UAE launches New Media Academy to train future digital generations

The institution will provide a broad range of career-oriented educational programmes to  develop life-long online skills.
Tuesday 16/06/2020
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum talks to an academy staff person. (WAM)
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum talks to an academy staff person. (WAM)

ABU DHABI - In a pioneering new move that opens promising prospects for the digital media sector in the Arab world, the United Arab Emirates launched a New Media Academy to train future generations of professionals on new media skills.

Through digital masterclasses, the New Media Academy, inaugurated June 15 by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Vice-President and Ruler of Dubai, will provide a broad range of career-oriented educational programmes to nurture social media content creators and develop them into innovative resources in digital marketing and social media.

During the inauguration, Sheikh Mohammed toured the new facility, saying it would act as an educational centre for all things related to new media.

 "Today, we launched the New Media Academy, an institution created to equip new generations of media professionals with digital media skills. New Media is a new science … it has its tools and its secrets, and we want our talents to be at the forefront of this," he wrote on Twitter.

Sheikh Mohammed also published via his Twitter account a video that contains an introduction to the New Media Academy, its goals and innovative educational programmes.

"The academy will train media professionals in the public and private sector and develop social media content creators. The new media provides job opportunities and supports the development process," he said.

According to the introduction of the New Media Academy, the institution has a number of objectives, including the improvement of youth’s career prospects and the enabling of young people to lead as digital citizens in the new economy.

The custom-designed curriculum, developed by renowned experts in social media and digital marketing, will be delivered by a handful of internationally acclaimed specialists, including Duke University’s Matt Bailey, among the world’s most sought-after internet marketing experts; Juan Pablo Sanchez, Masterclass educator at top 10 digital programmes; and Caleb Gardner, former US President Barack Obama’s lead digital strategist.

 Instructors also include representatives of the four new media giants Facebook, Twitter, Google and LinkedIn.

 The academy is a great addition to the country's education and media sector, according to UAE Minister of State and Chairman of the National Media Council Sultan al-Jaber.

"The New Media Academy contributes to honing the skills of young professionals and empowering them with knowledge and expertise to ensure optimal use of new media technologies," al-Jaber said.

 The New Media Academy will open its door July 7 with interactive online masterclasses in digital marketing, social media and content creation open to full-time employees and international students.

 The academy is also set to offer the Impact Digital Creator Programme aims to train 20 social media content creators per cohort and develop them into a life of full-time content creation.

 The 2-month programme, spread over a wider 3-year Talent Development strategy, will provide a customised curriculum for students to carefully follow up on their progress, develop life-long digital skills and enable them to create innovative and meaningful online content.

A Social Media Management Development programme, to be launched August 2, aims to upgrade digital skills of 100 full-time media professionals in both the public and private sector.

The academy’s curriculum, according to the introduction, is designed to foster the development of both hard and soft skills to enable students to lead a successful career in digital marketing.

Upon completion, graduates will be capable of delivering social media communication strategies, creating content for distribution across various digital media platforms, designing engaging interactive products for contemporary devices and evaluating performance of digital marketing campaigns.

On completion of the programme, the graduates will receive an internationally accredited certificate issued in the UAE.

Further innovative and modern programmes will be added to the academy in the future, to empower media professionals in government agencies and private institutions, who are interested in developing their expertise in digital content creation.

The launch of the New Media Academy follows the increasing reliance on digital platforms amid the COVID-19 crisis that saw a growth of time spent online. The launch also coincides with the UAE’s post COVID-19 strategies to nurture a new generation of digital experts and implement economic diversification strategies for the post-oil era.