Queen Rania of Jordan will be the opening keynote speaker at the fifth Abu Dhabi Media Summit, the high-profile pow-wow launched to underscore Abu Dhabi’s emergence as a global media hub which will focus this year on driving and sustaining media content, and its distribution and financing in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and beyond.
A powerful personality in the Arab world, Jordan’s leading lady is an advocate for women’s rights, an active social media user – who has more than 2.8 million Twitter followers – and an author of four children’s books, including “The Sandwich Shop,” which became a New York Times book list bestsller.
“We are honoured to welcome Her Majesty Queen Rania to officially open this year’s Abu Dhabi Media Summit,” said Noura Al Kaabi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Media Zone Authority twofour54 in a statement. “Queen Rania is known for her passion for education and advocacy of The Arab World, particularly youth, and these issues sit at the heart of the Summit’s theme of ‘driving and sustaining a future media in MENA and beyond’,” she added.
The event, to be held November 18-20, will kick off with a panel on why social media is such a particularly potent propaganda tool for Middle East movements, most recently for ISIS militants who are displaying plenty of social media savvy to spread their message, recruit fighters, and intimidate enemies.
Other featured keynote speakers will include Mark Thompson, President and Chief Executive Officer, The New York Times Company; Ahmad Abdulkarim Julfar, Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Group; Gerhard Zeiler, President, Turner Broadcasting System International; and Robert A. Kotick, President and CEO, Activision Blizzard.
More panels will be on topics ranging from “Wired Women,” featuring, among others China Interactive Media Group CEO Hung Huang, known as “The Oprah Winfrey of China,” “The Next Big Thing For Big Screen,” featuring IMAX topper Richard Gelfond; and “Accelerating Start-Ups,” with Nina Curley, heads of the recently established Abu Dhabi unit of Flat6Labs, a U.S.-style “startup accelerator,” with other offices in Cairo and Jedda, which aims to support local companies at an early stage with a focus on media and content.
Government-backed Twofour54 has a mission to help Arabs realize their ambitions across different media platforms. They nurture the creative energies of media professionals and young entrepreneurs through guidance, relevant tools and infrastructure.
Besides Flat6Labs twofour54’s Abu Dhabi campus is home to over 300 local, regional and international media and creative companies including Ubisoft, Cartoon Network, Sky News Arabia, and CNN.