The Arab Social Media Influencers Summit 2015



The Arab Social Media Influencers Summit 2015

18 March 2015

Being a self-proclaimed social media addict, I believe I have ticked off one of the items in my bucket list – that is being able to participate in such a great and well organized social media event such as the #Arabsmis.

It has been such a great honor to have been invited to speak at the first ever edition of the Arab Social Media Influencers Summit held today (and yesterday) at the Dubai World Trade Center.

The two-day summit served as a platform for social media experts, reserchers and newbies to gain more knowledge, to know more about the secrets and hidden powers of social media.

I would like to thank the Dubai government for letting me moderate a session with Dr. Nicholas Christakis, a leading U.S. social networks and biosocial science researcher. It was such a fun engaging activity to be able to dive into his thoughts about social media and how it affects people and the society.

An interesting topic we tackled during the session “The Hidden Power of Social Networks”  was that if social media affects people’s behavior – Dr. Nicholas strongly believes that social media does not affect behavior but serves as a tool for informtion dissemination.

Dr. Nicholas Christakis speaking about social media and people’s behavior during the Arab Social Media Influencers Forum in Dubai, March 18, 2015. (Al Arabiya News)

“Our humanity is not changing. There are deep and fundamental aspects of us as human beings that don’t change over historical time periods,” he said during the summit.

Asked about the impact of social media with regards to revolutions, Dr. Christakis claimed that it did not have any effects to the Arab Spring for example:

“I think what happened in the Arab Spring, in Egypt for example, was not that your friends were saying ‘let’s go to the barricades, let’s be revolutionaries’ and you, who didn’t want to go to the barricades, suddenly said ‘oh my friends are going, I am going too,” Christakis told Al Arabiya News following the session.

“I think what happened is you wanted to go to the barricades but you didn’t know where to go and were afraid because you thought you would be by yourself. Now you hear that other people are going and you know where to go so you go,” he continued.

“So what’s happened is that it’s not revolutionary zeal that spreads from person to person. It is information that spreads from person to person, which then allows you to act on the behavioral desire you had to begin with.”


One of the highlights of the summit was that of the Social Media Influencers Award, which is one of the first award shows to recognize companies and individuals who have excelled in their respected industries through the efficient use of campaigns or personal musings using social media.

I would like to congratulate MBC Group for bagging the award for the Media group category and Al Arabiya TV General Manager Turki al-Dakhil for bagging the same award for individual category.

We, at MBC Group and Al Arabiya, have always made sure that we have the right facts, the right stories for our audience in social media.

MBC Group Chairman Sheikh Waleed al-Ibrahim receiving the Arab Social Media Influencers Award from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum (Courtesy: Dubai Media Office).