Individuals and institutions in the Arab World that are making an impact through social media will be recognised at a regional award show, which was launched yesterday (Sunday, June 15).
An initiative by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Arab Social Media Award will take place towards the end of the year and honour social media pioneers that help establish a positive environment for innovation and creativity. Spanning 21 categories and 22 countries, the award aims to encourage Arab societies to use social media optimally and responsibly to increase awareness of relevant issues and serve development efforts. It will open for entries from June 29.
“Social media influencers are important change-makers in society,” says Sheikh Mohammed. “Those who bring wisdom, creativity and positivity are a powerful force for good, because social media [is a] powerful tool for development and progress. The Arab world has not yet made the most of the enormously positive potential of social media. This award will highlight successful examples in the area of social media and use them as a basis to maximise the benefits to society.”
The Personality of the Year award will honour an individual who has leveraged the power of social media and achieved outstanding initiatives that stimulate creativity and communication about certain topics or issues, according to the award’s website. Other categories include: government sector, private sector, media, technology, blogs and entrepreneurship.
“We want this prize to add real value to existing efforts to develop all channels and sectors of the Arab media. By honouring online influencers, we stress the great value that an innovative and effective social media presence can bring,” His Highness adds.
Last year, approximately 71 million out of 135 million internet users in the Arab World used social media, according to the Arab Social Media Outlook 2014 report, which was released last month by Dubai Press Club and the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government.
Sheikh Mohammed is also one of the most active social media personalities in the UAE, with more than 2.8 million Twitter followers.