Ahmed bin Mohammed attends opening of 22nd Arab Media Forum – UAE

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Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai,  the 22nd edition of the Arab Media Forum began today in Dubai. The event was attended by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Second Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Media Council; His Excellency Dr. Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak, Prime Minister of the Republic of Yemen; and His Excellency Jassem AlBudaiwi, Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

The 22nd edition of the forum was held on Day 2 the Arab Media Summit 2024, which also includes the Arab Youth Media Forum that concluded yesterday, the 23rd Arab Media Award, and the fourth Arab Social Media Influencers Award.

HH Sheikh Ahmed welcomed the guests and expressed Dubai’s pride in supporting the media sector. He highlighted efforts to foster dialogue and establish partnerships to accelerate media development, serve Arab interests, and promote sustainable development. “Guided by the directives of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, we are committed to enhancing Dubai’s role in forming partnerships that support the media sector in its mission and social role. Our goal is to prepare for a future where media continues to uphold national values and strengthen the connection of new generations with their rich historical and cultural heritage.”

“The gathering of leading Arab media figures in Dubai is a crucial opportunity to showcase this vital sector’s ability to meet the region’s future aspirations. Media plays a key role in guiding Arab dialogue towards greater unity and coordination, building new bridges of cooperation across various fields. This supports joint efforts for broader growth and prosperity for the entire Arab world.”

The opening session was also attended by His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council; Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority; His Excellency Abdulrahman Al-Mutairi, Minister of Information and Culture, Kuwait, and a number of senior media personalities and thought leaders from across the Arab world.

The future of GCC media
His Excellency Jassem AlBudaiwi, Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council, delivered a keynote address in which he explored key developments in the GCC media sector and the need for a unified response from GCC countries to tackle the opportunities and challenges ahead.

He also praised Dubai and the AMF for providing a remarkable platform for thought leadership that supports the development of Arab media across the region.

He also said GCC strongly believes in diversity and dialogue, noting that GCC countries are a melting pot of cultures from around the world.
He also commended Gulf media’s pivotal role in the region’s progress and achievements. He attributed this to the support of GCC leaders, who consider media a fundamental pillar of their ambitious future visions. This support has manifested in various forms, notably in empowering youth and providing women opportunities to lead media institutions.

AlBudaiwi also delved into the growing use of social media platforms across GCC, a region in which 58 million people, or 96.55% of the population, are active users of various platforms. This includes 27.235 million Facebook users, 49.37 million YouTube subscribers, 27.75 million Instagram users, 46.99 million TikTok users over the age of 18, and approximately 21.6 million X (formerly Twitter) users.

He also highlighted the need for clear regulations ensuring fairness, freedom, and privacy in the age of AI, which brings both benefits and concerns. He warned of the rapid growth and misuse of social media for promoting drugs, recruiting terrorists, and negatively influencing politics and the economy. He also called for international cooperation to develop strict regulations for technology use in media.

AlBudaiwi highlighted the risks of unbalanced reporting driven by vested interests, making truth a casualty in conflicts. He cited examples of media double standards in covering the Palestinian cause and the ongoing war in Gaza.

A new phase of growth
The opening session was also attended by Her Excellency Mona Al Marri, Vice Chairperson and Managing Director of the Dubai Media Council and President of the Dubai Press Club (DPC), who delivered the welcome address. She highlighted the push for a new phase of accelerated media growth, fostering optimism among innovators, especially the youth. She stressed the importance of agile responses to evolution and transformation and a mindset open to change. Media outlets stand the risk of being irrelevant if they fail to adapt to risks.
She also highlighted the challenges faced by the Arab world, emphasising efforts focused on advancing development, coexistence, and stability amidst global shifts. She noted the core status of the Palestinian issue and the vital need for rationality, hope, and positivity, which align with the UAE’s commitment to generating new opportunities and creating a brighter future for the Arab world. She stressed the value of dialogue during adversity, advocating for thoughtful inquiry and highlighting the media’s vital role in representing diverse voices.

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