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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - Dubai was officially declared the ‘Capital of Arab Media 2020’ in a hand-over ceremony held on Wednesday, January 15, in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
The hand-over event, which was also attended by the emirate’s top officials, coincided with Dubai Press Club’s (DPC) 20th anniversary celebration held at the organisation’s new headquarters at One Central, Dubai World Trade Centre.
As Sheikh Mohammed praised the achievements of DPC through the years, he highlighted how the organisation contributed to shaping regional media development — earning the emirate a solid reputation in the Arab media industry.
“Twenty years ago, we realised there was a gap in this part of the world for an organisation that can bring together media professionals and offer them a platform to discuss the reality and the future of their profession.
“The initiative to establish Dubai Press Club sought to bridge this gap and encourage industry leaders in the country and beyond to engage in a dialogue on developing the media sector and contribute to transforming the region,” he said.
Sheikh Mohammed added that the UAE leadership remains committed to supporting the growth of media both in the government and private sectors, stressing on the need to expand opportunities for young media professionals.
“The media touches the lives of people on a daily basis. It influences them and is influenced by them. It is important to create the best environment to foster the development of exceptional media expertise as part of our broader aim of meeting the aspirations of the people,” he said.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Media Council, expressed Dubai’s pride in being selected as the ‘Capital of Arab Media for 2020’ by the Council of Arab Information Ministers.
The title recognises Dubai’s leadership in the media industry and its contributions to the transformation of the region’s media.
“We have earned the trust and confidence of regional and international media institutions through our open-approach and firm belief in the significance of the media. Today, Dubai has firmly established itself as a hub for Arab and global media,” he said.
“The success of our partnership with the media comes as a result of mutual respect and a shared desire to build the foundations for a better tomorrow.”
He stressed that the Dubai Media Council will work to make 2020 a landmark year in the history of Arab media, noting that the next period will witness more collaborations with the Secretariat General of the Arab League.
Also present at the event were Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council; and Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Dubai Media Incorporated.
In the presence of Sheikh Mohammed, Sheikh Hamdan, Sheikh Maktoum and Sheikh Ahmed, Mona Al Marri — vice-chairman and managing director of Dubai Media Council and president of Dubai Press Club — received the trophy for the ‘Capital of Arab Media for 2020’ from Dr Khalid bin Abdulqader Al-Ghamdi, General Supervisor of Foreign Media at the Saudi Ministry of Media.
Dr Khalid was accompanied by Ambassador Dr Qais Al Ghezawy, assistant secretary-general of the Secretariat General of the Arab League.
Taking over from Riyadh, Dubai will hold the title for the entire year.
The event was also attended by Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and CEO and Chairman of the Emirates Group; Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future; Sheikh Waleed bin Ibrahim Al Ibrahim, Chairman of MBC; and a number of industry leaders, writers, and editors-in-chief of local, regional and international newspapers.
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