Media Centre

Press release

Annual ADMAF educational initiative empowers the nation’s future media professionals

22nd Jun 2010


The Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) hosted a special ceremony to celebrate the achievements of the talented students that took part in the Young Media Leaders programme, an annual ADMAF educational initiative that seeks to foster the next generation of national media professionals. The end of year ceremony held at the Yas Hotel was organised in recognition of the hard work of the 35 students from Zayed University, the Higher Colleges of Technology- Abu Dhabi Men’s College and Abu Dhabi’s Women’s College- and the UAE University throughout a year long programme of workshops, training sessions and opportunities for practical journalistic experience with leading media figureheads.

The Young Media Leaders programme is one of ADMAF’s main annual educational initiatives that aim to nurture local talent and thought. Founded in 2007, the program has been offering Emirati university students an insight in the global media industry for the last three years. In that short time, over 90 young nationals have gained a unique understanding of the field through a comprehensive and highly intensive program of workshops, lectures and hands-on experiences.

The students enrolled in the 2009-2010 Young Media Leaders programme participated in a series of eight workshops by leading international and regional media experts that aimed to prepare them to most adequately tell their nation’s story in the media field they chose to pursue. Implemented by Twofour54 Tadreeb, the programme included workshops on website design and development, photojournalism, video journalism, the art of writing, how to cover an event, how to write for a magazine, presentation skills and video production for websites. During the ceremony the students received certificates accredited by the Thomson Foundation, the Thomson Reuters Foundation, twofour54 and ADMAF for each workshop they completed.

In addition to the workshops, the students had a number of opportunities for hands on experience to help them put into practice the skills taught during the workshops. Throughout the academic year YML students were involved in producing their own professional magazine showcasing their talent in writing and photography. The 4th issue of the magazine, newly branded “My News” has just been released and distributed during the ceremony. Another major achievement during the year was their coverage of the Abu Dhabi Festival 2010, ADMAF’s flagship event and an internationally acclaimed annual classical music and arts festival. YML students attended the festival’s main performances, community and education events as journalists and photographers alongside regional and international journalists reporting on the festival. During the festival, the students produced two issues of a newsletter on the festival, that featured their take on the nation’s biggest classical arts event.

To further support the ongoing work of the programme’s graduates, a website has been launched ( that allows students to login with individual accounts and upload their works. The website, will serve as yet another medium to encourage these young media practitioners to share their works with fellow students, professionals and the public.

Delivering a speech at the ceremony, Sheikh Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, Chairman of Young Arab Leaders – UAE said:

"The Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation’s Young Media Leaders program allows young Emirati nationals to prepare and take advantage of the rising opportunities that have been created as a result of positioning Abu Dhabi as the media content creation hub for the region. The establishment of TwoFour54, the inauguration of CNN's fourth global hub in Abu Dhabi, the launch of The National and the future creation of News Corp regional office in the UAE capital will all demand that journalistic standards be constantly upgraded. The Young Media Leaders graduates will certainly be in a great position to work in this industry as a result of this educational opportunity"

Attending the graduation ceremony, Mrs. Hoda Al-Khamis Kanoo, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation, said:

“I am proud to be here today to see these young, bright students take their first steps as tomorrow’s media professionals after another successful round of the Young Media Leaders program. As the UAE continues to grow as a regional centre for business, arts, culture and sport, the young generation of national students will have an important role to play in documenting these developments. Through the learning and guidance they have received, they are now able to tell the story of their nation in their own words. Inspiration is the key to unlocking the talent that lies within each individual. With this in mind, we have been able to introduce these young apprentices to a panorama of experiences and a plethora of leading figures. Thanks to the commitment of HCT Abu Dhabi Men’s College, HCT Abu Dhabi Women’s College, Zayed University and UAE University- Al Ain, the nation can look forward to more Emirati media professionals than ever entering the sector in the very near future and I am confident that our motivated students will leave their footprints on Emirati journalism for years to come.”

The educational program of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation spans across a wide range of activities that promote arts and media education in the UAE. The program’s main aim is to encourage local talent and provide opportunities to young nationals to improve their artistic skills and showcase their works. As part of the program, ADMAF organises workshops and lectures for university students, school children and children with special needs by leading experts in their respective fields. The annual Young Media Leaders program is a central part of ADMAF’s education program.