UAE Vice President Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashed Al-Maktoum said Tuesday Arab Social Media Influencers Summit (ASMIS) provides a platform for innovative ideas to establish a new phase in evolution of social media by tapping into capabilities of young people in the development of Arab society.
With its varied themes, the Summit offers the means by which these channels can be transformed from mere hobby and passive use to an integrated work system that combines influencers, experts and funding sources, WAM news agency quoted Sheikh Mohammad, also Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, as saying.
He made the comments during the Arab Social Media Influencers Awards ceremony to honor the positive contributions in social media in the Arab world; the event took place at Dubai World Trade Centre.
The two-day Summit brought together more than 500 Arab media persons with a view to sharing best practices and successful experiences in the field of social media.
"The social media is still at the beginning of this journey of transformation and much development can be expected in the coming years," Sheikh Mohammad pointed out.
"The UAE offers through the Summit innovative and proactive ideas to the world to explore the future and find the best practical processes that can contribute to the service of the community.
"The world is moving at a very fast pace and technology is evolving dramatically. We all remember how the traditional media emerged modestly but it quickly gained momentum driven by technology to become a force that impacted governments, changing the course of their work.
"It transformed the world into a small village," Sheikh Mohammad noted, adding: "We are witnessing today new horizons for a new media, and we must combine our efforts and work together to develop the frameworks and legislation to ensure the best use of social media platforms, which do not need the support of broadcast or print houses or large equipment.
"The significance of these channels lies in their ability to reach out easily to all members of the society through personal devices. It is our duty to help our young people and future generations by building a knowledge platform to protect them from any destructive and negative thoughts that affect their full potential and create constructive paths for Arab societies," he went on.
He stressed the importance of the consolidation of the main pillars of the future vision for the optimal use of social media based on an integrated and comprehensive approach by increasing their positive impact and encouraging constructive interaction.
Sheikh Mohammad called for efforts to motivate creative thinking for the development of various sectors in the community, and to benefit from the views and experiences at the local, regional and global levels.
He commended the outstanding achievements of the winners of Arab Social Media Influencers Award and their valuable contribution to increase awareness about issues of concern in the Arab region.
The efforts of the winners have helped spread the best methods in the use of social networks and encouraged optimal and responsible use of these platforms to contribute to the development of Arab societies towards a brighter future, he pointed out.
Addressing the winners, he said: "You are the pride of the Arab nation, because you sensed the needs of your community and you searched for the optimal usage of social media platforms to fulfil your noble purposes.
"We are proud of you, and this recognition you won today is a tribute for the Arab people, who do get deterred by challenges but look through them for prospects of excellence, achievement and innovation."
The award ceremony was attended by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammad Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammad Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai.
The winners are as follows: Firstly, the Institutions Category: 1. MBC Group, winner in media category; the group is one of the leading Arabic media groups. MBC Group uses social media to raise awareness about social and humanitarian issues.
2. 'Bab Rizk Jameel,' winner in corporate social responsibility (CSR) category. AbdulLatif Jameel Community Initiatives launched 'Bab Rizk Jameel' as a social initiative to encourage people through social media channels to participate in voluntary activities.
3. UTURN channel, winner in entertainment category. UTURN produced a number of famous TV series such as 'Ashe Elly' and 'Ala Al Tayer', and highlighted some major topics on its social media channels.
4. Hybrids, winner in blogs category. Ascia and Ahmad are the owners of the blog that focuses on fashion and is considered to be one of the most popular Arabic blogs.
5. THINK UP, winner in youth category. THINK UP helps Gulf talents, especially UAE citizens, in finding job opportunities in different companies.
6. SOUQ.com, winner in shopping category. SOUQ.com is the largest shopping portal in the Middle East that uses social media channels to market goods through short films that explain how to purchase the goods on the site.
7. #MyDubai, winner in tourism category. #MyDubai, was launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammad bin Rashed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai.
8. NAFHAM, winner in education category. NAFHAM is an innovative electronic online service offering free 5-20 minute educational videos based on school curriculum in Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Algeria.
9. Alhoush - Electronic Gate, winner in arts category. Alhoush displays the works of Arabic artists and designers on social media, offering purchase services through the internet.
10. Bey2ollak, winner in Safety and Security category. Bey2ollak application uses social media channels to share information about roads and traffic in all Egyptian cities.
11. National Geographic Abu Dhabi, winner in environment category. The channel broadcasts movies and documentaries about nature, sciences, civilization and history, using social media channels to spread the best information in the Arab world.
12. Reyali Program, winner in economy category. Reyali is One of the most important programs launched by SEDCO Holding Company to promote financial awareness among Saudi society, especially young people, and develop their skills and provide them with the knowledge to face life's responsibilities.
13. UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, winner in Public Sector category. The Ministry is responsible for the UAE's foreign affairs initiatives.
14. Coca-Cola, winner in Private Sector category. Coca-Cola, a global leader in the production and distribution of soft drinks, has launched many innovative social media initiatives such as 'Sahrek Lebanon' and 'Free Calls' initiative for workers in the United Arab Emirates.
15. Al-Hilal S FC, winner in Sports category. Al-Hilal Saudi Football Club, one of the most prestigious football clubs in Saudi Arabia, publishes diverse news about the club through its social networking sites.
16. Web-Teb, winner in Health category. Web-Teb is a website that aims to provide comprehensive medical information to the Arab community through the Internet.
17. Tech-Pills institution, winner in Technology category. Tech-Pills monitors news coverage on technology around the world.
18. Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR), winner in politics category. ECSSR specialises in political studies and conducts research on issues related to national security and and the economic situation in the Gulf region and the UAE in particular.
19. Fikr Jaded, winner in entrepreneurship category. Fikr Jaded is a non-profit initiative that sheds light on successful projects in the fields of entrepreneurship and innovation.
Secondly, the Individuals
Category: 1. Turki Al-Dakhil, winner in cedia category. Al-Dakhil is a Saudi TV presenter, journalist and column writer.
2. Fayez Al-Maliki, winner in community service category, he is a Saudi artist, and ambassador of Insan Association for Orphans and also the ambassador of UNICEF in Arabia.
3. Rashid Al-Fawzan, winner in economy category. Al-Fawzan, director of Arab CNBC in Saudi Arabia, is a writer in Al Riyadh newspaper.
4. Abdullah Almaglot, winner in tolerance category; he is the producer and presenter of 'Yeshbahak' programme on YouTube.
5. Ghanim Almuftahr, winner in Youth category.
6. Bader Saleh, winner in entertainment category; he is an artist with more than two million fans on his YouTube channel.
7. Areej Al-Kharafi, winner in shopping category.
8. Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, winner in public sector category.
9. Omar Samra, winner in Tourism category.
10. Dr. Anwar Al-Hammadi, winner in Health category.
11. Ghada Ghoneim, winner in education category.
12. Abdulrahman Mohammad, winner in Arts category.
13. Fadi Ghandour, winner in private sector category.
14. Sami Al-Jaber, winner in Sports category.
15. Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmad Al Khalifa, winner in politics category.
16. Amine Raghib, winner in technology category.
17. Kaswara Al-Khatib, winner in entrepreneurship category.
18. Abdullah Al Dhaheri Blog, winner in blogs category. The Blog been launched by Mira Ahmad Al Dhaheri in the name of her brother, Abdullah, who suffers from Down syndrome.