UAE radio presenters mark World Radio Day
Most radio stations based in the emirates played dedicated messages throughout the day to celebrate the occasion.
World Radio Day has been marked across the globe on February 13 every year since 2012, when it was declared by the United Nations. UAE-based RJs celebrated the day by sharing their favourite memories of being on the job. On World Radio Day 2020, the UN urged radio stations to uphold diversity, both in their newsroom and on the airwaves. Home to around 200 nationalities, the multiculturalism of the UAE was described as an enjoyable aspect for the on-air talent to celebrate with their audience. Most radio stations based in the emirates played dedicated messages throughout the day to celebrate the occasion.
Hassan Dennaoui (Big Haas), presenter, Pulse 95 Radio, co-host of the Yalla Home
For me, radio is not just a part of my life but is a responsibility that I hold so dearly. I first started on the radio back home in Saudi Arabia where I shared my love for hip hop music. Now at the Sharjah-based Pulse 95 Radio, I host a drive-time talk show that highlights trending stories. World Radio Day is an occasion for us presenters to recognise our role and value the connection that we have built with our listeners.
Ana Schofield, presenter Pulse 95 Radio, co-host Yalla Home
The main thing I love about presenting in the UAE is the warm and welcoming culture here and the endless learning experiences I receive from my co-host who is from Saudi Arabia. I've never experienced so much culture as I do now, particularly with being able to say salam alaikum on-air every day instead of saying hi. I love communicating with people for whom English isn't their first language and that is the beauty of radio. I have to say that my job is a pleasure.
Arfaz Iqbal, RJ, Hit FM 96.7 and co-host of the Big Breakfast Club
Radio provides the RJs with the opportunity to share a close personal connection with their listeners, which is not always possible in other modes of communication.
Radio is now, and everything is in the moment. Everything is in the present - be it the weather or traffic news, or if you're happy and want to listen to a song, or pass on a message to someone. Radio has been an important part of everyone's life.
In a city like Dubai, where people often get stuck in traffic, radio becomes a lifeline for connection and entertainment. In that sense, radio jockeys also have the responsibility to stay connected with the listener. We might not know every listener, but everyone who listens to us is familiar with our voice and faces.
Wesam Dababneh (Nugget), presenter, Dance FM, co-host of the Dance @Breakfast
Radio in the UAE has and will withstand the test of time. It is the best way to connect with people one-on-one. When a listener drives to work with you every day, they feel like they are a part of your show, they start to know you on a personal level and are hanging out with you daily. I'll listen to radio stations overseas and it sounds like they could be broadcasting from anywhere. In the UAE, it's always live, local and personal.
Jade Worsley, presenter, Dance FM, co-host of the Dance @ Breakfast
Radio is an enjoyable experience and I feel so humbled to be able to motivate our listeners every morning who also say that we put a spring on their step on their way to work. Radio in the UAE is a huge medium and continues to be as thriving as it used to be in other countries like the US and the UK years ago. I love hearing stories of our listeners of different nationalities. I tell all my friends and family in the UK that the UAE is like a fruit salad of different people, whom I love interacting with daily. The only thing that isn't enjoyable is the early morning alarm clock ringing.
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