Dubai academy helps Arab content creators get millions of followers in 12 months


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Dubai - More than 35,000 trainees from 46 countries benefitted from New Media Academy's programmes.

By Team KT

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Published: Mon 30 Aug 2021, 4:28 PM

Last updated: Mon 30 Aug 2021, 4:36 PM

Dubai’s New Media Academy (NMA) has trained 35,000 digital professionals in its first year of operations, developing Arabic content on social media and empowering creators in the region.

Since the academy’s launch on June 15, 2020, its has opened new horizons for individuals and institutions in the digital economy, helping them create better content and earn higher financial returns.

More than 35,000 trainees from 46 countries benefitted from nine NMA programmes that spanned 1.2 million minutes.

The academy also graduated over 200 professional content creators — who tripled their social media followers from 660,000 to two million.

“Our achievements led to a local and Arab creative movement that meets the Arab region’s need for digital skills and creative industries and supports strategies for a digital economy that is full of opportunities,” said Rashid Al Awadi, CEO of the NMA.

Content creator Maitha Mohammed, for example, was able to boost her following by 1,300 per cent, gaining more than 120,000 followers.

The content she created on humanitarian issues recorded five million views and was praised by Lt-Gen Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior.

Ahmed Al Marzouqi, another creator, started his NMA journey with 60,000 followers — which rose to half-a-million in just 10 months.

Dr Seif Darwish, who specialises in medical content, went from having zero to 160,000 followers on TikTok after nine months of working with the academy. And Fatima Al Hashimi, the first Emirati opera singer, has become a well-known figure on digital platforms.

Boosting creators’ income

Nearly a quarter of NMA’s creators earn 15 to 20 per cent more than they would in a full-time job, according to the academy’s figures.

One in every five participants in its first-year programs and courses have succeeded in devoting themselves to content creation, digital marketing or social influence. With their income from their digital skills, they managed to achieve financial independence.

Teaming up with experts, influencers

In its first year, the academy worked with a reputable group of academics and experts, as well as content creators, to prepare a new generation of digital professionals with integrated experiences and capabilities

It featured over 15 distinct influencers and experts, such as Matt Bailey, Robert Mackie and Tim Ash.

The NMA also partnered with stars of Arabic content who have millions of followers, including Mina Al Sheikhly and Lowi Sahi.

It recorded the first episodes of the “Al-Daheeh” program, whose new season was presented by Arab content star Ahmed Al Ghandour. The episodes quickly gained popularity across the Arab region.

First virtual campus in the region

The academy launched its integrated virtual academic campus — the first of its kind in the region — which provides an immersive learning experience and employs virtual and immersive reality technologies to test creative concepts and ideas.

The first session was presented by Charlie Fink, Forbes writer and global expert in augmented, virtual, and immersive reality applications.

The educational strategy of the New Media Academy during its first year also included the promotion of virtual, augmented, and immersive educational applications in vital service sectors, such as healthcare and education.

Virtual and augmented reality technologies in the UAE alone are expected to contribute more than $4 billion to the local economy by 2030, or 1 per cent of the GDP.

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