In the presence of HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs accompanied by Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, du held the closing ceremony for its campaign to mark the 41st UAE National Day. The event, comprising a Forum, the announcement of the du Social Media Awards winners, and a performance of the National Song composed by the people of the UAE, was held on 28 November at Zayed University Campus, in Abu Dhabi.
Present at the event were Zayed University students, as well as Ahmad bin Byat, Chairman, du; Osman Sultan, CEO, du, and Farid Faraidooni, Chief Commercial Officer, du, amongst other members of the telecom’s management and company board.
HH Sheikh Abdullah inaugurated the event with an opening speech, during which he congratulated the winners of du’s National Day competitions, and said that the initiatives proved the sustainable power of social media. He urged all users to invest their social media presence in sustainability, and felicitated the team behind du’s National Day campaign.
The event started with the National Anthem, followed by a welcome note from Ahmad bin Byat.
“On behalf of du, I would like to thank HH Sheikh Abdullah for his patronage of today’s event, and for his support in promoting social media for a positive cause. Our National Day campaign, including today’s event, is dedicated to the UAE as a demonstration of our love for our country, and a tribute to the many achievements that our leadership has led us to. The campaign was entirely created by a dedicated team of Emirati colleagues, who, with the help of some of our country’s finest artists and our society’s most patriotic members, have created a phenomenal manifestation of our devotion to the United Arab Emirates,” said Ahmad Bin Byat.
Prominent members of Emirati society discussed the sustainable impact of social media channels in the du Social Media Forum. Participating on the panel were Noura Al Kaabi, member of the UAE National Council and CEO of twofour54; Mohammad Al Awadhi, owner of Wild Peeta; Mohammed Saeed Harib, Freej animator and Chairman of Lammtara, and Balqees Zainal, a key member of the social media team in du.
“We should use social media to drive positive change in our society, as it has become an integral part of our everyday life. Even the smallest tweet can have an impact, and this is something that should be considered by all social media users,” said Al Kaabi.
“Successful use of social media comes when we share what we have learnt through our own campaigns, experiments and trials. Video in particular is a powerful social media tool, which can benefit the community and society,” said Mohammad Al Awadhi.
“Social media can be harnessed by entrepreneurs in an exciting, creative way to promote business and products to the community. Likewise, social media campaigns can focus on activities that will promote positive community activities,” said Harib.
Zainal concluded with, “From our experience, we have found that social media is becoming a preferred, and effective, channel for customer communications. This is something that businesses in the UAE can leverage upon, by embracing social media as a brand-enhancing tool that allows them to positively engage with the people who matter to them.”
The Forum was followed by a performance of the National Song, which was written collectively by the people of the UAE through a contest launched by du earlier this month. UAE poet Ali Al Khawar began with a recitation of the first part of the song, after which Fayez Al Saeed, the ‘Ambassador of Melodies’, and Shamma Hamdan, of ‘Arabs Got Talent’ fame, performed the rest.
du’s National Song competition was the first of its kind in the region, which encouraged Arabic-speaking members of UAE society to contribute a line of lyrics through the telecom’s Facebook page and twitter handle. These lyrics, celebrating the UAE and demonstrating the people’s passion for their country and its leadership, were then compiled by Al Khawar into a song format, with accompanying music composed by Al Saeed.
After the performance, the winners of the du Social Media Awards were announced and congratulated by HH Sheikh Abdullah.