His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, welcomed social media influencers and participants to the Arab Social Media Influencers Summit, which will be held on March 17 and 18 at Arena Hall at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
Sheikh Mohammed highlighted the increasing role of social media in various aspects of life, and stressed the need to utilise these channels as key drivers in creating a positive impact in the society. “Social media channels have a role in creating constructive engagement which can stimulate innovative thinking for the development of various sectors in the community through the sharing of experiences at the local and regional levels,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
As the first event of its kind in region, Arab Social Media Influencers Summit will bring together more than 1500 social media experts from Arab countries and across the world. As many as 38 leading speakers and influencers at the summit will inspire young Arabs to employ their innovative ideas to serve the Arab community through optimal use of social media channels.
On the first day of the summit, the winners of Arab Social Media Award will be announced. The award honours individual and institutional winners in 20 categories covering various sectors. The summit has lined up engaging sessions that will provide an opportunity to discuss topics focused on the impact of social media platforms on humanity, and how social media can be employed to overcome challenges. The sessions will also explore the relation between traditional media and social media and how they can help shape the future.
A session for influencers on YouTube will be presented by YouTube Academy to shed light on Louis Cole’s experience as one of the biggest influencers on YouTube. Cole Rise, professional photographer and one of the top influencers on Instagram with more 900,000 followers will participate in the session of influencers in Instagram entitled ‘Instagram as a business model’.
Other sessions will host Brandon Stanton, author of blog ‘Humans of New York’ with more than 12 million followers on Facebook; and Chris Messina, inventor of Hash Tag used in social media.
The Arab speakers list includes Ali Jaber, Director of MBC Group and Dean of Mohammed bin Rashid School of Communication, and Ahmed Shihab-Eldin, journalist and expert on social media, who will offer insights on the future of traditional media and the influence of social media.
Activities at the summit include ‘Buthoor’, a platform that provides access to mentorship through accelerators as well as funding through investors. The inaugural Buthoor features a competition where startups, each representing an Arab accelerator, are required to pitch their business models to a panel of expert judges.
The audience and participants will have the opportunity to watch Theatre Shows hosted by popular Saudi artist Abdul Rahman Mohammed, who offers through his YouTube channel a number of songs and poems in an innovative way, accompanied by music on the guitar. His performance of the musical poem ‘Osabk ishkan’ by Yazed bin Muawiya achieved more than 15 million views. Theatre Shows will also feature well-known stand-up comedian Wonho Chung.
The summit will see the launch of the Arab Social Media Report which will provide a comprehensive overview of the reality of social media in the Arab world. The report will provide detailed information on the use of social media in various Arab countries and the latest trends related to these channels.