Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum at the Awards – Image: WAM

This morning, Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum bestowed awards on 40 entities and individuals at the Arab Social Media Influencers Summit (ASMIS) Awards on Tuesday.

The Awards ceremony was held to recognize individuals and institutions who made a positive impact in the country and beyond using social media in some form or the other. In other words, they were bona-fide influencers for the Arab youth in the GCC and in the UAE in particular.

Areas of focus included connectivity (something Sheikh Mohammad has always been keen on and which is a driving theme of the Expo2020 project), creativity and impact.

I’m quite excited that my favourite UAE home-grown brand – Careem – won in the category of Private Sector Entity!

Here’s the full list of Arab influencers who were awarded:



  1. Government sector: Lt. General Shaikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Interior
  2. Youth: Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa is a member of the Bahraini royal family and the commander of Bahrain’s Royal Guard and president of the Bahrain Olympic Committee.
  3. Tourism: Shaikh Majid Al Sabah, Kuwaiti Royal social media influencer known as “The Shaikh of Chic.
  4. Politics: Dr Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.
  5. Media: Ahmed Al Shugairi, Saudi Arabian activist and media figure.
  6. Arts: Hussain Al Jassmi, Emirati singer
  7. Community service: Ola Faris, MBC Presenter
  8. Positivity and Tolerance: Yasser Hareb, author and media person
  9. Sports: Yasser Al-Qahtani, Saudi Arabian footballer
  10. Entrepreneurship: Wael Attili, cofounder of animation and Arabic digital media company Kharabeesh
  11. Economy: Nadine Hani Senior Business News presenter on Al Arabiya News Channel
  12. Entertainment: Tariq Alharbi, Saudi Actor
  13. Health: Dr. Mohammed Al Safi
  14. Private sector: Samih Touqan, founder and CEO of Maktoob.com
  15. Shopping: Mohammed Hilal, businessman and CEO of Mohammed Hilal Group.
  16. Technology: Abdullah Al Sabe
  17. Safety and Security: Zaid Al Memari
  18. Environment: Dr Abdullah Musnad


  1. Tourism : Emirates Airlines
  2. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) : MiSK Charity Foundation
  3. Government sector : Ministry of Interior
  4. Education : Queen Rania Foundation for Education and Development
  5. Safety and Security : Royal Oman Police
  6. Media : Sky News Arabia
  7. Environment : Dubai Electricity and Water Authority
  8. Politics : Al Misbar Studies and Research Center
  9. Sports : Kooora.com, sports website
  10. Entertainment : Majid Entertainment
  11. Technology : Technology World website, based in Saudi Arabia
  12. Arts : Anghami
  13. Economy : Souq Al Mal
  14. Youth : The National Youth Commission- Sultanate of Oman
  15. Entrepreneurship : Smaat company
  16. Private Sector : Careem and Salt
  17. Shopping : Namshi
  18. Positivity and Tolerance : Alejabiya.net
  19. Blog : AraGeek network
  20. Health : dailymedicalinfo.com
  21. Audience choice : Mustafa Al Agha, Head of MBC Sports

What I find interesting is how this list of award winners doesn’t include so many people who ‘think’ they’re influencers in the Arab world. It’s a good, well curated list of people who really influence the country.

I’ve paraphrased some of this content directly from a press release filed in Khaleej Times today. The original release itself is here and was written by Sherouk Zakariya.