Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Media Council, Dubai Press Club today held the seventh edition of the Emirati Media Forum.
The Forum brought together various stakeholders in the UAE media sector to engage in a dialogue on the major factors driving local media development and explore ways to navigate the vast political, economic, cultural and technological transformations taking place across the world.
His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said the UAE media has created a unique content model that has enabled its audiences and readers to stay informed about vital issues and stay abreast of the changes and new developments taking place in the UAE and across the world.
His Highness commended the UAE media for its exceptional contributions to the country’s development: “We deeply appreciate the role played by media organisations across the UAE in helping realise the vision of its leaders and conveying an accurate picture of the country’s achievements to audiences in the UAE, the region and the globe. We look forward to enhancing the impact of the UAE’s media both locally and internationally and supporting it in its efforts to raise standards and achieve the highest global benchmarks of excellence,” he said.
His Highness further said the UAE will continue to spare no effort in creating an environment that supports the media and encourages it to produce content that supports the nation’s vision, goals and aspirations.
Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Diplomatic Advisor to the UAE President, delivered an address at the opening session of the Forum to an audience that included media industry leaders, chief editors of newspapers, heads of television and radio channels, media influencers and prominent academics, writers and opinion-leaders in the UAE.
In his address, Dr. Gargash highlighted the UAE’s effective growth model saying the country’s remarkable achievements represent the success of an Arab, Islamic nation that has prioritised development over politics. “The UAE’s leadership has placed the nation’s development and its vital sectors such as education, healthcare and infrastructure at the top of its priorities, and I believe that in the next phase, the region must also prioritise development over politics. The need to establish platforms for dialogue in the Arab world is another important aspect that needs to be addressed in the next phase. Furthermore, the region needs to enhance economic and investment cooperation, which will enhance prosperity and stability,” he added.
Dr. Gargash also highlighted the UAE’s focus on diplomacy and soft power, which forms part of its efforts to build strong bridges with other nations. He highlighted the vital role of the UAE media in raising awareness among global audiences about the country’s successful development model and its aspirations to drive progress not only in the country but also the entire region. He also commended the UAE media for their remarkable coverage of Expo 2020 Dubai and the nation’s fight against COVID-19.
He underscored the need for more specialised media that can support the nation’s economic growth and help advance its key goals like enhancing food security and combating climate change. The local media need to foster a rich discussion of climate change issues as the UAE prepares to host the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) in 2023, he said.
On the challenges facing the print media today due to the digital revolution, he said that providing high-quality content that engages readers is of utmost importance. Stressing the need to embrace new communication technologies and tools, he noted that many prominent media outlets have adopted a paid subscription model. In order for the media to successfully shift to such a revenue model, the quality of content provided to audiences must be improved, he said.
As the UAE moves into the next 50-year phase of growth, the media must continue to powerfully communicate the nation’s achievements to the world, he said. Emphasising the importance of telling compelling stories he said: “We have made great strides in many fields including women’s empowerment, labour rights, religious tolerance and justice. We also have one of the best justice systems in the region.” The English media, he noted, plays an instrumental role in telling the country’s success stories to an international audience.
In his closing remarks, Dr. Gargash spoke about the need for government entities to have open channels of communication with the media, which will enable them to stay abreast of the latest developments, enhance the quality of their content and develop their storytelling capabilities.
In the second session of the Emirati Media Forum, key media personalities stressed on the importance of supporting and empowering local media talent to maximise their potential by equipping them with the skills to deliver quality content that can drive positive social change.
The Forum also addressed the importance of using social media platforms to tell engaging stories that highlight the UAE’s rich culture and heritage and training social media influencers to convey the UAE’s vision and aspirations to broader regional and global audiences. Speakers at the Forum said the next 50 years will offer unique opportunities for media professionals and industry players to transform themselves by adopting global best practices and innovative strategies.
Mona Al Marri, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of the Dubai Media Council and President of the Dubai Press Club, expressed her appreciation to His Excellency Dr. Anwar Gargash for the insights and perspectives he shared at the Forum.
“The UAE today stands at the threshold of a new phase of its development journey, which it is undertaking against the backdrop of vast multi-dimensional global transformations taking place in various spheres. The media can play a major role in advancing the nation’s development journey by disseminating a clear set of unified messages that support the process of sustainable growth. By raising their competitiveness at a global level, local media can make significant contributions to realising of the UAE’s vision for shaping a better future for the region and the world,” Her Excellency said.
She further said that Dubai Press Club is committed to realising the objective set by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid at the launch of the institution more than twenty years ago to create a unique platform for stakeholders across the media sector to exchange ideas, insights and perspectives. Through a series of initiatives, Dubai has worked closely with various industry players and local, Arab and international institutions to achieve this aim.
First held in 2013, the Forum provides an opportunity to discuss the latest developments in the media industry and serves as a bridge of communication between local media organisations, journalists, experts and specialists in various media fields. The Forum also helps local media outlets gain new insights and knowledge on developing the leadership and capabilities required to accelerate their growth in a rapidly evolving environment.