WAM DUBAI, 26th August, 2013 (WAM) — The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has announced its participation in the second annual edition of the GCC Government Social Media Summit. Held in the Ritz Carlton, Dubai from September 2-3, 2013, this year’s event focuses on the increasing relevance of social media as a communication and engagement tool between Government and its citizens.
“In the Arab world specifically, there are over 55 million active users of Facebook and 3.7 million on Twitter. Furthermore, recent research suggests that globally, the Arabic language continues to be the fastest growing language across the various social media platforms,” said Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, TRA Director General. “In short, social media is experiencing remarkable growth in the Middle East. Factoring in such platforms to connect with the public is no longer optional but a necessity for any effective government communications strategy. ” he added.
Hamad Al Mansoori, TRA Deputy Director General of Information and e-Government said that “The UAE also has one of the highest mobile penetration rates in the world and recently launched the mGovernment initiative which centers on the provision of government services across mobile platforms. The security implications surrounding the increasing use of mobile devices and the rapid growth of online activity is immense. Events such as the GCC Government Social Media Summit are fundamental to increasing awareness of safe online practices and preparing those on the ground to guarantee the safety of our online communities. The mGovernment initiative is led by the TRA under the direct supervision of the Prime Minister’s Office at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs,”.
In the Arab World, social media has been growing exponentially with data from the first quarter of the year indicating that the UAE continues to have the highest Facebook penetration rate amongst all Arab countries with 41%, ahead of Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar and Tunisia. In terms of Twitter usage, the UAE has 401,000 active twitter users, the third highest number in the region. LinkedIn penetration also remains highest in the UAE with a rate of 16.5%.
A TRA delegation of three will be speaking at the summit, Hamad Al Mansoori, TRA Deputy Director General of Information and e-Government on “mGovernment and Social Media”, Eng. Khalifa Alshamsi, Monitoring, Incident Handling ‘&’ Response Analyst n �Cyber Security and Social Media’ and Noor Shamma, Acting Director of Corporate Communications on “The role of Women in Social Media”.
The 2nd GCC Government Social Media Summit 2013 will bring together over 300 local Government communication and social media decision makers, international and regional thought leaders and online security experts. The TRA’s participation in the summit coincides with the UAE mGovernment Initiative launched in May of this year by Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.