Dubai seeks to accelerate growth of media amid tech developments: Sheikh Ahmed

Discussions at this year's Emirati Media Forum explored how advanced digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence, can be deployed to raise the competitiveness of the media sector

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Supplied photo

A Staff Reporter

Published: Tue 11 Apr 2023, 12:40 PM

Last updated: Tue 11 Apr 2023, 8:46 PM

With the evolution of technology, media professionals should be equipped with new skills to remain relevant, a top Dubai government official said.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, chairman of the Dubai Media Council, said the media should make the most of opportunities arising from new technologies and work to mitigate challenges that could hamper the industry’s growth.

"We seek to accelerate the growth of Dubai’s media sector and enhance its ability to keep pace with rapid changes sweeping the global industry. We firmly believe in the media’s ability to serve as a key partner in driving Dubai’s development," Sheikh Ahmed said during the eighth edition of the Emirati Media Forum (EMF) on Monday.

Leading media personalities, heads of UAE institutions, prominent writers, and intellectuals came together for the event held at the Dubai Press Club.

“Technology is changing the way many sectors operate. Dubai’s advanced infrastructure and capabilities place it in an ideal position to shape a bright future for itself. The media must play a strong role in helping the emirate achieve its objectives,” he added.

'Rewriting the rules'

Mona Al Marri, president of the Dubai Press Club, said technological advancements provide the media with exceptional new opportunities for creative expression.

“Technological evolution is rewriting the rules of the media sector,” Al Marri said. “Media professionals must stay abreast of new technologies and utilise them to provide engaging and credible content to their audiences. The discussions at the Emirati Media Forum explored how advanced digital technologies such as artificial intelligence can be deployed to raise the competitiveness of the UAE media sector,” she added.

During the event, Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications, shared his expertise on rapid technological transformation and its impact on various industries, including the media.

The minister pointed out that the expected economic impact of AI on various global sectors in the next 10 years is a staggering $7 trillion. And the UAE is in a strong position to maximise the benefits of these game-changing technologies.

“From an early stage, the country invested in empowering people and developed an integrated strategy for artificial intelligence,” Al Olama said. “The world's largest companies in AI and advanced technologies have chosen the UAE as their regional or global headquarters, further cementing the country's position as a hub of innovation.”

Al Olama said that Arabic content represents 3 per cent of total online content in a region where 350 million speak Arabic. “However, AI opens up the possibility of increasing the volume and quality of Arabic content online. The UAE is well-positioned to lead this growth. Generative Artificial Intelligence’ can help the media develop and summarise content in different formats with little human intervention,” he noted.

He cited the use of ‘Computer Generated Images (CGI)’ in videos and movies as an example. “In the past, producing such clips required specialised teams and complicated equipment. However, these clips can now be created within seconds with just a few simple commands on a mobile device.”

EMF's success

The largest gathering of thought leaders in the UAE media sector, the Emirati Media Forum serves as a platform to discuss the current state of the media industry, including print, visual and digital media, and examine challenges and opportunities in the industry.

Dr Maitha Buhumaid, director of the Dubai Press Club, said that through events like the EMF, DPC is keen to foster meaningful dialogue among key media players on the latest developments in the sector locally and shed light on how they can embrace new opportunities and overcome challenges.

"We were honoured to have His Excellency Omar bin Sultan Al Olama as a guest at this year's event. His insights and rich knowledge on the impact of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence on the media sector have deeply enriched this year’s discussions,” he added.


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