On Saturday, August 31, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, shared an open letter to all of the country’s citizens and residents.
On his official Twitter page, HH Sheikh Mohammed posted a letter that shared some tips to officials, ministers, and leaders, while issuing reminders to the general public, as well.
HH Sheikh Mohammed Calls for Responsible Use of Social Media
The Dubai Ruler’s letter was written in Arabic and entitled “Letter of the New Season,” Gulf News reported. It discussed six important messages that everyone in the UAE should know. One of these messages is about social media — particularly, how it affects the image and reputation of the country:
“Messing around and stirring up chaos on social media waste achievements for which thousands of teams worked so hard to realize,” HH Sheikh Mohammed wrote. “The reputation of the UAE is a red line and not to be used by anyone who wants to get more followers.”
It cannot be denied that nowadays, some people resort to making controversial statements, just to get more social media followers. The problem is, such statements could have negative effects on the country’s image.
“We have the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, which is concerned with managing our external affairs, speaking on our behalf and expressing our positions in relation to the UAE’s foreign policy,” the Dubai Ruler explained.
With this, HH Sheikh Mohammed emphasized that the ministry is the official “spokesperson” of the country — and no one else. He also mentioned that maintaining the UAE’s credibility with the countries and peoples of the world is among the core functions of the said ministry.
Likewise, the Dubai Ruler warned that the government will not allow social media users to tarnish the late Sheikh Zayed’s legacy. “The good image of the UAE and the Emirati must remain as bright as Zayed wanted and built,” he declared.
Social Media in the UAE
HH Sheikh’s Mohammed’s message highlighted the importance of using social media responsibly. Let us remember that here in the UAE, taking a “harmless” photo and sharing it online without permission is a serious offence, and could lead to a hefty fine.
Similarly, posting slanderous or defaming words about a person, group, or company on social media is taken seriously, and could lead to a court trial as well.
In addition, there are guidelines for posting advertisements on social media that everyone — including bloggers and website owners — should follow at all times.
Without a doubt, social media is here to stay, but it comes with great responsibility. As residents, we should know and follow the country’s social media rules. This way, we can help in protecting the image of the UAE — a country that has welcomed and benefited us, along with our families.