LONDON: The countdown to the much-anticipated Global Media Congress 2023 has officially begun, promising a rich showcase of international collaboration and innovation in the heart of Abu Dhabi.

Held under the patronage of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, vice president, deputy prime minister and chairman of the Presidential Court, the second event will take place from Nov. 14 to Nov. 16 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center.

Building on the success of last year’s inaugural edition, the three-day event, organized by Capital Events, part of ADNEC Group, in partnership with the Emirates News Agency, will see the participation of some of the world’s top industry leaders, specialists and influencers, in addition to academics, youth and university students.

Arab News will also participate to the event, featuring a dedicated exhibition space to showcase the outlet’s expansion and its significant contribution to the broader MENA media landscape.

With the theme of “Shaping the future of the media industry,” this year’s congress is set to address critical themes, aligning with global concerns.

The opening day, in conjunction with COP28, will shine a spotlight on the pivotal role of environmental media in sustainability and climate advocacy.

Day two will shift the focus to media education, emphasizing youth engagement and welcoming students from 100 universities.

Mohammed Jalal Al-Rayssi, director-general of WAM and chairman of the organizing committee for the Global Media Congress, highlighted the congress’s significant contribution to fostering a supportive and innovative environment for building new partnerships between companies and entrepreneurs on a global scale.

He highlighted the international expansion of this year’s event, stressing the growing network of “strategic partnerships” and labeling these collaborations as an “unparalleled value offering” for participants.

GMC will feature a specialized conference over three days, featuring 77 speakers from 18 countries.

With 36 main sessions covering diverse topics such as sustainability, innovation, cutting-edge media technologies, sports media, youth engagement and the role of training and development in shaping the future of the media industry, the event promises in-depth exploration and discourse.

Additionally, the conference is set to introduce multiple platforms, including the Education Stage, Co-Production Majlis, Innovation Stage, NexTech, and Future Media Lab, all designed to investigate the convergence of media, education and artificial intelligence.

These platforms will serve as a launchpad for showcasing new technologies and ideas, hosting training workshops, dialogue sessions, roundtable discussions, and more.

Humaid Matar Al-Dhaheri, managing director and CEO of ADNEC Group, highlighted the alignment of organizing the Global Media Congress with ADNEC Group’s strategic vision, which aims to support a wide range of economic and knowledge sectors in the country, in line with the leadership’s aspirations for the next 50 years.

He said that the media industry is “one of its (ADNEC’s) main pillars,” adding that “the exhibition’s mission aligns with our vision to enhance the direct and indirect economic contributions of these vital sectors to the country’s economy and confirm the position of Abu Dhabi as the capital of exhibitions and specialized conferences industry in the region.”

In its second outing, the conference is set to draw a large number of visitors and international participants.

The event will feature 257 exhibiting companies and brands, marking a 33 percent increase compared to the inaugural congress as well as 172 participating countries, up 22 percent.

To accommodate this growth, the exhibition area has been significantly expanded by 78 percent, now spanning more than 32,000 sq m, a substantial increase from the 18,000 sq m of the previous edition.

In a testament to the event’s growing importance, nearly 800 journalists from 58 countries will attend to cover the activities.

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