Ibrahim al-Abed on evolution of media in the UAE

Ehtesham Shahid

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Ibrahim al-Abed always has a story up his sleeve – be it from the era of India’s late prime minister Indira Gandhi or Sheikh Shakhbout of the UAE.

The former Director General of UAE’s National Media Council (NMC) has indeed witnessed these stories throughout his long and close association with the industry, and the country.

Now, serving as Board of Director’s Chairman Advisor at the NMC, he continues to demonstrate the zest for his field and a keenness to remain abreast with the changing times.

Making peace with social media

When I caught up with Ibrahim al-Abed at the World Government Summit in Dubai recently, he appeared more keen to obtain Francis Fukuyama’s signed book than giving an interview.

But when I finally got him talking, he gave some interesting insights, calling social media “a fact of life” that should be handled in such a way that we can to make it useful. It should “reflect the truth instead of becoming fake news or spreading rumors or encouraging hatred or terrorism”.

While highlighting the evolution of the media industry in the UAE, he didn’t miss narrating another story: “We started with Radio Dubai … it was then called the Radio of the Coast”. The rest, as they say, is history.