Dubai: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey visited the UAE for the first time on Monday to launch the #YouthForGood philanthropic initiative together with the UAE’s Youth Hub, and Shamma Al Mazrui, the Minister of State for Youth Affairs, in the presence of Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai.
The first-of-its-kind initiative aims to promote the use of Twitter to support humanitarian and social causes and sustain a culture of volunteering among youth in the region. It forms part of the broader global #TwitterForGood campaign, with the philanthropic mission to harness the positive power of Twitter to bring communities together.
His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said, “The UAE represents positive change and hope in our Arab region and we are keen to encourage our young people to harness the power of online platforms such as Twitter to create a positive impact on their communities. #YouthForGood is a significant initiative in this direction.”
Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, agreed, “Through our partnership with Twitter to launch the #YouthForGood initiative, we seek to use the platform to channel young people’s efforts towards humanitarian and philanthropic work and encourage them to share their stories, achievements and inspirations. Twitter today is one of the world’s key social media platforms, and it’s great to see its power being put to good use and building positive change.”
Dorsey said, “I’m delighted to launch the #YouthForGood initiative in partnership with the Youth Hub. At Twitter, our philanthropic mission is to harness the positive power of our platform to make the world a better place and we hope that such an initiative will empower youth by building their media literacy and digital citizenship skills to drive positive change.”
Al Mazrui added, “The #YouthForGood initiative reflects Twitter’s potential to impact communities by supporting real time communication across borders and barriers. This initiative gives our youth a chance to organise around a common purpose and unite to create a force for good using the power of Twitter.”
As part of the initiative, a competition will be held calling on UAE-based youth to create a greater impact in local communities, whether through civic engagement, volunteering or charitable partnerships.
The competition will be open to groups of three to five people over the next three months, and encourages young people of the UAE to utilise the power of Twitter to launch a creative, engaging and active Twitter account that will fuel philanthropic efforts locally in their community. The winning team will be awarded with the acclaimed Twitter MENA Award and a Twitter for Good Ads Grant. For further details on how to get involved, people can visit www.ForGood.youth.gov.ae and follow @TwitterMENA.
To mark the occasion, Shaikh Mohammad tweeted: “We were honoured today to have hosted Twitter’s CEO and cofounder @jack on his first visit to the Middle East and the UAE. I am also pleased to have launched my new Twitter account in his presence.”
Shaikh Mohammad added: “Dubai and Twitter share many aspects in common. Both stand as open global hubs for people that build bridges of understanding and dialogue among nations and present platforms to nurture youth’s energies and creativity.”
Shaikh Mohammad was the first Arab leader to join Twitter in 2009 and today his tweets reach over 9.7 million followers.
To mark Shaikh Mohammad’s 10th anniversary on Twitter, Dorsey presented Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, with a book of selected tweets from Shaikh Mohammad. Dorsey’s arrival was also marked by a special sticker in his passport from Dubai Customs that read “Welcome @Jack.” He tweeted a picture of the stamp to his 4.1 million followers and it got over 800 retweets and 2,000 likes by Monday evening.