UAE: Government and media should work together during crises to prevent spread of rumours, says NCEMA

Case study on last year's Jebel Ali Port fire key topic during interactive session

By Web Desk

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Published: Wed 29 Jun 2022, 10:32 PM

The National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA), in cooperation with the Government of Dubai Media Office (GDMO), Wednesday organised an interactive session to discuss case studies and models for effective management of communication and media during crises and emergency situations.

Titled ‘Strategic Crisis Communication and Media Management’, the key highlight of the session was a case study on the fire that broke out at the Jebel Ali Port last year.

The study demonstrated how effective coordination and close cooperation between various teams and government departments in Dubai enabled the dissemination of accurate information across media platforms, which in turn prevented rumours and misinformation.

Obaid Rashid Al Hosan Al Shamsi, Vice President of the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, said that specialised teams need to be trained and detailed crisis plans need to be developed to avoid reactive responses.

According to him, management of media is one of the key factors behind the effective management of crises and emergencies of all magnitudes.

"With the UAE’s emergence as a global hub for various sectors, it is vital that we maintain the highest level of strategic preparedness based on simulations of various potential crises. We need to put in place comprehensive plans to deal with all dimensions of a crisis.”

Mona Ghanem Al Marri, Director General of the Government of Dubai Media Office commended the exceptional role played by NCEMA in addressing crisis situations and safeguarding the security and stability of UAE society through effective coordination with government agencies.

“We are keen to share our expertise and experiences in successful strategic crisis communication and media management with various local and federal media offices," Al Marri said.

She stressed that it is critical that communication teams constantly and rapidly update media outlets and the public with reliable official information during crises to prevent the spread of rumours and defuse misinformation.

Salem Belyouha, Director of the Media Services Department at the Government of Dubai Media Office, said, “The information revolution has changed many traditional concepts and practices in the field of strategic communication and led to the creation of digital and social media platforms that ensure that information and images reach millions of people all around the world in a matter of seconds."

Alia Al Theeb, GDMO’s Senior Manager, Strategic Communication, gave unique insights into the media management during the Jebel Ali port fire incident.

“Various teams worked closely with each other to manage communications during the Jebel Ali Port fire. GDMO teams ensured effective coordination with the teams that were handling the incident on the site,” Al Theeb said.

“The key to successful management of the incident boiled down to the swift dissemination of updated and reliable information to the media backed by photos and videos," she added


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