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Abu Dhabi's World Media Congress kicks off

The Emirati capital hosts the first day of the first World Media Congress, to be held between 15 and 17 November, to address the future of the news and communications sector
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PHOTO/WAM  -   World Congress Media Abu Dhabi

"Shaping the future of the media industry". The purpose that has brought together more than 1,200 specialists and experts from the media sector, 162 internationally renowned speakers and more than 170 companies and media representing 29 different countries in the Emirati capital of Abu Dhabi, has become the main objective of the World Media Congress 2022 (World Media Congress). This Tuesday, 15 November, the first of three sessions that are expected to define the future of the information and communication industry, as well as the incorporation of technology into the sector.

The first day opened with welcome speeches from the Director General of the UAE state news agency WAM and Chairman of the Congress' Senior Organising Committee, Mohamed Jalal Al Rayssi, and the Managing Director and CEO of ADNEC Group, Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, the leaders of the two main companies organising the event. "The World Media Congress will be a new global platform that will shape the future of the media industry through international media cooperation," said Jalal Al Rayssi, as quoted by WAM. "The Emirati media sector has succeeded in forming an exceptional model [...] through innovative and creative tools to convey a developmental message". 

"The Congress will include several conferences over three days that will focus on the way forward for the global media sector, as well as exhibitions, an innovation space covering media technology solutions, and more than 30 training workshops aimed at young journalists, among many other activities," explained the WAM director in a statement ahead of the event hosted by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court. 

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PHOTO/WAM  -  Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahya

For his part, ADNEC CEO participated in the opening address stating that "the organisation of this event [the World Media Congress] is in line with ADNEC Group's efforts to support economic diversification and enhance its contributions to achieve positive impacts on the economy, and society [...], including the media sector, which is a catalyst for sustainable development". 

In addition, the opening ceremony allowed the Arab Youth Centre (AYC) to present the results of a study assessing the priorities and interests of the younger population regarding the future of media, and reviewing the role of media as a tool to address climate change. The presentation addressed issues related to the creation of individual, collective and national identities based on the media industry. 

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PHOTO/WAM - Mohamed Jalal Al Rayssi, Director General of the Emirates News Agency (WAM)

The first of the speakers' panels on the first day of the congress provided a space for discussion between Monica Mutsvangwa, Zimbabwe's Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting, who focused on investment opportunities in the media sector; and Michael Peters, CEO of Euronews Network in France, who spoke about future opportunities and challenges in the sector; followed by the session "Investing in the creative skills of today's youth, to work in the media sector of the future".  

Nart Bouran, CEO of Global Media Investments and CEO of E&Company, participated in the Investor Talks session on defining media investment trends and how this affects the media landscape, while Sophie Hvitved, Senior Media Advisor and Futures Researcher at the Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies in Denmark, took part in the presentation "Investing in the Metaverse: How Media Companies Profit". 

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PHOTO/WAM - Director General of Ras Al Khaimah at the Emirati Government Media Office, H. E. Heba Fatani, with Pyramedia (UAE) CEO Nashwa Al Ruwaini, during the World Media Congress in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

In this vein, the round of speeches on the first day of the Congress also included an interview on the future of media in the World Wide Web 3 world and a short debate on the role of artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation in the transformation of news into the future of information, by the co-founder and CEO of Newsbridge in France, Philippe Pettipunt. 

Among others, the day was also attended by the Minister of State for Youth Affairs, Shamma bin Suhail Fari Al Mazrui; Bahrain's Minister of Information Affairs, Ramzan bin Abdullah aL Nuaimi; the Director General of the Dubai Government Media Bureau, Mona Ghanem Al Marri; the CEO of Digital Media, Culture and Fashion of NEOM City, Saudi Arabia, Wayne Berg; and the Vice President and Editor-in-Chief of CNN Arabic in the UAE, Caroline Farag. 

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PHOTO/WAM - World Congress Media Abu Dhabi

This Congress - along with other meetings such as the Abu Dhabi Media Summit, the International Government Communication Forum (IGCF), or the Arab Media Forum - aims to boost the Emirati position 138 out of the 180 included in the international press freedom ranking compiled by Reporters Without Borders (RSF). And in this space, the state news agency WAM took the opportunity to launch the digital WAM News System, a tool that works with some of the latest advances in the field of artificial intelligence, and which aims to ensure greater flexibility and optimal operability for reporting partners from government and private entities.