His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has climbed from number 10 in the Twitter world leader ranking in 2012 to seventh spot in 2013, according to the fourth annual rankings of the use of social media among world leaders which is published by the Digital Policy Council.
Sheikh Mohammed’s followers has increased by 1.4 million over 2012 to reach 2.4 million in 2013, making the biggest climb in the Twitter rankings amongst world leaders, a state that only denotes cultural openness and emphasizes the close bond between him and the citizens and residence of UAE.
Moreover, Sheikh Mohammed’s presence on twitter stems from his eagerness to express his opinion commenting on regional and international issues. (Courtesy: Sheikh Mohammed's Website)
With nearly 2.4m followers, here are Sheikh Mohammed’s top five Twitter moments
Last year, an independent report on the world’s top leaders on Twitter ranked a UAE trailblazer in the top 10 list.
Today, with 2.4 million followers on his official Twitter account, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has ensured his accessibility and connect with his public by launching several initiatives via the social media medium to facilitate the growth of this country.
His modest approach and the love for his country reflects in those 140 characters, with people calling his tweets “an image of equality, encouragement and comfortable interaction with citizens".
As the UAE celebrates the leader’s Accession Day on January 4, Emirates 24|7 recaps the top five Twitter moments in the past year:
The year 2013 started on a touching note Sheikh Mohammed’s humble move to thank the people who have given their sweat and hard work to build this country.
He wrote: “This year, we focus on a new group: general labour employees such as gardeners, janitors, construction workers, domestic workers among others.
“These groups play an active role in society. Some have spent many years doing a great job and they deserve a big ‘thank you’ from all of us.”
Sheikh Mohammed said these “unknown soldiers” were the reason streets, buildings and other facilities were ready, clean, and decorated every day.
“We want to let them know that their services are valued and appreciated as they make our lives easier and better.”
A simple request
Earlier this year, Sheikh Mohammed released his memoir, ‘Flashes of Thought’, narrating his vision for brighter future for his people, one that ushers in a new age in leadership by calling on creative thinkers to step up and take the mantle forward.
But in the process, no voice shall remain unheard.
Sheikh Mohammed proved the conviction behind this thought when a request from a young Emirati brought pause a few months ago.
In his own words, His Highness tweeted: “Today, a blind young Emirati called my office and expressed his desire to acquire my book, ‘Flashes of Thought’ in Braille.
“The request from Ahmed Al Ghafli inspired printing the book om book in Braille.”
Sheikh Mohammed personally gifted young Ahmed the first copy of the book, talking of his time spent with the man, saying “despite losing the gift of sight, Ahmed did not lose insight” as he continued to pursue his passion for poetry and his love for football, supporting the Ahli Club.
He added: “Ahmed model serves as a beautiful story about being positive in life and the ability to deliver with the strength of challenge.”
Late November, Sheikh Mohammed launched a unique campaign on Twitter that prompted the UAE brainstorm hashtag, which threw open the doors for residents of the country to have their ideas heard and materialise in the health and education sectors.
Two weeks and a landslide response of over 65,000 ideas later, one of the first ever initiatives to have the people decide the country’s legislation had gotten off to a successful start.
Sheikh Mohammed said at the time: “Education and health concern all of us, so I invite all of UAE society to think collectively of creative solutions.
“We want every man, woman and child to join us in the biggest ever national brainstorm session to find new ideas for health and education.”
He continued on December 8: “I usually brainstorm with small teams, but I wanted to try it with my people. The result was more than 65,000 ideas. #Uaebrainstorm.”
Reaching 2 million followers
In mid-August, Sheikh Mohammed hit a milestone on Twitter when he reached two million followers.
However, true to his humble approach, the dynamic leader continued to thank the people who won him the accolade, along with the ranking as one of the top 10 leaders on Twitter.
He wrote: “To all our followers, you’ve been the core value by suggesting ideas, responding to initiatives and participating in many discussions.
“And You were behind the success of many social and humanitarian campaigns we launched on Twitter.”
Thank you Khalifa
Within hours of the launch of ‘Thankyou_Khalifa’ on Twitter, the hashtag shot straight to the top of the trends charts on the microblogging site, including Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the UAE.
Late December, Sheikh Mohammed launched the hashtag in Arabic on his official Twitter page, to display gratitude to the UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan on the occasion of the upcoming Accession Day.
Sheikh Mohammed said: “Join me with a phrase, a photo or a short video, a greeting from the heart to Sheikh Khalifa, we want to tell him altogether... Thank you Khalifa.”
The call was answered in a landslide of tweets, videos and words of love and gratitude by the global community, causing the hashtag to climb the Twitter charts swiftly to the top.
While Emirati children recorded short videos, expressing their love for Sheikh Khalifa, which have been uploaded on Dubai Media Office’s Instagram account, others called for a ‘Twibbon’ or a Twitter ribbon to their display pictures on the site that reads: ‘Thankyou Khalifa’ in Arabic.