DUBAI, -- Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, issued directives to launch the Arab Social Media Influencers Club, a new initiative that seeks to enhance the role and contributions of social media influencers in the development and progress of the Arab society.

The initiative also seeks to leverage the influencers' reach and impact to encourage creativity in the Arab region.

Speaking at the Arab Social Media Influencers Awards ceremony, Mona Ghanem Al Marri, Chairperson of the Organising Committee of the Arab Social Media Influencers Summit, ASMIS, said that Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid had issued directives to set up the first branch of the Club in the UAE, while other branches would be established across the Arab region in partnership with leading organisations, with the aim to increase the participation of the Arab youth in the growth and development of the region.

"The participation of key Arab social media influencers in ASMIS is a source of inspiration for the summit and its attendees," she said.

Sheikh Mohammed's various social media platforms have attracted more than 15 million followers from across the world, Al Marri added, noting that Sheikh Mohammed sees social media platforms as channels for direct interaction with people.

H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, also attended the event.

Being held at the Dubai World Trade Centre on 13th and 14th December, ASMIS features prominent regional and international social media influencers and experts. The summit provides a forum for social media influencers from across the Arab world to interact directly with the public and showcase their talent.

From education to health to human development, sessions at the summit cover a wide range of positive and constructive topics within the Arab context, which are shared across social networking sites. This year's edition aims to generate innovative ideas to promote the positive impact of social media platforms.

Al Marri said that Sheikh Mohammed "is a strong believer in the abilities, creativity and positivity of the youth." His conviction in the ability of youth to take on responsibilities and contribute to the nation's progress was the reason behind the selection of Shamma Al Mazrui as the Minister of State for Youth, who became the youngest minister in the world in the recent Cabinet reshuffle, she added.

"Luckily, as you all know, the Arab World is full of energy as youth comprise 25% of the region, of which the 18-25 age group represents 75%. The majority of youth receive their news and information, sometimes exclusively, from social media platforms, which have become an alternative to traditional media outlets," Al Marri said.

"We have confidence in the ability of social media influencers to create new dimensions for this unprecedented penetration of social media platforms. You have a responsibility to help create positive change through these platforms," she added.

According to her, the large attendance at the summit reflects its profile despite the fact it is only the second edition of the annual event. More than 2,500 people registered to attend the summit, which highlights the increasing importance of social media platforms and their impact on people's lives and their communities, she said.

Source: Emirates News Agency