GCC Government Social Media Summit
29 Aug 2013

TRA sponsors 2nd GCC Government Social Media Summit to accelerate knowledge transfer on Smart Government, Cyber Security, Women’s Empowerment & more  


Renowned speakers from TRA join international experts in tackling hot button issues at the region’s leading social platform for governments


UAE, Dubai, August 2013: The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has been announced as the Platinum Sponsor of the GCC Government Social Media Summit, and will play a prominent role in bringing together experts to share cutting edge solutions with senior government decision makers. The region’s leading social media summit, organised by Streamline Marketing Group, takes place from 2-3 September at Dubai’s Ritz-Carlton, DIFC, and will also feature 3 masterclasses on September 1st.  


The summit is expected to equip governments in social engagement, while benchmarking themselves against the world’s best success stories. HE Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, Director General of TRA, stated: “This summit is no longer about how our region can catch up with the world leaders, but rather how we can lead the world - especially since the UAE is currently ranked the best in the world in social cohesion and government efficiency.”


Highly anticipated speakers include Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri, the TRA’s Deputy Director General for Information and eGovernment Sector, who will explore the challenges of “Driving mGovernment and Smart Government via Social Networks to Enhance Government Communications.” However, he cautioned that: “On one hand mGovernment offers greater cost efficiency and time efficiency; but we should also look on the other side of the coin, because our region is experiencing unprecedented levels of cyber-hacking of mobile devices. Since wireless networks use public airwaves, they are vulnerable to such hackers and so governments must educate the public so that people have a positive experience of mGovernment and Smart Government as secure and trustworthy.” 


Eng Tariq Al Hawi, Director of the TRA’s aeCERT initiative, expanded on the issue of security as a build-up to his summit talk on “Social Media & Cyber Security”, saying: “Cyber-pirates view social media as a hunting ground because just as it can be used to send information, it can also be used to steal information. We have seen a surge in the number of attacks on government sites, and emergency rapid response is crucial. It is time for governments to share information about these hackers’ methods, in the same way the cyber-criminals themselves sell information about government websites’ loopholes and weaknesses on the black market.”



Other eagerly awaited speakers at the summit include Adam Fetcher, who helped to pilot the ‘Obama for America’ campaign into the most phenomenally successful campaign in online history. He will be joined by Elizabeth Linder, Facebook’s Politics & Government Specialist; Silke von Brockhausen of the United Nations Development Programme; Dr Aysha Al Busmait of the UAE’s Roads & Transport Authority and Heba Alsamt of Dubai Media Incorporated, among others.


Commenting on the power of social media as a catalyst for social equality, Noor Shamma, Acting Director for Corporate Communications Affairs at the TRA said: “While we are delighted to see more women in the Arab world becoming influential trendsetters on social media, the reality is that we are still way below the global average for female participation. However it would be a mistake to think this is only a problem for women, because men are also being deprived of the valuable contributions which our highly educated and tech-savvy female population can make in the Twitterverse and elsewhere.”  


Analysts forecast that the line between current affairs and entertainment will continue to blur, as governments seek to go beyond just having a page on Facebook or Twitter, and instead explore more creative ways to be part of the public’s everyday lives. By using mobile apps, live streaming and other touchpoints, governments will seek to sync their services into the 360 degrees at home, work, recreation, in public and other trends that will be dissected from all angles at the summit.  



Interested sponsors and participants for the 2013 GCC Government Social Media Summit can contact Biju Saith, Conference Director, on or visit

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