ADMS bolsters commitment to growing media industry in MENA and beyond

27 Nov 2014

3 days, 70 speakers, 1300 attendees

The fifth edition of Abu Dhabi Media Summit (ADMS), powered by twofour54, has reaffirmed the wealth of talent, opportunity and interest that exist in MENA’s media industry. This year’s Summit was held over three days last week at the Rosewood Hotel in Abu Dhabi.

Under the theme of “Driving and Sustaining Future Media in MENA and Beyond”, ADMS 2014 attracted over 1300 local, regional, and international attendees. The Summit was honoured to host Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, Queen of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, who delivered an inspiring opening address that highlighted the need for the Arab world to reclaim its narrative from extremist groups in the region.

70 speakers took part in lively panel discussions, engaging presentations and insightful interviews that covered some of the key topics for the industry: content, distribution and financing of media. A number of recurring themes emerged across the three days including quality of content, authenticity and transparency, culture, speed, localisation and personalisation, protection of IP and prevalence of piracy, measurement and analytics, and monetization.

This year, the audience was able to take part in interactive feedback polls as part of sessions. In the session “The Transformative Role of Social Media in the Middle East”, moderator and CNN anchor Becky Anderson, asked the audience whether they agreed with the statement ‘Social media should be regulated”, with an overwhelming almost two-thirds of audience respondents disagreeing with the statement*. In a separate poll, 40 per cent of participants believed that TV broadcasters can benefit the most from a localised approach to the Middle East market**.

The Summit launched a new study, Arab Media Perspectives, which investigated how young Arabs are fuelling the MENA media market. This joint study by ADMS and Strategy& highlighted the cultural shifts in media consumption that are driving the vast opportunities for companies looking to invest or operate in the Middle East. In another first, the Summit opened its doors to the public on days two and three, to enable a wider audience to participate and be inspired by the high calibre of speakers and discussions.

Maryam Al Mheiri, Chief Operating Officer of twofour54, said: “The quality and diversity of our speakers across our three-day programme helped to make this year’s Abu Dhabi Media Summit one of the best editions yet. The discussions, insight and ideas presented by both industry leaders and enthusiastic entrepreneurs alike, have given twofour54 a renewed sense of purpose – we exist to help grow a sustainable media industry that supports both our economy and our community, and we will continue to work hard to do this.

The high number of guests at this year’s Summit gives us great confidence that ADMS is a valued event on the media industry calendar. We look forward to another successful Summit in 2015 as we continue to build and support the media industry here in MENA and beyond,” she added.

Speakers of ADMS praised the variety of sessions and admired the gathering of a great number of global leaders. Featured speaker, Mark Thompson, President and Chief Executive Office of the New York Times Company, said: “I think what makes this year special is the real sense of how rapidly media is changing in the UAE, the region, and the world. It has been exciting to see how many global experts are gathered at such a unique event.”

ADMS 2014 ran from 18-20 November at the Rosewood Hotel, Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi.

To access footage and images of ADMS, please visit:

*65% of the 271 audience members who chose to participate in this poll disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement ‘Social media should be regulated’.

**40% of the 216 audience members who chose to participate in this poll disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement ‘Social media should be regulated’.

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