Dubai: Over 157,360 mentions on social media were recorded during the two historic events that took place in the UAE between January 30 — February 5.

The first was the much-anticipated ‘Global Conference for Human Fraternity,’ which saw Pope Francis of the Catholic Church and Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Dr Ahmad Al Tayyeb meet and discuss interfaith relations. The second event was the papal mass led by Pope Francis, which saw an audience of around 180,000 people.

Meltwater, a company that monitors online news and social media, monitored the level of engagement during the events in the social media world. The highest volume of mentions discussing the meeting, the religious figures and the papal mass, was from the UAE (22 per cent), followed by the US, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

The events kicked off the UAE’s officially proclaimed Year of Tolerance, set to promote the values of acceptance and coexistence in the UAE. Overall global mentions of the term ‘Year of Tolerance’ in both English and Arabic increased by 368 per cent during the week of The Global Conference of Human Fraternity (22,000 vs 4,700 mentions).

‘Faith’, ‘Peace’ and ‘Hope’ were also some of the most used keywords in social conversations discussing the events. Even though the events gained global coverage on social media, Arabic remained the top language of discussion accounting for more than two-thirds of the conversations (70 per cent), followed by English (27 per cent) Spanish (1 per cent) and Italian (1 per cent).

Which emoji dominated?

Photos speak a thousand words, and so do emojis. Through the analysis of the tweets in relation to the events, the UAE flag was the most used, accounting for 20 per cent of the overall emojis tweeted. The photo and video camera emojis came in second and third place (respectively) often used when users tweeted photos or videos of the event. The ‘heart’ and ‘dove’ emoji followed closely, both symbolising the positivity surrounding the historic events.