities and growth in the UAE.

“Our country is continually creating and supporting opportunities that foster imagination, ingenuity and innovations that enhance the role of the media in our society and expand the benefits of technology in our daily lives,” he added.

This came during Sheikh Nahyan’s inaugural speech at the second edition of the Global Media Congress, which kicked off today in Abu Dhabi under the patronage of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Presidential Court, with the participation of distinguished speakers, panellists and moderators from across government, media, academic and industry sectors.

Sheikh Nahyan praised the vigorous leadership and initiatives of Sheikh Mansour, adding that Sheikh Mansour’s keen understanding of the power of the media in shaping attitudes and perceptions has allowed the Global Media Congress to be held regularly in Abu Dhabi and has guaranteed its relevance and continued success.

Content over technology

As the media industry is changing rapidly, we must agree that the most important thing in the media is the content created and not the technology used, the minister said, asserting that media professionals have an important responsibility to provide quality content that meets the needs of diverse national and international audiences, as they are also responsible for delivering a balanced mix of news, information, education, and entertainment from all local, national, and international sources.

He added: “Media professionals must also be committed to ethical behaviour and to search for truth. Their work must promote important values such as honesty, integrity, peace, and nonviolence.”

‘Climate Call’

Also at the Congress, the UAE Independent Climate Change Accelerators (UICCA) announced the launch of the ‘Climate Call’ interactive new problem-solving platform for participants to submit climate solutions from across the world.

During her keynote speech at the event, Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, President and CEO of UICCA, said the platform launched with three key focus areas, which are food security, water scarcity and renewable energy.

Climate Call is open to everyone, stated Sheikha Shamma, explaining that the platform is a comprehensive platform for sharing promising ideas and cooperating to find possible solutions that can achieve tangible progress in the efforts to save “this beautiful planet which is facing a crisis of exponential proportions”.

In its pilot phase, more than 200 young people and university students have already generated over 70 ideas across the three challenges of the Climate Call platform. Once the idea is submitted, other participants can cooperate in reviewing it and adding to it, as well as vote for the best idea in terms of value, impact and capabilities.

Each year, a select group of the most voted ideas will receive tangible support from the Climate Call and the UICCA, which includes financing up to Dh25,000 and the opportunity to connect with prominent climate change advocates, mentors and organisations, as well as access to global impact platforms such as ‘The Climate Tribe’, the digital storytelling platform that integrates multimedia formats to inspire climate action

The platform also integrated OpenAI GPT 4.0 to support content generation, making it accessible to global users regardless of their English level.

Keeping pace with changes

Mohammed Saeed Al Shehhi, Secretary-General of the UAE Media Council, emphasised that the Congress has facilitated partnerships with nations, corporations, and innovative individuals, contributing to shaping the future of media. Additionally, it serves as a platform for exploring opportunities for the growth and development of the industry.

“The Global Media Congress represents a pivotal platform for keeping pace with the rapid changes and developments in the media sector with the technical development witnessed by this sector, which has entered a new era thanks to new trends and innovative technologies that have contributed to changing the concept of media,” he said in his remarks on the sidelines of his participation in the second edition of the Congress.

“This requires opening a global dialogue to explore the broad potential of new and emerging media technologies, and how to invest them in enhancing the local media environment,” he added.

He noted: “GMC offers a prime chance to share our media experience and expertise, showcasing the advancements in the media sector and highlighting key achievements from the past decades.”

He highlighted that the Congress aligns with the UAE’s hosting of COP28, emphasising the significant role of media in advocating sustainability, addressing climate change, and contributing positive content to raise awareness of environmental issues. Furthermore, he underscored the media’s role in fostering a deeper sense of societal duties and responsibilities toward the environment.

The Secretary-General of the UAE Media Council expressed his happiness with the wide participation of national universities, media students and local talents in the global media event, stressing the necessity of building bridges of communication between local talents and international experts to determine the paths of future development of the media.

View from space

Meanwhile, Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi, the first Arab to serve on the International Space Station (ISS) for a 6-month mission, appreciated the role of the media in supporting the country’s development efforts in various fields.

Participating in a dialogue session as part of the Global Media Congress’s inaugural day activities, Al Neyadi engaged in a conversation moderated by Emirati journalist Faisal bin Hariz under the theme ‘Reflecting on my Space Journey’.

He said that the most captivating image he captured from space was a photograph of the UAE. He emphasised that the homeland is the most exquisite sight on Earth.

Al Neyadi emphasised that the UAE’s wise leadership paved the way for Emiratis to succeed and excel and provided us with all forms of support and care to achieve qualitative achievements for the nation.

He touched on his historic mission, ‘Zayed’s Ambition Mission 2’, and the most important experiences he went through on board the ISS during a 6-month mission that was considered the longest in the Arab world.

Al Neyadi explained that his dream since childhood was to become a pilot. He chose to study engineering, and he benefited greatly during his work in this field for 20 years.

He added: “The dream starts from childhood, and we must develop it and invest in opportunities to achieve success and excellence.”