You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Media landscape’ category.

Despite the existence of 22 Arabic speaking countries, Arab expats living around the globe, and a young internet savvy population in the MENA region, only 2% of content online is in Arabic. We live in an era where  smartphones and tablets are giving us access to online content virtually anywhere, yet no matter the geographic location, the info being consumed is predominately English content.

There are 350 million people in the Middle East region who speak Arabic, and we are seeing a push for Arabic content from Arabic speaking consumers.

And there are local government initiatives, such as that of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, whose office has announced a strategy to support the nurturing of the Arabic language. In Saudi Arabia there is a plan in place that addresses the pressing need for quality Arabic e-content.

The young and growing population of the MENA region, coupled with high internet penetration (estimated at 35-40%), and an increasing trend in mobile (87% mobile penetration) and smartphone  use has created a growing appetite for Arabic content online.  Regionally, the UAE has one of the highest instances of internet use with most people owning on average more than one smartphone.

The transition toward a unified “e-Arabic” has been developing in many forms, from international websites in the region emphasizing Arabic, to Google in Arabic, to an Arabic Twitter interface, to a grassroots initiatives campaigning for Arabic e-content.  Initiatives such as Taghreedat, supported by twofour54, are succeeding in creating Arabic e-content, working to improve Wikipedia in Arabic and create an Arabic Dictionary 2.0 of technical terms to serve the needs of the Arabic internet users who account for 3.3% of all users globally.

There is an undeniable movement toward the creation of Arabic content online, but the challenges lie in changing the user perception, getting people to think online in Arabic, and defining a unified e-Arabic platform of communication and information. In addition, this requires the development of Arabic terms not only to serve the average internet user but to create a regionally accepted e-Arabic for viable use in the developing, software, and translations sphere.

Arabic content is on the rise, but it remains to be seen is if the Arabizing of the internet will be skin deep or if it can take on a life of its own.

– Olivia Quinn, Senior Account Executive at Hill+Knowlton Strategies Dubai


The financial media landscape in Dubai varies starkly in quality and ability. On the one hand, certain publications have an army of savvy reporters and editors who know their subject and are demonstrating excellence in their trade; while on the other, we at times find reporters practicing cut and paste journalism.

This was made strikingly clear over the past years during the recession. While Dubai has successfully charted a course towards becoming the region’s leading financial hub, it’s no secret that the Emirate’s plans suffered setbacks from the onslaught of the financial downturn. What this revealed was a varying media landscape – one that you would not quite expect from a city bent on becoming the quintessential destination for finance in the GCC.

All of a sudden, the news stream wasn’t positive, and outlook no longer rosy. We were faced with the reality that most reporters lacked the knack for scrutiny to understand the details of Dubai’s story – which at the time went from positive to negative seemingly overnight.

But the situation taught us a thing or two. Mainly, it woke us up to the fact that we could seek out the reporters and editors we know are worth our time and effort in order to cooperate with them to tell our client’s story in the most optimal way.

And on the other hand we recognized our duty to support and develop the knowledge-base of those journalists who, for lack of a better expression, are not quite up to par. We are seeing successes here by providing these journalists with more detailed briefs, exposing them to subject-matter experts available to us through our clients, conducting off-the-record informative sessions, and extending invitations to seminars and conferences.

By doing so we are not only creating opportunities for our clients, but also doing our part to enrich the media landscape in the UAE.

– Adnan Abdel-Razzak, Financial Practice Senior Account Manager at Hill+Knowlton Strategies Dubai

تطوير الإعلام المالي في دبي

تتباين وسائل الاعلام التي تعنى بالقطاع المالي في دبي من حيث الجودة والقدرات. فهناك بعض المطبوعات التي تملك “جيشاً” من المراسلين والمحرّرين المتخصّصين والذين هم على دراية كافية بالموضوعات التي يكتبونها، وهناك في المقابل صحافيّون ما زالوا يتبعون أسلوب “النسخ واللصق”، حيث ينقلون محتوى تقريرهم عن المصدر من دون أي فهم لجوهر هذا المحتوى.

وقد بدا هذا الاتجاه الصحافي واضحاً بعد الأزمة المالية التي انفجرت قبل سنوات. فدبي كانت قد وضعت مجموعة من الخطط الناجحة التي تؤهلها كي تصبح أحد المراكز المالية الرائدة في المنطقة، لكنّ ما تعرّضت له هذه الخطط بفعل الأزمة المالية لم يكن خافياً على أحد، وظهور اتجاهات صحافية متفاوتة كان من تداعياته. وهي نتيجة لم تكن متوقعة بالطبع من الإمارة التي كانت تسعى لتصبح الوجهة المثالية للمؤسسات والأسواق المالية في دول مجلس التعاون الخليجي.

فجأةً لم تعد الأخبار إيجابية كما كانت في العادة، والتوقعات لم تعد ورديّة. وقد صدمنا بحقيقة أنّ معظم الصحافيين يفتقرون الى المعرفة المعمّقة التي تتيح لهم فهم تفاصيل ما جرى، وتحوّل “قصّة” دبي من الإيجابية المتزايدة الى السلبيّة بين ليلة وضحاها.

من هنا، يجب علينا السعي إلى المراسلين والمحررين الأكفاء الذين يقدّرون جهدنا وحرصنا على التعاون معهم والتحدّث إليهم عن المستجدّات لدى عملائنا كي يعكسوها لقرّائهم ومشاهديهم بالطريقة المثلى.

ومن ناحية أخرى، يتوجب علينا كذلك دعم الصحافيين الذين يفتقرون للخبرة اللازمة في القطاع المالي ومساعدتهم على تطوير معرفتهم بشؤونه. وهذا سوف يساعدنا بدوره على الوصول الى غايتنا عبر تزويد هؤلاء الصحافيين بالملخّصات والمعلومات التي يتيحها لنا عملاؤنا، إضافة الى إمكانية إجراء بعض النشاطات التي من شأنها تطوير معرفتهم وتوجيه دعوات خاصة لهم إلى الندوات والمؤتمرات الخاصّة بعملائنا.

وبذلك نستطيع إنجاز أمرين أساسيين – خلق فرص إعلامية جديدة لأخبار وموضوعات عملائنا، وقيامنا بدور مسؤول وفاعل في إثراء المشهد الإعلامي في دولة الإمارات العربية المتحدة.

Translated into Arabic by Lona Ayoub, Account Executive at H+K Strategies Dubai

%d bloggers like this: