AMF will bring together over 3,000 distinguished attendees

Themed ‘The Future of Arab Media’, the Arab Media Forum agenda and activities for the 21st Arab Media Forum (AMF) taking place on September 26 and 27 were shared on Wednesday.

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, this year’s AMF aims to foster a deeper understanding of the crucial elements driving the development of Arab media.

According to the organisers, AMF will bring together over 3,000 distinguished attendees including influential media personalities, ministers and heads of leading local, Arab and international media organisations, as well as thought leaders, intellectuals and writers.

Media hub

Mona Ghanem Al Marri, Vice-President and Managing Director of the Dubai Media Council and President of the Dubai Press Club, the organiser of the Arab Media Forum, said: "The extensive participation we're witnessing this year is a testament to the pivotal role the Forum plays in generating ideas and insights that can transform Arab media. As the region’s pre-eminent media hub, Dubai plays a vital part in catalysing innovation and raising the regional industry’s ability to navigate challenges and keep pace with evolving global trends.”

Al Marri added: “The forum will delve into a wide array of emerging developments that are fundamentally changing the way media functions.”

She noted: “Artificial intelligence, a frontier that is radically altering various industries, will also redefine media in new ways. The forum also aims to explore the influence of cinema and drama as forces supplementing traditional media in shaping social perceptions.”

“Furthermore, as the UAE gears up for COP28 and continues to maintain its strong focus on sustainability, we have integrated this vital topic into the forum’s discussions," Al Marri continued.

Prominent speakers

The 21st AMF will see a distinguished lineup of speakers, including Jassem Mohamed Albudaiwi, secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC); Dr. Anwar Mohammed Gargash, Diplomatic Adviser to the UAE President; Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority; Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications; Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, president and CEO of the UAE Independent Climate Change Accelerators (UICCA); Dr. Ramzan bin Abdulla Al Nuaimi, Minister of Information Affairs of Bahrain; Faisal Shboul, Minister of Information of Jordan; and Karam Gaber, chairman of Egypt’s Supreme Council for Media Regulation.

Dr. Maitha Buhumaid, director of Dubai Press Club, said the agenda was developed after extensive consultations with leading media organisations and industry stakeholders to make sure it addresses opportunities and challenges currently facing the sector.

The 2023 AMF will see over 75 sessions featuring 130 speakers and the participation of 160 media organisations.

Youth media forum

The two-day AMF will be preceded by the inaugural Youth Media Forum. Under the patronage of Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Second Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Media Council, the one-day event will seek to equip the next generation of media professionals with the skills and knowledge needed to flourish in a rapidly changing media environment.

Netflix will participate in a masterclass titled ‘The Media Forum for Youth on Storytelling through Films and Digital Platforms’, while TikTok will present a masterclass on ‘How to Kickstart Your TikTok Career’.

AMF Day 1

A session titled ‘The Arabian Gulf’s Future Amidst Regional Conflict’ will take place on the first day of the forum. There will also be a discussion on the evolving political landscape in the Middle East in a forum titled ‘The Arab Region: Future Scenarios’.

Among other significant sessions, Sheikha Latifa will discuss the symbiotic relationship between media and culture in a session titled ‘Culture and Media: Crafting a Creative Vision for the Future’. The forum will also feature a panel discussion between Arab Ministers of Information including Dr. Ramzan bin Abdulla Al Nuaimi, Minister of Information Affairs of Bahrain; Faisal Shboul, Minister of Information of Jordan; and Karam Gaber, Chairman of Egypt’s Supreme Council for Media Regulation.

Multiple sessions will explore topics related to advanced technologies, including AI’s role in enhancing the capabilities of Arab media, the sector’s preparedness to integrate AI technologies, and the AI-powered automation of media functions.

There will also be a session titled ‘The Art of the Deal: Trade Diplomacy in the Digital Era’ featuring Sultan bin Sulayem, chairman and CEO of DP World.

The opening day will also feature a dialogue titled ‘AI and the Future of Arabic Drama’ with artists from across the Arab world lending their perspective.

AMF Day 2

Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan will be leading a session on the second day of the forum titled ‘Media and Sustainability’.

Trends and tools seen transforming newsrooms over the next two decades will also take centre stage.

More sessions

‘Exploring the Future of Journalism in the Web3 and Metaverse Era’ will throw light on how technology continues to bring about a sea change in the way Arab journalism evolves. Other sessions that cover this topic include a session titled ‘AI Governance in Media”, and another titled ‘Economy and Media: Partnership and Integration.’

‘Is a New Global System on the Horizon?’ and ‘The Middle East - Zone of Opportunities or Conflicts?’ are other sessions on the cards, the latter being led by Afshin Molavi, senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute of the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

There will also be a renewed focus on the future of drama and film production in the Arab region, with one session deliberating on ways of restoring Arab drama to its former glory in terms of reach and impact.

The second day will see a session titled ‘AI: The New Frontier for Cinema’. The discussion will delve into what AI portends for films, actors and scriptwriters and how such technologies could ultimately enhance creative storytelling.

Sino-Arab media dialogue

The power of collaboration to keep up with future trends will be on show during a session titled ‘Communications Lessons from the Sino-Arab Media Dialogue’ with Jia Bing, the general manager of CGTN China and Lubna Bouza from Sky News Arabia weighing in.

The Arab Media Forum is one of the major events in Dubai Press Club's annual calendar of events. Launched two decades ago, the forum has emerged as the most comprehensive platform for knowledge exchange in the Arab media community.

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