DUBAI, 26th September, 2023 (WAM) - In the presence of H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Second Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Media Council (DMC), and during the opening session of the 21st edition of the Arab Media Forum, Her Excellency Mona Ghanem Al Marri, Vice President and Managing Director of the Dubai Media Council and President of the Dubai Press Club, gave a speech welcoming attendees and participants in the largest media gathering in the region.
Addressing a gathering of media leaders, newspaper editors-in-chief, heads of media institutions and prominent Arab and international media figures, Al Marri said: "The Arab Media Forum has always been present at the heart of the media scene and the sector's transformations, whether by highlighting the challenges of the media sector in the Arab world or exploring its growing opportunities."
She added: "Today's media does not resemble the media that the region knew years ago. We are witnessing an accelerated pace of media development. A flurry of advanced tools that promise to supercharge the sector have appeared in a short period. This prompts us to recognise that the future of Arab media depends on the ability of its institutions to keep pace with these changes, and most importantly by the extent of our belief in the importance of modern media tools."
Al Marri pointed out that in 2011, during the official opening of the 10th Arab Media Forum, a question was asked about the number of attendees who rely on their smartphones as a source of news. At that time, the number of people who raised their hands did not exceed several people. "What would happen if we ask the same question today!?" Al Marri said. This indicates that smartphones, digital platforms and emerging technologies have become the main source of news and media in the world, as today more than 64% of the world's population use smartphones and social media as a source of news.
Al Marri added: "Based on this example, artificial intelligence (AI) techniques and applications have become an integral part of the future of media in the region. Today, the media sector has great opportunities to take advantage of such advanced tech-tools," stressing that those who do not keep pace with these future trends are like those who refuse to accept facts! The media is the true expression of the shape of the future that the Arab peoples aspire to live in.
Al Marri said that the value of this forum is not limited to the vital topics and discussions covered in its sessions, but extends beyond that, to what the future holds in terms of expectations and opportunities for this influential sector. She pointed out that the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has inspired the world over the past years and transformed the Arab region into a vibrant civilisation and economic centre, just as it inspired Arab media professionals about the importance of developing the media sector.
She also emphasised that the shared responsibility that falls on everyone's shoulders to achieve the required development of Arab media, and to create new opportunities for young people to be the future of sector.
In conclusion, Al Marri remembered the late Saudi writer and journalist Hani Naqshabandi, and offered condolences to his family, friends and media professionals.