Shaikh Maktoum presents the Personality of the Year award to Queen Rania at the Arab Social Media Influencers Summit. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: Social media influencers in the Arab World should use their voices to break barriers and “champion the truth” in society, said Queen Rania Al Abdullah, Wife of King Abdulla ll of Jordan, at the Arab Social Media Influencers Summit taking place on Monday at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

The summit was attended by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, along with Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai.

Organised by the Dubai Press Club (DPC), the third edition of the summit brought together prominent social media influencers from around the region to discuss various topics, including health, beauty, comedy, and poetry. The summit was viewed live by more than 150 million people through media and social media channels.

Queen Rania addressed an audience of Arab social media influencers with four clear messages, calling on them to use their time wisely and their reach to communicate positive values.

“I come to you — the influential and those whose voices are heard, to urge you to use your time to break barriers, open channels of dialogue, and mobilise support for those who need it most. I urge you to champion the truth and to communicate with values. Be good to others as the simplest expression of our humanity is a kind word,” said Queen Rania.

With youth making up 60 per cent of the Arab World’s population and the number of social media accounts reaching 3.2 billion worldwide, Queen Rania advised influencers to transform the love and support they receive from their fans into energy to build the future of the region.

She referred to the UAE ruler’s vision and exceptional efforts in empowering citizens with knowledge and opportunities as an example of using influence for a greater good.

With over 4.9 million followers on Instagram, Queen Rania highlighted the importance of seeking the truth and exposing false news.

She pointed out that a picture sings a thousand words, but ‘shares’ and ‘likes’ don’t have the same effect as actions taken.

“In the virtual world, we can see the place for truth declining in the face of emotional discussions and scandalous rumours. Do we blame the tool and absolve ourselves — as users and influencers — of the responsibility?” asked Queen Rania.

“For the truth, we have a right to find it and publish it,” she added.

While images make up a large part of social media platforms, Queen Rania advised influencers to look beyond the obvious and see those who are calling upon them for support.

“Every human being seeks the love and admiration of others, but sometimes our values dictate us to exclude ourselves even at the expense of popularity. Fame and figures are the guide to progress, but the real influence is achieved by following our conscience,” she said.

Adding to her majesty’s message, Shaikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain’s Representative for Charity Work and Youth Affairs, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Royal Charity Organisation and President of the Bahrain Olympic Committee (BOC) — described the new generation as one that will achieve peace and reach the highest levels of success.

“Today, this media is your media, it’s a revolutionary media, and my advice to you is be humble,” he said addressing the youth.

Shaikh Nasser referred to leaders of the GCC countries, pointing out they have provided their people with the opportunities and tools to focus on development instead of deviating their attention to conflicts over power and religion.

“We may be fighting terrorism and extremism but through social media we can achieve a lot. We are the grandchildren of champions in the Arab World and we have a history of achievements, glory, and a conquest of development,” said Shaikh Nasser.

“The sky is the limit- thanks to our leaders” he added.