Google executives including Shona Brown, the senior vice president for business operations, met representatives of the National Media Council last week to discuss "co-ordination in the field of legislation pertaining to the internet and electronic publishing", WAM said, adding that the parties "decided to continue co-operation within this framework".
Mohammed Abdullah, the executive director of Dubai Media City, and Malik al Malik, the director general of Dubai Internet City, also attended the meeting. Ibrahim al Abed, the director general of the media council, said the meeting was "a starting point" of discussions between Google and representatives of the UAE media. "They wanted to understand more about the media environment in the UAE and wanted to meet people from the local media," he said, adding that the Silicon Valley-based company met local media executives in the private sector.
Representatives of The National did not attend the meeting. Mr al Abed said the issue of censorship of internet was not on the agenda. "There was nothing about restrictions … They didn't talk about this. I said a few words about how we like to make use of international experience, but at the same time maintain our cultural traditions," he said. Eric Schmidt, the Google chief executive, spoke at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit (ADMS) in March, where he revealed that the MENA region was the company's fastest-growing region in the world, measured by the number of users and revenue generated.
Though he refused to discuss Google's censorship issues in China at the ADMS, Mr Schmidt said the company did not censor its search results in the Middle East. * with reporting by WAM @Email:email@example.com