UAE paper hails launching of the Arab Social Media Award

ABU DHABI: The U.A.E. is among the few countries in the world that has resolutely nurtured the huge positive potential of social media for the good of the society. The country has persistently kept pace with technology drawing kudos from the international community, commented a U.A.E. daily.

“The launching of the Arab Social Media Award by Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is another innovative, welcome attempt to reward those who harness the social media for the good of the Arab World,” said The Gulf Today in its editorial on Tuesday.

The award will highlight the most important social media initiatives in the Arab World and promote best practices on social platforms and technologies. It 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 the 21 categories. The sectors are: 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 makes the greatest tangible impact through social media will be named “Personality of the Year.” Interestingly, the fourth annual rankings of the use of social media among world leaders published by the Digital Policy Council earlier revealed that Sheikh Mohammed climbed from number 10 in the Twitter world leader ranking in 2012 to seventh spot in 2013.

Sheikh Mohammed s followers increased from 1.4 million in 2012 to 2.4 million in 2013, making the biggest climb in the Twitter rankings amongst world leaders, a state that only denotes cultural openness and emphasises the close bond between him and the citizens and residence of U.A.E.. Incidentally, Sheikh Mohammed s present followers on Twitter number over 2.89 million.

“That s not all. Proving that the federal government is determined to make its services available to all through the easiest and fastest possible ways, Sheikh Mohammed recently launched the official U.A.E. Government Youtube Channel,” the paper added.

The channel offers diverse and rich content focusing on the services of federal ministries and entities in addition to disseminating a variety of news on the activities of the federal cabinet.

“As Sheikh Mohammed himself has pointed out, by honouring online influencers, the government is effectively stressing the great value that an innovative and effective social media presence can bring,” the Sharjah-based newspaper concluded.