Revealed: Full agenda of Arab Media Forum 2022 in Dubai

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File photo of a previous edition of the forum
Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: Dubai Press Club (DPC), organiser of the Arab Media Forum (AMF), on Saturday unveiled the agenda for the 2022 edition of the forum, which will be held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, from October 4 and 5 at the Madinat Jumeirah.

This Forum, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, will honour outstanding Arab media professionals and organisations in three key media sectors, Journalism, TV and Digital Media, on the first day of the event .

Organised under the theme ‘The Future of Media’, the region’s leading annual event for the industry, is set to bring together more than 3,000 prominent regional and international media leaders, scholars, writers and experts who will address challenges facing sectors across the industry spectrum, including print, visual and digital.

Welcoming Forum participants from the Arab world and beyond, Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Media Council, said the event reflects the Dubai leadership’s vision of creating a hub for ideas and innovation that can open new avenues for progress. Under the guidance of Sheikh Mohammed, the event has contributed to transforming the region’s media into an important player in sustainable development, he noted.

“Inspired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s vision, the Arab Media Forum has grown into a platform for exploring how the media can voice the aspirations of the people and create a new prosperous future in the region. As the world goes through massive transformations, we are gathering together again this year to discuss how Arab media can navigate current challenges and discover fresh pathways for evolution. We are committed to supporting Arab media in enhancing excellence and developing the talent and innovation necessary for transforming it into a major force in the global media landscape,” Sheikh Ahmed said.

Congratulating the Arab Media Forum’s organisers on the event’s remarkable 20-year journe, he expressed his deep appreciation for their steadfast efforts over the years. Dubai, he said, will continue to advance partnerships and promote a rich dialogue to develop Arab media into a catalyst for growth and positive change.

The largest gathering of Arab media stakeholders will take a close look at how new trends, technologies and advanced platforms and tools can enhance the positive impact of media in the region.

Key speakers

Key speakers at this year’s Arab Media Forum include Dr Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Diplomatic Advisor to the UAE President; Dr Ramzan bin Abdullah Al Nuaimi, Minister of Information Affairs, Bahrain; Karam Gabr, President of the Supreme Council for Media Regulation, Egypt, and John Casey, President and Managing Director of CNBC International.

Decades of dialogue

Mona Al Marri, President of DPC and Chairperson of AMF’s Organising Committee, said: “Since its inception 20 years ago, under the patronage of [Sheikh Mohammed], the Arab Media Forum has fostered constructive dialogue aimed at accelerating the sector’s development and raising its capabilities. Bringing together high-profile experts and global industry leaders, the Forum has facilitated extensive exchange of knowledge, ideas and insights between professionals, contributing to the growth of the region’s media.”

This year’s agenda will explore various aspects of traditional and new media in order to draw a road map for the future, she said. Through meaningful dialogue, we seek to define clear objectives to strengthen the competitiveness of Arab media at a time when the future is being shaped by digital technologies, she added.

Highlighting the Forum’s success over the last two decades in establishing strong partnerships with the global media community, she said the annual event has helped various professionals gain a deeper understanding of global best practices and standards and discover fresh approaches for raising the media’s role as a key partner in development. “This year’s edition will shed light on how the media fraternity can work together to prepare the sector for the future. Furthermore, it will discuss initiatives to equip young talent with the tools and skills needed to meet the demands of the future.”

The Forum will also highlight inspirational stories about how media has positively influenced societies, Al Marri added.

Dr Maitha Buhumaid, Director of Dubai Press Club, said: “The Forum is holding its 20th edition amidst extraordinary transformations in the region’s media sector. AMF’s Organising Committee was keen to focus this year’s discussions on how diverse media stakeholders can join hands to embrace change. The Forum provides the ideal space to take stock of reality and find solutions to challenges impacting the industry.”

“This year’s agenda is designed not only to help media professionals stay abreast of regional and global developments that are impacting media but also discuss how media can help accelerate development. The Forum serves as a platform for discussing fresh strategies and creating a comprehensive strategy for the next phase of the sector’s development,” she added.

Exclusive session

In an exclusive session titled ‘The Middle East: Changing Perspectives’, Dr Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash will share his perspectives on how the region can articulate a clear vision for the future of media, in the light of recent developments. The session, moderated by Al Arabiya News Channel anchor Taher Baraka, will touch on the repercussions of the Ukrainian-Russian conflict, the political, economic, cultural and security landscape of countries in the Arab region.

Main sessions

One of the main sessions of the Forum titled ‘Arab Media: Transformation and Impact’ will explore various dimensions of the regional media landscape and key drivers of its development. Featuring His Excellency Dr Ramzan bin Abdullah Al Nuaimi and Karam Gabr, the session will be moderated by Asharq News anchor Zeina Yazigi.

John Casey, President & Managing Director, CNBC International, will address a session titled ‘Technology and Trust in Media’ on the latest developments in the global media industry. Moderated by Dubai Eye Radio presenter Richard Dean, the session will also explore the relationship between media and economic development.

In a session titled ‘Trade in an Ever-Changing Media Landscape’, Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman & CEO and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, will discuss trends impacting global trade, DP World’s smart trade solutions and the company’s role in enabling and streamlining global trade and supply chains. The session will be moderated by CNN anchor Becky Anderson.

Another main session featuring Mohammed Al Hammadi, Chairman of UAE Journalists Association; Emad El-Din Adeeb, a columnist and political analyst; Nayla Tueni, Editor-in-Chief of Annahar Newspaper; and Abdulaziz Al Khames, a writer and researcher on Middle East Affairs, will discuss the ‘The Middle East’s Evolving Political Landscape’. The session will be moderated by Sky News Arabia News anchor Fadila Souissi.

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Panel discussions

This year, AMF will also feature a series of panel discussions including ‘Media and the Metaverse’, which will explore growth opportunities created by metaverse technologies. Speakers in the session, moderated by CNBC Arabia anchor Maysa Al Qalla, include Khalfan Belhoul, CEO of Dubai Future Foundation; Fares Akkad, Regional Director for Meta in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA); Hossam Saleh, COO, United Media Services; and Mina Al-Oraibi, Editor-in-Chief of The National.

A panel discussion titled ‘Arab Media 2022: A GCC Perspective’ will discuss the outlook for media in the Gulf Cooperation Council. Moderated by Sky News Arabia anchor Eissa Al Marzooqi, the session brings together Muna Busamra, Editor-in-Chief of Al Bayan Newspaper; Jameel Al Theyabi, Editor-in-Chief of Okaz Newspaper; Walid Al Nosf, Editor-in-Chief of Kuwait’s Al Qabas Newspaper; and Moanes Al Mardi, Editor-in-Chief of Bahrain’s Al Bilad Newspaper.

AMF 2022 will also discuss the evolution of journalism in the digital world in a session titled ‘Future of Digital Platforms’. Moderated by Asharq News anchor Hadil Eleyan, the session features Khadeeja Al Marzooqi, Editor-in-Chief of Dubai Post, Kawther Zantour, Editor-in-Chief of Acharaa Al Magharibi; Ali Al Hazmi, Editor-in-Chief of the electronic newspaper Sabq; and Akram El Kassas Editor-in-Chief of the Egyptian newspaper Youm7.

Other panel discussions this year include: ‘A Glance into the Future of Media’; ‘The Future of Journalism’; ‘Egyptian Media: Future Trends’; ‘New Pathways for Arab Media’; ‘Lebanese Media: The Golden Age and Beyond’; ‘The Rising Popularity of TV Drama; and ‘New Game-Plans in Sports Media’.

20-minute sessions

The Forum will also feature interactive 20-minute sessions on specialised topics. Sophie Huet-Trupheme, Global Editor-in-Chief of AFP, will speak about ‘Climate Change and its Impact on the Newsroom’; Rola Alkhatib, Roving Correspondent from Al Hadath Channel, will speak at a session titled ‘When the Reporter is the Story’; Adipat Virdi, Chief Metaverse Officer, will lead a session named ‘Arab Media: Journey Towards the Metaverse’; and Zhang Li, Executive Manager at China Media Group, will address a session titled ‘The Future of Work in the Media Industry’.

Other prominent media personalities participating in 20-minute sessions this year include: Ali Jaber, Director of MBC Group Television, who will talk about the ‘Impact of New Media on TV’; Mohammed Al Mulla, a Kuwaiti anchor and TV host who will speak about ‘Nationalism and the Freedom of Expression’; Dr. Nabeel Al-Khatib, General Manager at Asharq News, who will discuss ‘The Future of Newsrooms’; Dr. Sultan Al Nuaimi, Director General at the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research, who will share his insights about ‘New Realities in the Arab World’; Adhwan Al Ahmari, Editor-in-Chief of Independent Arabia, who will share his thoughts on the topic of ‘Digital Disruption in Arab Media’; Dr. Fahad Al Shulaimi, President of Gulf Security and Peace Forum, who will speak about the Role of Media in Sustainable Development; Nouf Al Hussain, Managing Editor at Manga Arabia, who will lead a session titled ‘Media for Children: Bridging Gaps in the Arab World’; Tony Khalife, General Manager at Al Mashhad, who will speak in a session called ‘Blurred Lines: Traditional & Digital Media’; Radwa El Sherbiny, CNBC anchor, who will address a session titled ‘Social Trends and Media’; and Mustafa Agha, MBC anchor, who will speak at a session named ‘The Power of Storytelling’.

Interactive workshops

A series of interactive workshops will also be held on the sidelines of the Forum in partnership with leading global media organisations, including CNN Arabia; Agence France-Presse (AFP); CCTV Middle East; and Meta. Prominent industry experts will demonstrate how technologies can be used to enhance the impact and quality of news content.

The Arab Media Forum is one of the major events in DPC’s annual calendar of events. Launched two decades ago, AMF has emerged as the most comprehensive platform for knowledge exchange in the Arab media community. The event, which attracts thousands of prominent thought leaders, has steadily evolved in scope and reach to encompass a broad international outlook.