Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum inaugurated today the 8th Arab Media Forum (AMF), being held at the Atlantis Hotel in Palm Jumeirah.
The Forum, held under the slogan “The Arab Media: Weathering a Period of Change and Crisis,”, has brought together over 1,000 eminent media personalities, including 57 speakers, 11 moderators, and 300 foreign participants from abroad and 600 from the UAE.
Present were H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Deputy Ruler, H.E. Amr Musa, Secretary General of the Arab League, H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Mansour, H.E. Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs, H.E. Saqr Ghobash Saeed Ghobash, Minister of Labour and Chairman of the National Media Council, H.E. Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemi, Minister of State, Lt. General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, Commander of Dubai Police, Ahmed Abdullah Al Shaikh, Media Escort to His Highness the Vice President, Prime Minister ‘&’ Ruler of Dubai and Muna Ghanim Al Marri, Chairperson of Dubai Press Club (DPC).
The opening speech was delivered by Mariam bint Fahad, Executive Director of DPC, who shined light on the topics to be tackled by the AMF. She said the Forum was seen as a “rare opportunity” for the Arab media to discuss issues relating to the problems hindering development in all fields through a media vision that is capable of creating a public opinion and making a positive change.
Mariam Bint Fahad thanked Sheikh Mohammed for patronising the event and for launching the initiative which aims at improving the Arab media mechanism.
Musa delivered the keynote speech in which, he described the AMF as one of the most important events that bring together decision and policy makers in Arab countries.
He praised the initiative launched by Sheikh Mohammed in 2000, which led to instituting the AMF.
He emphasised the importance of education and democracy in the Arab world. He called for re-considering modes, programmes and objectives of education and launching a massive enlightenment movement that will pave the road for more democracy and governance.
Musa also hailed Sheikh Mohammed’s pledge for a $10 billion foundation to promote a knowledge society in the region.
“That is a very viable investment which does not fluctuate or go bankrupt,” he stated.
Sheikh Mohammed said he was pleased with the huge turn-out for AFM. He urged the participants to exert more efforts and envision an Arab media strategy that would confront the challenges with high professionalism and objectivity.
“Media is the face of the nation and the first line of defence for it’s just and legitimate causes,” he said.
Sheikh Mohammed pledged full support to the recommendations and outcome of the Forum. He expressed confidence in the Arab media leaders “who can make the change by adopting a common vision that serves in boosting the Arab media role and enabling it to confront challenges and to keep abreast with the rapid technological progress.”