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Dubai Media City helps to strengthen media industry in Dubai
posted on 27/05/2015

Dubai's media sector has gone from strength to strength in the past decade, with the creation of a real industry ecosystem emerging in Dubai, the Dubai Media City, which provides a home for industry giants, as well as SMEs and entrepreneurs from across the media value chain.
The Media Cluster of TECOM Investments, which comprises Dubai Media City, Dubai Studio City and the International Media Production Zone, experienced positive growth in 2014, with 201 new companies joining its portfolio.
Deloitte's recent TMT Predictions for 2015 highlight real growth opportunities for content creators across the MENA region, focusing particularly on short-form content and Digital Islamic Services.
In line with this, Mohammad Abdullah, Managing Director of TECOM's Media Cluster, has called for content creators to join these vibrant business communities, which already provide a home to content creators from around the world, to enable their further development and growth.
Digital Islamic Services, which includes any technology or media online product or service that addresses the needs of consumers in the Islamic economy, will also be a strong area of growth over the next few years.
Deloitte predicts that the region's Digital Islamic Economy will nearly double in size in terms of Muslim consumer spend on lifestyle products and services, to reach US$30 billion by 2018.
"The environment for content creators has never been as competitive as it is today, with consumers able to access almost unlimited amounts of content on their smartphones, and it is important that creators of content are given the right support and market for their output and to fill a niche," Mohammad Abdullah said.
"With large industry players adopting the short-form video format, whose new ventures we continue to support, it is more important now than ever that creators of online content are given the right support and environment to operate. We continue to encourage creators of content from around the world to join our business communities, and ensure that creativity and competition is nurtured across the industry."
"We have long supported Deloitte's Middle East TMT predictions, as they contain many valuable insights that serve as a guide for the media industry and, as evidenced by their predictions, there are real growth opportunities within particular areas of the media sector."
Dubai Media City, since its inauguration in 2001, has grown to become a thriving business community, home to leading international and regional brands including CNN, Thomson Reuters, MBC and CNBC Arabia. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Arab Information Ministers approve UAE proposal on culture of tolerance and counter-terrorism
posted on 22/05/2015

CAIRO: A UAE proposal on the role of the media in promoting values of tolerance and combating extremism was approved today by the 64th meeting of the Arab Information Ministers' Council, which was held under the Chairmanship of the United Arab Emirates, at the General Secretariat of the Arab League in Cairo.
Ibrahim Al Abed, Director-General of the National Media Council, NMC, chaired the meeting. The UAE delegation also included Juma Al Leem, Director of the Media Content Department at the Council, and Ali Al Shamili, in-charge of Arab League Affairs at the UAE Embassy in Cairo.
The Council emphasised the vital important role of Arab media organs in spreading the culture of tolerance and fighting extremism as part of a holistic media strategy that makes better use of both traditional and modern media platforms to build a public opinion that advances values of tolerance, both theoretically and practically, among individuals and groups. It is also intended to promote dialogue and interaction among Arab-Islamic nations and other peoples by highlighting the values of the Arab-Islamic civilisation, which denounce practices of fanaticism, extremism and terrorism.
The UAE-proposal to the 64th Ordinary Session of Arab Ministers of Information Council in Cairo says,' tolerance is one of the finest values that contributes to sustainability and progress of human communities, elevates the value of peaceful co-existence, and addresses common destiny in terms of geography or culture where all work together to realise common human goals under an environment of diversity that builds, rather than destroys. "
"It is the responsibility of social, educational and cultural institutions to disseminate the values of tolerance and counter-terrorism. However, media actors remain the key facilitator to reaching these goals, given their far-reaching ability to reach out to millions of peoples and to spread information to influence public opinion through news and through other entertainment, religious, cultural and marketing programmes."
"To succeed in this critical mission, media actors should have a comprehensive, long-term strategy with specific goals that all media and community stakeholders should pursue together so as to be able to realise them."
The blueprint also calls for fostering Arab intellectual and media talent to produce media content that preaches the values of tolerance, accepting and respecting others, and also to attract most influential personalities and institutions in the West so as to interact and communicate with Arab communities through conferences, researches and studies with the aim of presenting the values of Arab civilisation. It also calls for the launching of massive media campaigns to counter the extremist ideology within the Arab world and the wider world, so as to expose the dark sides of this ideology.
The UAE proposal also calls for providing cultural and media opportunities to young generations to practice their right to communication and to responsible cultural expression that serve their nations.
The proposal stresses that extremist religious rhetoric should not be given space in the media, adding that the media should also ensure that it does not unintentionally contribute to spreading that discourse. On the contrary, it notes,, media should give more space to the tolerant, moderate religious message and work to develop the media message to become more responsive to values of tolerance, accepting the views of others and endorsing the concept of peaceful co-existence, in addition to countering terrorism.
The UAE proposal also recommends that a series of media initiatives be launched to deliver these goals. These include the launching of specialised e-channels and media platforms in Arabic whose core objective is to build a culture of tolerance and to counter extremist and terrorist ideology. Another proposed initiative is the launching of a media and intellectual training programme to qualify media persons and enable them to address extremist ideology through adoption of a media discourse that defends these values. The strategy also calls for inviting international journalists and opinion makers to come to the Arab region to get an insight into the reality of tolerance and co-existence and for the culture of tolerance and counter-terrorism to be incorporated into the curricula of colleges of journalism and mass communications.
The UAE proposal stresses the need for establishing units to monitor Arab and international media coverage of extremist ideology and its trends within public opinion using creative analysis approaches, and for the forging of partnerships between media establishments and other cultural, educational and social institutions to produce intellectual materials and release them into the media.
It also notes that any media effort will not be able to deliver the desired target of promoting values of tolerance without depending on reputable intellectual, legal, religious and moral references at regional and international levels.
The 64th Ordinary Session of Arab Ministers of Information Council agreed to celebrate the Arab Media Day on 21st April every year in recognition of the role of media in the Arab World. - Emirates News Agency, WAM –


UAE selected Deputy of Executive Office of Arab Information Ministers' Council
posted on 22/05/2015

CAIRO: At the conclusion of the 64th meeting of the Arab Information Ministers' Council in Cairo, the council has elected the UAE as a deputy of the new Board of the Executive Office for the coming two years. It also elected Egypt as president of the term.
The new formation includes Tunisia, Kuwait, Morocco, Algeria, Iraq and Djibouti in addition to Egypt and the UAE.
It is also scheduled that the Executive Office will hold its 4th edition next November at the general headquarters of the Arab league to follow up the implementation of the council's issued resolutions.
The 64th meeting of the Arab Information Ministers' Council began today under the Chairmanship of the United Arab Emirates, represented in the National Media Council, at the General Secretariat of the Arab League in Cairo.
The participating UAE delegation to the meeting was led by Ibrahim Al Abed, Director-General of the National Media Council, NMC. The delegation also included Juma Al Laim, Director of the Media Contents Department at the Council and Ali Al Shamili, in-charge of Arab League Affairs at the UAE Embassy in Cairo. - Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Mohammed bin Rashid meets leading journalists
posted on 14/05/2015

Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, on Wednesday met with a group of editors-in-chief, directors of news centres and journalists from Arab and international media organisations at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai.
The meeting was attended by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai; H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum; Deputy Ruler of Dubai; Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister for Cabinet Affairs; and Mona Ghanem Al Marri, Director-General of the Dubai government Media Office, President of Dubai Press Club and Chair of the Organising Committee of the 14th Arab Media Forum.
During the meeting, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed and the journalists talked about Arab and media issues, as well as poetry and literature.
He urged the journalists to ask questions about any topic of interest for them.
H.H. Sheikh Mohammed told his guests that the UAE is a leader in various spheres, in development and modernisation in particular. He noted that the UAE enhances the effective and positive role of its national human resources and their creativity in all scientific, economic and technological spheres, thanks to its strong will, determination and positive attitude. .
The journalists said they were proud to meet H.H. Sheikh Mohammed whom they described as a leader, poet and prominent personality whose creative ideas turned Dubai to a model of success and welfare for other cities around the world.
They also hailed the Arab Media Forum as the only gathering place in the Arab Region for media people from all Arab countries, and as a forum for free discussion. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Government of Dubai Media Office and Google Collaborate to Boost Digital Journalism in the UAE
posted on 14/05/2015

In line with the efforts aimed to hone the skills of local digital media, the Government of Dubai Media Office and Google have launched an initiative to train the media sector and provide hand-on experiences and support through workshops to media personalities.
The announcement came during the second day of the 14th edition of Arab Media Forum. The two entities revealed that the training program will include a series of workshops in the UAE throughout the year, delivered by top trainers and product specialists at Google. This program is to cater for journalists, editors and producers across print, online and broadcast media. The objective of the initiative is to train media across areas like research, visualising data and engaging with audiences.
On the collaboration, Chairperson of the Organising Committee of AMF and President of Dubai Press Club Mona Al Marri, expressed her appreciation to Google and the technologies offered to contribute to revolutionising data acquisition. "We are happy to cooperate with such a prominent organisation as Google and hope that through this collaboration media cadres would benefit from training on latest technologies so as to keep abreast with the rapid digital shifts.
For her part Head of Communication for Google in MENA Joyce Baz said: "Around the world, we have collaborated with journalists, entrepreneurs, innovative and influential news organisations to help support a sustainable news ecosystem and promote innovation in digital journalism. We are very happy to continue our partnership with the Government of Dubai Media Office and want to maximise the huge opportunities of the web in creating great journalism in the UAE."
These workshops will provide an overview on how maps can help journalists tell their story in a compelling and visual way, as well as offer advanced Google Geo tools and features such as APIs which will enable trainees to create Web-based Google charts. Trainees will also learn how to visualise data using Google Maps, the program intends to guide through all the resources Google offers to journalists. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Arab Media Forum calls upon companies to allocate budget for innovation
posted on 13/05/2015

Dr. Amina Alrustamani, Group Chief Executive Officer of Tecom Investments, has called upon private companies to allocate small budgets for innovation and make innovation part of their corporate strategy.
Addressing the inaugural 20-minute session entitled ‘Media Innovation' at the 14th Arab Media Forum in Dubai on Tuesday, Dr. Alrustamani said that more incentives will be given to companies to realise Dubai's vision for innovation. "People don't take innovation seriously and they think it's embedded in their organisations. Innovation is vital for survival in the modern society. So we started thinking differently and realised that more needs to be done. It is important not only for the government but also for companies in the technological sphere to innovate," she said.
"We have decided to set a corpus fund of DH150 million for innovation for the next 10 years. This fund will be allocated to the private sector for research and studies in innovation. Tecom Investments was established to develop the knowledge economy," she added.
Also, Tecom will be setting up incubators to help private companies to research and explore new ideas which will be shared among other participants. They should be conducting research and studies together.
"Creativity is important and innovation plays an important role in development of the knowledge economy. The UAE ranks first in terms of government innovation and productivity, and it's not by chance," she said and listed achievements in innovation by way of setting up the free zones, Dubai Internet City, Dubai International Financial Centre and other institutions.
Dubai was among the first to realise the importance of innovation and attracted multinational companies.
On innovation in media, she said that research and development play an important role in development of the media sector. The concept of covering news has changed with mobile devices. Advance technology will have an impact on the media sector.
"We also have made developments in the media segment and attracted media organisations, universities and global media institutions. We will be cooperating with institutions to set future curricula as human beings are the source of innovation," Dr. Alrustamani pointed out and said, "Tecom, as an organisation, has attracted innovation, making Dubai a hub, and has partnered with private institutions to implement the innovation plans. We should focus on areas to develop knowledge-based economy."
The Arab Media Forum 2015 is being attended by more than 1,500 delegates from the region and the wider world. A third of the speakers this year are foreign experts. In keeping with the ‘2015 Year of Innovation' in the UAE, AMF 2015 features two key new concepts – The Media Walk which features a brief history of media and Davos-style 20-minute sessions sponsored by Nakheel. Additionally, AMF 2015 features workshops sponsored by DP World. - Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Arab Media forum to lay down blueprint of the future, says Al Marri
posted on 13/05/2015

In the United Arab Emirates, optimism is the essence of life; and positive energy is the key to success, Mona Ghanem Al Marri, Director General of the Government of Dubai Media Office, Chairperson of the AMF Organising Committee and President of Dubai Press Club, has said.
Welcoming Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who witnessed the opening of the 14th edition of the Arab Media Forum at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, yesterday, Al Marri said AMF 2015 discussions are being held with this spirit of optimism.
The opening was attended by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Chairman of Dubai Media Incorporated, Mohammed Abdulla Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and a number of senior government officials and media experts.
"A few months ago, Your Highness announced 2015 to the Year of Innovation in the UAE. A few days ago, you revealed the details of the first-ever Arab mission to planet Mars from the UAE, which you named ‘The Hope'.
"Hope summarises the philosophy of the United Arab Emirates towards excellence and development," Al Marri said. She said AMF 2015 is being held with the same philosophy. "Innovation is the key characteristic of our Forum."
This is reflected in the title of the Forum, which is ‘New Perspectives'. AMF 2015 is geared towards developing the Arab Media to face new realities with a spirit of excellence and innovation.
"Today, we face extreme challenges in the region. We should react with open mindedness and honest determination to reach best results."
"In this Forum the new developments will be discussed to form a clear understanding of the future with its opportunities and challenges. We will discuss issues in a serious and honest manner. We will discuss how the West sees Arabs and Muslims. We have seen developments in the region attracting the attention of the world," Al Marri said.
"We hope that we will be able to create ideas and visions of the future through this Forum," she added, while wishing the dignitaries and delegates a warm welcome.
The Arab Media Forum 2015 is being attended by more than 1,500 delegates from the region and the wider world. A third of the speakers this year are foreign experts. In keeping with the ‘2015 Year of Innovation' in the UAE, AMF 2015 features two key new concepts – The Media Walk which features a brief history of media; and Davos-style 20-minute sessions sponsored by Nakheel. Additionally, AMF 2015 also features workshops sponsored by DP World. - Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Dubai Media City Champions Talent and Creativity at the Middle East’s Inaugural Festival of Media
posted on 12/05/2015

The inaugural Festival of Media MENA conference last month gathered top industry leaders from Google, Facebook, and MediaCom to discuss the latest trends driving the media landscape in the region. Dubai Media City, the MENA region's largest media hub, was the strategic partner for the conference, with Mohammed Abdullah, Managing Director of Dubai Media City, taking part in a panel discussion where he discussed ‘solving the talent conundrum.' Mohammed Abdullah highlighted Dubai's development into an exporter, rather than an importer of talent, and its growth into a dynamic media hub. He said, "Dubai, and DMC in particular, has attracted leading international media companies over the past 15 years, and supported the growth of local companies. DMC is now home to 22,000 knowledge workers. The emirate is exporting talent across the Middle East and regional media companies now look to Dubai as a place from which to recruit talent.
The Festival of Media, which also takes place in Europe, Latin America and Asia, is the only global event focused on media innovation, creativity and evolution, tackling industry issues and themes such as branded content, advertising and social media.
Speaking about the conference, Mohammed Abdullah, said, "The Festival of Media is a true celebration of creativity and innovation, and we are delighted to have supported the inaugural Middle East conference. Dubai being selected as the location to host the event is testament to the widespread growth of the emirate's media industry. We will continue to pledge our support to festivals and platforms that encourage the growth of the sector here in Dubai, and look at ways in which we can promote the development of talent." - Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Arab Media Forum reveals sessions of 14th edition
posted on 03/05/2015

The Organising Committee of the 14th Arab Media Forum (AMF) has revealed details of the plenary sessions at this year's forum.
Held under the patronage of Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the two-day forum, the premier media event in the Arab world, will welcome leading Arab and international journalists, media professionals, academics and thought leaders.
The Arab Media Forum (AMF) will introduce a new format this year with the 20-minute-sessions, which will be held alongside plenary sessions.
This year's AMF will take a hard look at issues making headlines in Arab world as well as providing an in-depth regional outlook from the viewpoint of journalists, politicians and intellectuals from around the globe.
:: "Perspectives that are changing the world".
One of the forum's plenary sessions, titled ‘Perspectives that are changing the world', will provide a critical review of the situation in the Arab world today.
The fast-paced changes, regional conflicts and pressing issues such the rise of terrorism and violence in the region will be discussed by a panel of speakers that include the general manager of ‘Al Arabiya' Television News Network, Turki Al-Dakhil; the director of the Middle East Centre at the London School of Economics, . Fawaz Gerges; the chairwoman of Emirates Policy Centre, . Ebtisam Al Ketbi; and the head of Sky News Arabia, Nart Bouran.
The session will be moderated by Naoufer Ramoul, TV anchor at Dubai Media Incorporated.
:: Media on the front line.
The forum agenda features a session about ‘Operation Decisive Storm', entitled ‘Media on the front line'.
It elaborates on the role of media as a functional weapon in this war due to its ability to give public opinion and mobilise people.
The president of the think tank London Global Strategy Institute, . Mamoun Fandy. The session will be moderated by Najwa Qassim, TV presenter, Al Arabiya News Channel.
Panelists include the editor-in-chief of Asharq Al Awsat newspaper, Salman Al-Dossary; the president of the Gulf Security and Peace Forum, . Fahad Al-Shulaimi; the vice chancellor of United Arab Emirates University, . Ali Al Noaimi, and the president of the think tank London Global Strategy Institute, . Mamoun Fandy. The session will be moderated by Najwa Qassim, TV presenter, Al Arabiya News Channel.
:: Sports, hooliganism and the media.
Hooliganism on the part of overzealous fans and supporters is a reality across the sporting world.
Sports media in the Arab world can be accused of being one of the culprits behind the rise of hooliganism, especially with the region's social and political conflicts spilling over into sports coverage.
This is a session dedicated to discussing the role of sports media in aggravating hooliganism in the Arab world.
The session will be moderated by the head of MBC Sports, Mustafa Agha. It will attempt to answer how media outlets can balance passion and responsibility when covering sporting competitions. Among the speakers in this session are the member of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Executive Office, Mohammed Khalfan Al Romaithi; the former Algerian minister of information, Ezzuddin Mayhubi; and the Egyptian sports critic, Hassan El Mestikawi.
The Arab world from the perspective of international media With the global spotlight on the Arab world due to the political upheaval in the region, now more than ever, international media organizations are forming the basis of how the Middle East is perceived and understood by a global audience.
This session will look at the Arab world from the perspective of two leading media organisations in the West.
Op-Ed columnist for the International New York Times, Roger Cohen, and the director for global news at Agence France Press, Michele Leridon, will discuss how the international media views and covers recent events in the Arab world, as well as its outlook for near future.
The session is moderated by Faisal Abbas, the editor-in-chief of Al's English website.
:: The chaos of ethics.
Today's media organisations are shaken by the fast pace of technological changes that are sweeping the industry and challenging credibility and authenticity.
This session will discuss how media organisations uphold professional ethics and credibility in a time when new media is becoming a primary source of information for the public.
The session will further explore the fairness of comparing ethics in the Arab world with those in the western world, considering the different cultural and political frameworks of each one, MBC TV Presenter and Host . Baia Al Beshr, Reuters Middle East Bureau Chief, Samia Nakhoul, the editor of Le Monde Diplomatique, Alain Gresh and Moataz Al Demerdash , TV Presenter and Host will be speaking in this session.
:: What message should art deliver today? What is the role of the artist today? Can artists deliver a more positive message about a troubled region?.
These questions and more will be tackled in an insightful session that will look at the power and influence of artists and their ability to bring out positive change in people's lives. Moderated by Lebanese TV Presenter Rabia Zayat, the session brings together leading artists such as singer Lotfi Bouchnak, actress, Saba Mubarak; Tunisian singer, Latifa Al Arfaoui, and Emirati singer, Balqees Ahmed Fathi.
Amongst the AMF's most prominent speakers this year are the secretary-general of the Arab League, . Nabil Elaraby; the secretary-general of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. Iyad Madani; Kuwaiti Minister of Information and the Minister of State for Youth Affairs, Sheikh Salman Sabah Al Salem Al Humoud Al Sabah; the former secretary-general of the Arab League Amre Moussa; the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs for Federal National Council Affairs, Anwar Gargash; and Secretary-General of the Palestinian National Initiative, Mustafa Barghouti. Additionally, this year's international speakers include the editor-in-chief of CNN digital, Meredith Artley; the deputy managing editor and standards editor at the Associated Press, Thomas Kent; YouTube and Instagram sensation, Zack King; the founder of one Journalism Lab, Professor Matt Waite and the chief scientist at Lithium Technologies, . Michael Wu. - Emirates News Agency, WAM –

posted on 23/04/2015

Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Centre has met a number of SDL's executives in Amsterdam during his participation at the SDL Innovate 2015 conference, to discuss solutions and innovative content distribution for the online newspaper
Present at the meeting were Paige O'Neill, Chief Marketing Officer - SDL; Kip Martin, VP Customer Experience Management Programme Office - SDL; Howard Beader, VP Product Marketing - SDL; Eric Minard, Regional VP for Southern and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa - SDL; Osama Samra, Director General of Sharjah Media Centre; Jean Feghali, Editor-In-Chief of; Nabil Zmokhol, Regional Sales Director Middle East and Africa - SDL; Franck Feix, Customer Experience Business Technologist; and Monther Atout, Head of IT at Sharjah Media Centre.
SDL Innovate 2015 was moderated by Paige O'Neill, who gave insights on a field research conducted by SDL that looked into customers experience (CX) of brands and the key areas where customer relationship can be improved. He shared fundamentals of the emirate of Sharjah's history and its economic drivers.
"Sharjah has a very rich culture and history and we try to share our stories. Therefore we developed, and are now receiving news from a large number of authorities before the main stream media gets to know about them. We coordinate with all our local and federal authorities and have a high commitment to drive to its well-deserved position as a transparent, accurate and timely resource for channelled information about the emirate Sharjah and the UAE in general."
Osama Samra, Director General of Sharjah Media Centre added, "The website is an online newspaper initiated by the Ruler of Sharjah himself and the only government news site, which operates under the purview of Sharjah Media Centre – the media and communications arm of the government of Sharjah."
Upon Paige O'Neill's keen interest to visit Sharjah and share her experiences in the field of CX, Sharjah Media Centre is looking into opportunities to expand on her expertise and share her research with the emirate during IGCF 2016. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Reem Al Hashimy opens 10th WAN-IFRA Middle East Conference
posted on 16/04/2015

Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State, yesterday opened the 10th WAN-IFRA Middle East Conference, being held under the theme "Connecting Content, Reach and Revenue," at the InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Dubai Festival City, UAE.
The two-day event, organised by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers in cooperation with Al Bayan Newspaper as a strategic partner, is being held under the title "Imagine it's 2020."
Among those who attended the conference were Dhaen Shaheen, Chief Executive of Print Sector in Dubai Media Inc. (DMI) and Editor-in-Chief of ‘Al Bayan' Newspaper Group, Manfred Werfel, Deputy CEO, Executive Director Competence Centre Newspaper Production, Saleh Al-Humaidan, managing director of Al Yaum Media House, the leading publishing house in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, and Ibrahim Al Abed, Director General of the National Media Council.
In his keynote address, Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State and Director-General of Dubai Expo 2020 Office, said, "There are strong bonds between World Expo in Dubai in 2020 and the effective role to be played by the media in the coming five years."
She expressed the desire to build partnerships with the approved media outlets, adding that media technologies have paved the way for millions of people to share media tools, since they were earlier confined to news agencies and broadcast stations.
She added, "Today, with a few hundred dollars, we can have a voice file and share it with audiences across the world."
Al Hashimy reiterated that news and mass media are not only confined to writers, broadcasters and professionals but can also be represented by a huge crowd of media professionals from all walks of life worldwide.
She added that the logo of Dubai's World Expo, which will be held under the theme "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future," embodies the "Communication" idea in Dubai and its future as well as the renewable vision aimed to achieve a promising future and progressive thinking.
She also said the World Expo in Dubai in 2020 will reflect the best in architecture, design and technology, urging the media to benefit from the available opportunities that the Expo would bring during the coming five years in order to spread them across the world.
Shaheen said, "We should take into consideration the diversities in peoples' way of thinking and interaction with the media as well as streamlining ways of gaining information."
He also noted that newspapers are still the most influential means of media for the political, economic and cultural elite and decision-makers worldwide.
Shaheen also added that the growth of digital media today depends mainly on traditions and values of traditional journalism. However, the newspaper industry is changeable in nature and requires more dynamics.
At the end, Al Hashimy toured the pavilions of the exhibition held on the side-lines of the conference. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Dubai Press Club, ANSA to organise Emirati-Italian Strategic Partnership on Tuesday
posted on 12/04/2015

Dubai Press Club, in collaboration with ANSA, Italy's largest multimedia company and one of the top companies worldwide, will organise, under the patronage of the Italian Ministry and Foreign Affairs, the Emirati-Italian Strategic Partnership Forum, on Tuesday, 14 April in Dubai.
Director of Dubai Press Club Muna Busamra said that the event aims to increase the club's role in developing the media industry and enhance professional cooperation with local, regional and international media outlets. More importantly, she continued, the forum will boost media cooperation between UAE and Italy as well as explore the prospects of cooperation in vital sectors in both countries.
For his part, ANSA's CEO Giuseppe Cerbone said that the event aims to provide the means to increase communication, commercial, economic and cultural cooperation between Europe and the Arab World, and in particular between Italy and the United Arab Emirates.
Senior officials and government representatives will take part at the Emirati-Italian Strategic Partnership, including Director General of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Dubai Hamad Buamim and Director General of National Media Council and Emirates News Agency, WAM, Ibrahim Al Abed.
Leading figures from Italy will also be present including Italian Ambassador to UAE Giorgio Starace, EU Ambassador to UAE Carlo De Filippi, among other important representatives of Italian companies operating in the United Arab Emirates.
ANSA will provide Italy and Europe with multimedia coverage of the conference in Italian, English and Arabic. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


twofour54 wins top honour at 2015 Digital Studio Awards
posted on 16/03/2015

twofour54 was named the winner of the ‘Best Editing Award' at the 11th Digital Studio Awards ceremony in recognition of the post-production team's technical innovation and breadth of work covering regional and international television and feature films.
Maryam Al Mheiri, Chief Operating Officer at twofour54, said, "It is our vision to become the regional hub for content creation and receiving Digital Studio's Best Editing Award is testimony to our commitment to serve excellence to clients who choose to produce their projects in Abu Dhabi."
"Our post production facilities are designed to meet the needs of our clients, whether they are looking to work on feature films, television dramas, TVC's or corporate videos. I am proud of our team's achievements as we look ahead to twofour54 continuing to build a sustainable media industry in the capital, ready to service projects of any scale," she added.
twofour54's post production team, led by Ali Salloum, Senior Edit Producer, worked closely with AFM films and Emirati director Ali Mostafa, on his film, "From A to B" which was produced by Image Nation. The team was awarded for their editing as they managed to reduce the first cut of the movie from 140 minutes to 100 minutes within a more restructured time frame and without losing the integrity of the storyline.
Recently released in the UK, the critically acclaimed film, which world premiered at the 2014 Abu Dhabi Film Festival, revolves around three long-time friends who travel on an adventurous road trip from Abu Dhabi to Beirut in memory of their lost friend.
The Digital Studio Awards acknowledges individuals, organisations, and companies that have contributed to the broadcast and production industry. twofour54 has previously won Digital Studio's ‘Post Production House of the Year' in 2011 and 2012, and was voted ‘Studio of the Year' in 2010 and 2014. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Mohammed bin Rashid visits Government of Dubai Media Office
posted on 09/03/2015

Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, on Sunday visited the Government of Dubai Media Office (GDMO).
H.H. Sheikh Mohammed was briefed by Director-General of the Government of Dubai Media Office, Mona Al Marri, on the office's contributions and achievements that focus on enhancing the local government's communications with local, regional and international media.
H.H. Sheikh Mohammed was also briefed on GDMO's projects and initiatives for 2015.
H.H. Sheikh Mohammed directed the Media Office's team to pursue innovation and unleash their creative thinking to come up with new ideas that support the country's broad developmental ambitions.
During his meeting with GDMO's top management, His Highness praised the office's efforts and expressed his appreciation for its strategy that empowers young UAE nationals and gives them the opportunity to participate in the field of media.
Concluding his visit, a group photo was taken for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed with all employees of the Government of Dubai Media Office. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Dubai Film and TV commission reduces its processing fees
posted on 05/03/2015

The Dubai Film and TV Commission, DFTC, the organisation committed to establishing Dubai and the UAE as a premier filming destination for local and international productions, is pleased to announce that it has reduced its processing fees to all filmmakers and producers in Dubai.
In its commitment to ensuring an easy, cost effective and outstanding filming experience to filmmakers and producers, DFTC has reduced the processing fees from Dh800 to Dh500 per application for each project filmed in Dubai. Permit applications must be submitted a minimum of five (5) business days prior to the first filming day, and location fees remain the same as per fees structure on DFTC website.
Jamal Al Sharif, Chairman of Dubai Film and TV Commission and Managing Director of Dubai Studio City, said, "One of DFTC's goals and objectives is to develop initiatives to reduce cost of media production in Dubai and with this we are moving in the correct direction. We know that every dirham spent in productions makes a big difference to the producer, whether it's a big budget film, TVC, TV series or a corporate video. We are really keen to provide a filming experience to those producers that is cost effective, inclusive of all facilities they get in well-known production cities and with a full wide range of locations and advanced infrastructure." Jamal added, "The media industry lives off creative and innovative people, hence providing an efficient and flexible film production environment in Dubai is important for the growth of pool of talents. We have an ongoing vision and plan in doing so, and it is essential for us to ease the production process for all filmmakers and producers. We are working on more initiatives to further reduce costs for filming in Dubai, which will be announced in the near future."
Since its establishment in 2012, DFTC has been embracing an ongoing plan to ease film production in the city, and has introduced a number of initiatives and projects to ensure a seamless filming process, and to facilitate the emirate's production industry. Another key initiative introduced by DFTC last year is the Automated Registration System, which was launched in June 2014 to streamline the permit application and approval process for filmmakers through an automated script clearance and film permitting system.
Registration to apply for a filming permit is quick and easy. Applicants will be asked to provide company details, documentation supporting your establishment (e.g. trade license) and passport and visa copies of the named manager on the trade license. Once a request has been approved, the applicant will be sent login credentials via email.
The system will automatically store their information, so the applicant will not be required to re-enter it for each application. Applicants are urged to keep their company information updated in the system, including trade license renewals. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Abdullah bin Salem Al Qasimi launches at IGCF 2015
posted on 24/02/2015

Sheikh Abdullah bin Salem Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, yesterday launched the new website, the first news website of its kind in the emirate of Sharjah. The launch took place during the first session of day two of the fourth International Government Communication Forum (IGCF 2015) in the presence of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia and senior communication officials from government departments within the UAE and around the world.
Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Centre (SMC), said, "The launch comes in line with the directives of H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, to step up and improve media structures as well as dispatch cohesive message of Sharjah to the world." The website includes news, reports, investigations and columns that target all segments of society in Sharjah, UAE and beyond. Featuring dedicated sections on the UAE, the Arab region and the world, the website also provides a round-up of the economy, culture, arts, sports, health, technology, and research studies.
SMC Chairman added, " represents a comprehensive journalistic bundle that offers access to serious, objective and meaningful content to address perceived audience needs. The website is managed by a team of experienced professionals who endorse the best journalistic standards. The launch of the website comes as part of a number of initiatives that aim to develop media and communication strategies within Sharjah." On his part, Osama Samra, Director of SMC, said, " is an important value addition to Sharjah's cultural and knowledge landscape, and articulates SMC's vision to keep pace with developments locally, regionally and internationally. The portal provides content that conforms to the highest professional standards of accuracy, integrity and fairness." He added, "The launch of the website is the latest step in a long journey of media development in Sharjah. The emirate holds the distinction of being home to the first newspaper in the UAE in the early 1920s. Since then, Sharjah has come a long way in all fields, including media, and we are determined to further develop this sector in the emirate." – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Ruler of Sharjah inaugurates International Government Communication Forum 2015
posted on 23/02/2015

H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, yesterday inaugurated the fourth International Government Communication Forum (IGCF 2015) in the presence of guest of honour General Michel Sleiman, former President of the Republic of Lebanon (2008-2014).
In his opening speech, Sheikh Sultan said, "Public communication, particularly that represented by live radio and television programmes where people call in with their concerns on important social issues, is crucial for the exchange of information and messages between the government and the people. Such initiatives help the public to better understand the aspirations of the government. They are also vital in engaging citizens and society and introducing government policies, legislations and services to the public." He observed that such programmes have led to an improvement in the dialogue between citizens and officials and resulted in changing social behaviour. "Public programmes are an important tool to engage stakeholders, including citizens, civil society, and the media in the nation-building process." He confirmed that such communication activates the process of democracy through informing the people about government policies and triggering a healthy debate on their effectiveness. They also, consequently, help drive government policy and shape public opinion.
Sheikh Sultan stressed the importance of internal communication and follow-up to ensure smooth progress of operations and processes in all government departments. In addition, the role of external communication in engaging citizens, consolidating a spirit of national responsibility and supporting national initiatives at all levels and in all domains was also highlighted.
In his keynote address, General Michel Sleiman, 12th President of the Republic of Lebanon, said, "The development in the areas of information and communication technologies has effectively impacted the lifestyle, mind-set and values of people. Today, direct and indirect media have penetrated the minds of men, homes, offices, factories, barracks and trenches. The public can now hear and see officials addressing them directly, eliminating the role of the mediator." The former President of Lebanon added, "If a government is to convince the public of its goals, the public must prompt the government to hear its concerns and aspirations, and meet its growing demands. Despite the fact that the media is still a successful channel of persuasion, it only flows in a single direction, especially if the media lacks freedom and objectivity. Effective communication, on the other hand, is richer and more humane for it allows the exchange of thoughts, measures reaction, and encourages participation. Furthermore, communication today is no longer limited to public speaking and includes modern technologies and governance techniques as well." Cautioning governments about their inadequate channels of communication, General Sleiman said leaders and governments that hesitate to communicate with the public will eventually create barriers and cause bureaucracy in administration and institutions. He further pointed out that for communication to be based on trust and efficiency, it must not only answer the needs of the public, but also be characterised by precision, transparency and objectivity. More importantly, it must be understandable, sustainable, comprehensive, and timely.
On the steps needed to ensure a better relationship between the government and the public, General Sleiman said, "We must spread the culture of communication between officials and the public and create the right environment for its dissemination in a way that is independent of any influences from legislative, executive and judicial authorities. We need to enact laws that protect communication from any political arrogance. We must fight strict media censorship, and not restrain the media with dictatorship. Last but not least, officials need to leave their ivory towers and get closer to the public." The opening session of IGCF 2015 began with an address by Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Centre (SMC), who pointed out that the current economic and geopolitical developments, which have cast their shadow on the entire world, place greater responsibility on global and regional governments to explain their internal and external policies openly and transparently.
He said the time when the type and sources of information were controlled by governments is long gone, and is now replaced by an era of interaction and dialogue in which the public has the ability to express its opinion about events in home countries and countries around the world.
He stressed that the speed of delivering information and influencing the public is creating a challenge for some governments due to their administrative nature. However, the emirate of Sharjah looks at this challenge as an opportunity to develop this aspect of government work, as effective government communication that is based on transparency and objectivity has become one of the main factors that characterise effective governance.
Sheikh Al Qasimi added, "Today we are in a time of freedom in sharing information and opinion, thus the knowledge of citizens and their ability to communicate are as important a measure as the strength of a country's army or economy. No one can deny the power of armies in resolving conflicts, but governments around the world realise that an army may withhold a story or impose an opinion for some time, but it will not be able to limit the spread of counter-story or restrain impressions and ideas all the time." He also stressed that SMC under the directives of the Ruler of Sharjah, has taken upon itself the task of developing and empowering government communication departments in the emirate of Sharjah, and sharing this experience with the other emirates and across the region and the world. He said such efforts are designed to help government communication departments reassess their important strategic role and adapt their scope of work to fit with modern and world-class government communication matrixes.
SMC Chairman identified four necessary steps that must be taken to improve the performance of government communication departments. These include realising and promoting the new strategic role of government communication among government officers and officials, conducting a professional and objective self-assessment to measure the administration's ability to apply the principles of government communication in daily operations and the application of a comprehensive and ongoing training plan, as well as hiring appropriate persona for appropriate positions.
Concluding his speech, Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi thanked the forum's strategic partners and sponsors, which include Emirates Airlines (Airline Partner), Arabian Gulf Mechanical Centre – BMW (Official Car), Getty Images, twofour54 and Microsoft (Content Partners), Sky News Arabia (Regional Media Partner), The New York Times (International Media Partner), Thomson Foundation(Training Partner), National Media Council, Al Khaleej newspaper, Al Bayan newspaper and Dubai Radio (Media Partners), National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA), as well as Pink Caravan, Tim Hortons and Expo Centre Sharjah (Partners).
The opening session was also attended by H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Salem Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister for International Cooperation and Development, Sheikh Ahmed bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Ajman Ruler's Representative for Administrative and Financial Affairs, Sheikh Khalid bin Abdullah Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Department of Seaports and Customs, Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), Sheikh Khalid bin Essam bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Department of Civil Aviation, Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Director-General of the Department of Information and e-Government, Rashid bin Ahmed Al Sheikh, Chief of the Emiri Diwan, Major General Hamid Mohammed Al Hadidi, Commander-in-Chief of Sharjah Police, Abdullah bin Sultan Al Owais, Chairman of Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Australia (2010-2013), Lakhdar Brahimi, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General of the United Nations (2004-2005), Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission (2004-2014)and Prime Minister of Portugal (2002-2004) and James Rubin, Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs under President Clinton (1997–2000), in addition to a number of political figures, media representatives, academicians, thought leaders, and local, regional and international government communication professionals.
Held under the theme "Specific Actions...Better Results", IGCF 2015 discusses the immediate actions needed today to ensure a better relationship between the government and the public using effective and clear government communication mechanisms. The forum hosts a group of global experts in the field of government communication to identify the actions required on the international and local levels to further activate the role of government communication. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


twofour54 and Etisalat partner up to spotlight local productions
posted on 12/01/2015

An extensive collection of films produced by twofour54's creative lab is available for subscribing viewers to enjoy on Etisalat's video on demand (VOD) platform, eLife OnDemand, as well as Etisalat's eLife Video Packs. This initiative comes as a result of the on-going partnership between twofour54 and Etisalat which aims to highlight local talent from the film making industry and reinforce Arabic content.
40 creative lab films and music videos will be shown, some of which have previously participated in Abu Dhabi Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival in New York and the UK's prestigious Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival. Most recently, four different creative lab projects were submitted to Abu Dhabi Film Festival 2014, with one winning Best Short Documentary in the Emirates Film Competition. Three more creative lab films took part in the 2014 Dubai International Film Festival, one of which scooped Best Film Award at the festival's Muhr Emirati competition.
Commenting on the partnership, Maryam Al Mheiri, Chief Operating Officer, twofour54, said, "twofour54's creative lab intends to support young talents and provide them with opportunities to develop their skills and experiences through the appropriate media platforms. As a result, we have witnessed great strides in the output of quality of content delivered by our young creative talents." Maryam added, "This initiative is an opportunity for aspiring filmmakers to highlight their creative work through an established platform, showcase their projects to broader audiences, and motivate others to explore their creative potential." "twofour54 creative lab's films can now be accessed on Etisalat's VOD which is testament to the quality of work our members are achieving and we look forward to continuing our relationship with Etisalat and bringing high-quality, home-grown content to the audience," she added.
Etisalat's Vice President of Home Services, Rashed Al Abbar, said, "As well as delivering top class TV content and entertainment to homes in the UAE, Etisalat is actively seeking new means of supporting the community of local artists and filmmakers. Through our wide reach in the UAE, we are excited about introducing a new platform for award-winning home-grown talent to show case their skills and creativity. Overall, our partnership with twofour54, one of the leading media hubs in the UAE, helps promote locally produced content and enhances the UAE's film industry." Etisalat's eLife TV launched OnDemand, its VOD service, in 2011 with a library of films from major regional and international studios that includes a variety of Hollywood, Hindi, Arabic and much more content in different languages to reach out to all demographics in the UAE.
twofour54's creative lab is home to more than 10,000 talented community members who are passionate about creative industries, including film, music, TV, animation, gaming and publishing. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Twofour54 will train Saudi journalists
posted on 09/01/2015

Noura Al Kaabi, chief executive of twofour54, attended the official launch of the Saudi Broadcasting Corporation's (SBC) new media training centre in Riyadh. SBC recently signed an agreement with twofour54, which will allow its employees to enrol in Tadreeb, the training section of twofour54, which offers courses in television directing and reporting, radio programming and news production.
"Providing continuous training and skill-development opportunities to keep up with the fast-paced growth of the media industry and to enhance the chances of employment for young Arabs is crucial,” Ms Al Kaabi said.
Abdul Rahman Al Hazza, SBC president, said: "The corporation is working to implement a comprehensive development plan that seeks to put media knowledge to use in the field in order to spread creativity among the trainees.” – The National -


Sharjah Ruler establishes Sharjah 24 news service
posted on 06/01/2015

H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, has issued administrative resolution No. (1) of 2015, establishing the Sharjah 24 news website under the purview of Sharjah Media Centre (SMC).
According to the resolution, the daily e-news website will have Sharjah city as its headquarters and may open, upon a resolution issued by the SMC chairman, branches or offices within the UAE or abroad.
The resolution defines the objectives of the news website as:
1) To be a reliable reference for daily news - in Arabic and English - about events taking place in the emirate of Sharjah and the UAE;
2) To capture interest of members of the public through delivery of diverse, interesting news services;
3) To provide accurate, reliable information in coordination with local and federal competent authorities.
The website will transmit news of the emirate of Sharjah in particular and those of the UAE in general through the open internet space and cover local and federal political, economic and social events with complete transparency and integrity. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Abu Dhabi Media signs Memorandum of Understanding with RAI COM
posted on 29/12/2014

Abu Dhabi Media (ADM) yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with RAI COM, the leading Italian television operator working across public service, broadcasting, radio, satellite, and digital platforms.
The strategic agreement was signed in the presence of Mohamed Ebraheem Al Mahmood, Chairman and Managing Director of Abu Dhabi Media, and Luigi de Siervo, Managing Director of RAI COM, during the Globe Soccer event which took place at Atlantis Hotel in Dubai.
Commenting on the collaboration, Al Mahmood, Chairman said, "This MoU is yet another significant milestone in Abu Dhabi Media's mission to build awareness of UAE's achievements locally, regionally and internationally, and reaffirms the nation's leadership position as an international cultural, economic and financial hub. Our partnership with RAI COM will facilitate knowledge transfer and best practice exchange across several facets of the media industry including production, publishing and digital." The MoU agreement between Abu Dhabi Media and RAI COM will ultimately unite both geographic markets and will allow each organisation to continue promoting tourism and cultural interests, in addition to creating awareness of EXPO 2015 and EXPO 2020, which are set to take place in Milan and the UAE, respectively.
Luigi de Siervo, Managing Director of RAI COM said, " The signature of this agreement between RAI Com and AD Media represents for RAI the act for a future and long lasting mutual cooperation. It also confirms the willingness of the two countries to develop a continuous partnership. The first objective is to grant a complete coverage and detailed information about Expo 2015 in the UAE. This will pave the road for a successful EXPO 2020 taking place in the UAE. By signing this agreement AD Media and RAI Com will follow the tradition of the partnership started with Ferrari and continued with Alitalia looking together towards a bright and successful future." The strategic partnership will see Abu Dhabi Media work in close cooperation with RAI COM on brand logistics and production, with each organisation benefitting from the resources and support through a series of communications and initiatives aimed at promoting activities to diverse audiences across local and international markets. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Mona Al Marri named Most Influential Arab Media Personality in 2014
posted on 22/12/2014

The Arab Union of Electronic Media, AUEM, has honoured Director General of the Government of Dubai Media Office and Chairperson of Dubai Press Club, Mona Ghanem Al Marri, for the "Most Influential Arab Media Personality in 2014", in recognition of her contributions for the industry, including the Arab Media Forum.
The AMF is organised annually by Dubai Press Club since 1999.
The honouring ceremony was part of the "Electronic Media Awards" held on Saturday in Cairo, Egypt, wrapping up the 4th Arab Electronic Media Forum. The event attracted host of Egyptian and Arab media figures, writers and intellectuals.
Mona Al Marri expressed her appreciation and gratitude for the Arab Union of Electronic Media and the organisers of the Electronic Media Forum for electing her among Arab media icons. She said: "I am honoured to gain this appreciation in Cairo, the capital of Arab media. I would like to avail myself on this opportunity to convey to you greetings of UAE media community wishing this promising forum all the success".
She added: "Dubai Press Club has always kept pace with the changes and developments in the Arab media scene, and we are rather eager to take a proactive role in shaping media reality to provide high quality content. We are quite confident that Arab media can cope with latest international industry trends, showing highest level of professional competency." Al Marri further stated that organising the Electronic Media Forum in Cairo integrates with the role Dubai undertook years ago and contributes to providing a new platform for developing media in the region.
Concluding her remarks, Mona al Marri said that the media industry will witness fast-paced changes over the coming few years, stressing that media workers are expected to be ready for these changes to positively tackle the challenges and opportunities they will bring along. She also congratulated the winners of the Electronic Media Awards different categories, wishing all the success for the forum's organisers and participants.
In recognition of its efforts, the Arab Union of Electronic Media also elected "Dubai Press Club" (DPC) as the most important Arab media organisation supporting electronic and digital media for the same year as the Club has included topics related to the reality and future of e-media in all its round-the-year events.
Chairperson of Dubai Press Club, Mona Ghanem Al Marri and Director of the Club, Muna Busamra received the award.
Al Marri said the recognition is a motive for DPC to continue exploration of new avenues to further develop the Arab media, while promoting innovation and creativity as key prerequisites for media excellence.
Muna Busamra, said: "Cairo is the capital of Arab Media. DPC has always enjoyed strong relations with Arab media community generally and Egyptian media in particular. We are happy to have such relations, and we are keen to further develop through continuous exchange of visits and ideas. This cooperation will benefit the entire Arab media." The Arab Electronic Media Forum and Electronic Media Award honoured UAE daily Arabic newspaper ‘Al Emarat Al Youm', which came third in the Award's print journalism category, following ‘Asharq Al Awsat' newspaper in the first position and ‘Assafir' newspaper which was second. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


TECOM Investments strengthens ties with UK business community
posted on 11/12/2014

TECOM Investments recently visited the UK to present its innovation vision and strategy to an international audience and target companies, in line with the recently announced UAE and Dubai National Innovation Strategy.
During the trip to London, a delegation from TECOM Investments, led by Malek Al Malek, CEO of TECOM Business Parks, which included Majed Al Suwaidi, Managing Director of Dubai Internet City and Dubai Outsource Zone and Mohammad Abdullah, Managing Director of TECOM's Media Cluster, hosted UK companies from across the media, ICT and education sectors at a business and networking event. Malek Al Malek presented TECOM Investments' innovation strategy to the companies, who are potentially looking to expand their operations to Dubai, and drew upon TECOM Investments' new innovation initiatives as well as the wider benefits of doing business in Dubai and the Middle East.
TECOM Investments recently announced innovation-focused initiatives include the creation of Dubai Internet City's new Innovation Hub which will provide 1.6 million sq. ft. of dedicated space to around 15,000 knowledge and creative workers, as well as Dubai Design District's Creative Community. TECOM Investments will work closely with British and international companies to promote entrepreneurship and innovation, pioneer the development of new technologies and partnerships, and provide support services for London businesses setting up in Dubai.
The delegation also met with senior directors from London's Google Campus as well as from Level 39, Canary Wharf's innovative technology hub for start-ups, where the delegation exchanged ideas and best practice about ways to drive innovation and entrepreneurship. The delegation also heard first-hand about Level 39's innovation and accelerator programmes, and discussed ways to drive innovation within in5, DIC's innovation centre.
TECOM Investments is home to 4,500 companies across the ICT, Media, Education, Industrial and Sciences industries, with the majority of its European business partners from the UK, including the BBC, and British Telecom.
Bilateral trade between the UAE and UK has significantly surpassed the US$18.5bn target for 2015, and the two countries are working closely across all areas of business including financial and professional services, education, healthcare and infrastructure.
On the occasion, Malek Al Malek, CEO of TECOM Business Parks, said, "Innovation and entrepreneurship are the engines of future economic growth, and in line with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum's new innovation strategy and focused initiatives, we will continue to share best practice and ideas with international companies as well as global technology hubs going forward to drive Dubai's transition into an innovation-led economy.
"We are delighted to have also met with executives from UK companies who are exploring growth opportunities in the Middle East. Through the creation of industry specific infrastructure and business communities, TECOM Investments has attracted companies from around the world, including many well-known British companies, and the trip reflects our desire to further strengthen ties with the UK.
"With the recent launch of Dubai Internet City's new development, the Innovation Hub, we look forward to attracting more innovation specific centres, incubators, creative firms and entrepreneurs/ start-ups." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Mohammed bin Rashid: We expect our media to lead and keep up with the comprehensive development of the country
posted on 27/11/2014

Vice President and Prime Minister of the U.A.E. and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has called local media organisations to continue their efforts in developing content and product of Emirati media to match the comprehensive development march taking place in the country and to bear in mind the citizens' best interest and needs.
H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid indicated the national achievements in economy and government services and requested media community to pick up equivalent development processes. He also called media to keep up with best international practices, attract international competences, utilise latest technologies and foster young Emirati talents.
His Highness expressed his gratitude and appreciation for local media and its significant role. He also stressed on their significant role in preparing young Emiratis and giving them the opportunities to acquire the required skills. Sheikh Mohammed also encouraged local media organisations to prepare the second the third tiers of leadership.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid asserted that to develop the Emirati media we must count on the efforts and innovation of young Emiratis capable of taking our media to new horizons during the next phase.
"We expect our media to lead and open doors for our young talents. As we need creative engineers, doctors and managers, we also need creative journalists and media workers. I would like to see young media leaders in the second and third tiers," said H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid.
He also expressed great confidence in Emirati media organisations.
H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid made his comments during the official inauguration of the second edition of the Emirati Media Forum (EMF). He was accompanied by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, and H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Media Inc.
Held at the Emirates Towers, the forum attracted a host of writers, journalists, thinkers, editors in chief, senior officials from local media organisations and international media figures.
Organised under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the one day forum discusses several local media issues including the development of media content, the future of local media and the public's expectations. The forum also presents the unique experience of Abu Dhabi media in the field of Emiratisation. The forum also case-presents and discusses the creditability and the emerging role of social media in spreading rumours.
During the opening session, U.A.E. Minister of State and Chairman of Sky News Arabia, Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Sultan Al Jaber, delivered the opening speech. Al Jaber asserted that the U.A.E. local media needs to become proactive and anticipative, provide deep analysis and interpretation for the current events, under carry its social and cultural responsibilities, deliver our message and voice to the world and reflects our sound peaceful culture.
Minister Al Jaber said that the local media is expected to take the initiative, duple the effort to reflect accurate image about our values and take an active role in presenting the reality of our religion, traditions and civilisation.
He added that the leadership has paved the way for us to excel in various sectors, take the lead and be the happiest nation. He indicated that all these achievements came real due to the vision of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister of the U.A.E. and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the U.A.E. Armed Forces.
Minister Al Jaber said, "Over the past years, U.A.E. media has registered many successes and achievements and we need to adopt balanced and objective strategy that shall contribute in enhancing and bolstering U.A.E. creditability regionally and internationally".
"When I call for a proactive role, I do not mean exaggeration but rather I call our national media to be an icon for ethics and professionalism" Al Jaber urged the U.A.E. media to explain and echo the government's political views and promote the global positions of U.A.E..
For her part, Director-General of the Government of Dubai Media Office and Chairperson of Dubai Press Club, Mona Ghanem Al Marri expressed her gratitude to U.A.E. Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum for his continues support to the media sector, particularly media persons. Al Marri also noted the significant role of U.A.E. media in the development process of the United Arab Emirates ever since its establishment 43 years ago.
In her speech, Al Marri pointed out to the challenges facing the local and international media, namely the challenges presented to traditional media by social media, which have introduced new wave of competitions. She also touched on possible answers to challenges posed by social media, which can be encapsulated in creating good content, increasing interactivity and attracting the youth who constitute two-thirds of social media users.
Al Marri called on local media institutions to give media students more opportunity to partake in shaping the local media. She also emphasised on the importance of having confidence in young people's creative skills and innovative ideas.
The Emirati Media Forum, an initiative of Dubai Press Club (DPC), was launched in 2013 with aim of providing an out-of-the-box dialogue platform that looks into Emirati media and, in the same time, facilitate a fertile ground for young Emirati talents to come face to face with media professionals and elites. The DPC's Emirati Media Forum focuses on U.A.E. domestic media, taking into consideration its interaction with the regional and international media through dedicating such unique platforms as the Arab Media Forum and the Arab Journalism Award to discuss on issues impacting regional and international socio- political scenario.
Concluding the opening session, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid posed group photos with the officials of EMF's strategic partner, Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), EMF's official partner, Etisalat, EMF media partner, Abu Dhabi Media, as well as with the Dubai Press Club team. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


Abu Dhabi Media Summit 2014 calls for a fully connected world
posted on 21/11/2014

Chief Executive Officer of twofour54, Noura Al Kaabi, has wrapped up the 2014 edition of the Abu Dhabi Media Summit (ADMS) by telling delegates that with 7 billion connected individuals forecast by 2020, the media and e-commerce industry may soon be managers of the world's largest and most relevant "mall".
The speech provided an optimistic and forward-looking conclusion to a third and final day of lively, insightful discussions between industry leaders and innovators.
Al Kaabi praised the high calibre and diversity of the speakers, and encouraged all ADMS guests to play their part in driving and sustaining a future media in MENA and beyond. The key challenges now were reaching out to those people not connected and growing and nurturing our young people so that they can fully realise their potential.
"I believe the Abu Dhabi Media Summit is a clear example of how we are all helping to build a positive profile of the Arab World. The future is bright and within the grasp of young people in the Middle East and everywhere," Al Kaabi said.
Earlier in the afternoon, a panel entitled "A Race for the Exits: The Rebound in IPOs and Dealmaking" saw speakers encouraging investors to look beyond tangible assets such as real estate and instead consider IPOs in the fast-growing technology sector.
Co-founder and Managing Director, CedarBridge, Imad Ghandour, said that "given the stability of local currencies and continuous growth of industries, the GCC has a great recipe for success", while Mona DeFrawi, Founder and Managing Partner, IPOQuest Partners, explained that "technology IPOs have high growth momentum and the ability to grow globally." Tom Urquhart, a presenter with Dubai One, moderated the next panel on "Accelerating Start-Ups", which looked at the challenges for new technology businesses in Abu Dhabi and beyond.
Ramesh Jagannathan Research Professor and Associate Dean of Engineering, NYU Abu Dhabi, told potential innovators "you have to believe you can create magic" to persuade others about the benefits of their start-ups. Nina Curley, Managing Director, Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi, said that Abu Dhabi is perfectly positioned to become a dynamic global hub for entrepreneurs with "the pieces now coming together for building a viable ecosystem".
A session led by Issa Aghabi, Head of Investments at twofour54, compared the differing approach of two companies – one local and one global – to starting a business in the same sector in MENA. Magnus Olsson, Founder and Managing Director, Careem, explained that his ground transportation company focussed on providing a reliable service based on a call-centre model made accessible to local customers.
In contrast, Jambu Palaniappan, Regional General Manager of Middle East and Africa, Uber, set out his view that technology scales better than people and that companies could avoid the burdens of call centres by relying on technology. The panel generated an insightful discussion on the pros and cons of each business structure.
The final session of ADMS 2014 was an interview between Badr Jafar, Managing Director, Crescent Group and Fadi Ghandour, Founder and Vice Chairman, Aramex, on the challenges facing innovators in raising finance in the MENA region. Ghandour remarked that "innovation is the ability to take pieces of knowledge and use them to affect people's lives – the process requires a symbiotic relationship between innovators and industry". Ghandour stressed that the Arab world had to adopt more of a solutions-based mentality and do more to provide the financial and legal structures needed to support business. - Emirates News Agency, WAM –



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