Mohammed bin Rashid launches Arab Social Media Award

DUBAI: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, launched a prize award scheme today to reward those who harness the huge positive potential of social media for the good of the Arab world.

The ”Arab Social Media Award” includes 20 categories covering all kinds of social media activities and initiatives by individuals and organisations, as well as the title of “Social Media Personality of the Year” for the region’s most influential online figure.

Speaking at the launch, Sheikh Mohammed noted that social media were now fundamental to the social, economic and political fabric of the Arab world and played a key role in shaping events.

“Social media influencers are important change-makers in society. Those who bring wisdom, creativity and positivity are a powerful force for good, because social media are powerful tools for development and progress,” he said.

“The Arab world has not yet made the most of the enormously positive potential of social media. This prize will highlight successful examples and use them as a basis to maximise the benefits for society,” Sheikh Mohammed added.

The award will highlight the most important social media initiatives in the Arab world and promote best practices on social platforms and technologies at a ceremony to be held annually in Dubai.

“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,” H.H. Sheikh Mohammed said.

The Arab Social Media Award is based on three main standards: Communication, Creativity and Impact. It recognises communication within communities, tangible benefits for social development, and the contribution of positivity to progress and prosperity.

The prize honours the most distinguished and influential person or organisation in each of 21 categories. The sectors are as follows: government entities, private sector, blogs, media, sports, tolerance, social service, education, youth, technology, entrepreneurship, economy, politics, health, arts, security and safety, shopping, environment, tourism and entertainment. The influential individual who made the greatest tangible impact through social media will be named “Personality of the Year”.

Individuals and organisations wishing to participate can nominate themselves or others on the Award’s official website. Results will be announced by the end of 2014.

Sheikh Mohammed directed the Executive Office to organise and supervise the award and insure its integrity. A committee including experts and sector specialists will evaluate applications and select the winner for each category.

The new award reflects the government s commitment to harness the growing importance of social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook and pioneer their role as major communication channels driving the development of government, society and business in the Arab world.