Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Six people from the UAE are on a list of influential 'tweeps' published on Wamda, a website for entrepreneurs.
Six people from the UAE are on a list of influential 'tweeps' published on Wamda, a website for entrepreneurs.

Dubai Ruler on new list of most influential Arabs on Twitter

Six people from the UAE feature in a new list of the 100 most influential Arabs on Twitter including the Ruler of Dubai and the Foreign Minister.

DUBAI // The Ruler of Dubai and the Foreign Minister are among six people from the UAE who appear on a new list of the 100 most influential Arabs on Twitter.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid is 30th on the list. The Prime Minister and Vice President has tweeted as HHShkMohd since June 2009, and on the date the list was compiled he had 638,921 followers. He recently posted photos of himself donating blood.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, is 16th. He uses the handle ABZayed to tweet in Arabic and had gathered 85,919 followers since signing up to Twitter just three months before the list was compiled.

Sultan Al Qassemi, the columnist and commentator on Arab affairs who tweets as SultanAlQassemi, had 93,797 followers. He is ranked 22nd.

The other UAE-based Twitter users - or "tweeps" - on the list are the MBC sports presenter and newspaper columnist Mustafa Agha (Mustafa_Agha, 78,124, 25th), the Abu Dhabi Sports TV commentator Faris Awad (farisf9, 187,810, 28th), and the sports broadcaster Khaled Al Shenaif (k_alshenaif, 96,268, 49th).

The list was compiled by Khaled El Ahmad, a social media instructor from Jordan, and has just been published on Wamda, a website for entrepreneurs.

Mr El Ahmad rejected the idea of simply basing the rankings on the number of followers each user had. Instead he used scores produced by the Klout website, which takes into account 35 variables to rate a person’s online influence. The list is based on data collected on January 21.

The FNC member and keen Twitter user Noura Al Kaabi welcomed the embracing of the micro-blogging site by leaders such as Sheikh Mohammed and Sheikh Abdullah.

“It’s definitely a good thing, as we all know Twitter is an important way to connect with people,” she said. “It’s really important to feel that you are connected to the leadership. Twitter is like a personal connection: we know the news, we know their views on what’s happening and it’s just an important communication tool.

“Having them included in the list of most influential people is of course normal because you will have more followers who will like to know what’s going on and the views of the leadership.”

She said she would like to see every minister and member of the FNC on Twitter. “It’s crucial. Ministers can start interacting with people and at the end of the day it’s a social responsibility.”

The top six spots in the list are all occupied by Saudi Arabians, with the Muslim scholar Salman Alodah at No?1. He has 647,690 followers and runs his own website, Islam Today.

A surprise entry is the US president, Barack Obama, who made it to the list because of a parody account, ArabicObama. The account, which has no links to the US administration, took 18th spot with 151,387 followers.

The other 99 listed are all from the Arab world. Saudi Arabia, with 38 per cent of the top tweeps, has the largest share, followed by Egypt with 30 per cent and Kuwait with 13 per cent. The UAE is fourth.

Media is the most common profession among those listed, accounting for 32 per cent of the total, followed by politics at 16 per cent, religion at 10 per cent and royalty at 5 per cent. Men outnumbered women by 86 per cent to 14.

The list has inevitably received a lot of attention on Twitter. EssJay_Bee summed up that those listed were “typically male, media workers from Saudi Arabia & Egypt”, while Mo Elzubeir of Dubai dismissed the findings as “meaningless”.

Shireen Abdelhadi tweeted: “Interesting the gender breakdown of Twitter usage is 86% male ‘n only 14% women! Now we knw wat they r doing at their jobs.”


Arabic Twitter ready by spring

DUBAI // Twitter last night began the process of translating the social network website into Arabic, and said the new version should be operational by the spring.

A grassroots group called Taghreedat has been working on a translation using an army of volunteers, including hundreds in the UAE.

The task has now passed to Twitter’s own translation centre, which has 425,000 volunteer translators around the world.

They will now start work on Arabic along with three other “right-to-left” languages: Farsi, Hebrew and Urdu.

Their job will be to agree on the best translations for all terms used on Twitter so that a complete Arabic interface can be created.

Twitter is already available in 22 languages.

“We’ve developed new ways to ensure tweets and hashtags will work properly in right-to-left languages,” said Twitter spokesman Jodi Olson.

“As soon as our volunteers have finished their translation work, we’ll make Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew and Urdu available for everyone on Twitter.com.”


Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Shah Rukh Khan performs at the IPL Gala dinner to open IPL VII at the Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi.

In pictures: Shah Rukh Khan stars at IPL Gala dinner in Abu Dhabi

The superstar entertainer Shah Rukh Khan on stage last night at a gala dinner to launch the Indian Premier League cricket tournament.

No words can describe this April 17, your captions will

Have a catchy caption for this picture. Share it with us and we might publish it and reward you.

 When this 1856 British Guiana One-Cent Magenta stamp goes under the hammer at Sotheby’s in New York on June 17, it is expected to attract a world record bid for a single stamp of up to $20 million (Dh73.4m). Courtesy Sotheby’s

Rare 1856 stamp up for auction at Sotheby’s

This is one of the world’s rarest stamps and when it goes up for auction in June it should fetch $20million. Its history since it was issued in 1856 is fascinating – and includes one murderous chapter, as Jonathan Gornall reports

 The Retreat at the Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa will screen IPL games on request. Lee Hoagland / The National

Top five places to catch an IPL game in the UAE

Enjoy all the 20/20 cricket action at a sports lounge near you – whether in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain or Dubai

 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greets supporters after his arrival in Zahedan, the regional capital of Sistan and Baluchestan province on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. During Mr Rouhani's two-day visit, he will tour several other cities and hold meetings with local scholars and entrepreneurs. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

On the road with Hassan Rouhani

Iran's president is touring some of Iran's most underdeveloped provinces. Foreign correspondent Yeganeh Salehi is traveling with him.

 Barcelona’s Lionel Messi plays with a rugby ball during a training session at Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper training camp, near Barcelona in Sant Joan Despi, April 15, 2014. REUTERS/Gustau Nacarino

In pictures: Barca play a little rugby before Copa del rey final

Barcelona and Real Madrid will play in the Copa del Rey final on Wednesday night but the day before the match, Braca players played a little rugby during a training session at Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper training camp, in Sant Joan Despi, Spain. Barca meet Real Madrid on Wednesday at 11.30pm (UAE time) and the match will be on BeIn Sports.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National