Autobiography of Dubai on social media

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Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed launches a year-long initiative to make digital history through a resident-penned autobiography.

For some it is a splendid oasis in the middle of a desert. For others, it is the best shopping destination, or the pearl of the Gulf; a city of peace and security, or the perfect blend of tradition and contemporary; and for a few — it is best known for its super cars.

Whatever the reason, you can now express your love for Dubai on social networking website Twitter as the city makes digital history through a resident-penned autobiography.

Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, launched a year-long initiative to create an autobiography of Dubai through social media on Sunday.

Open for all of the Emirate’s residents and visitors, the initiative encourages people to capture the real life dynamics of Dubai and share their most compelling moments. People are invited to contribute by using the hashtag #MyDubai, and will be able to introduce the unique values and culture of the Emirates to the world through social media — one of the most important channels through which the world observes Dubai. Within minutes of launching the campaign, Twitter was flooded with responses from its residents.

“In the fabric of Dubai there are more than 2.1 million stories — the individual lives and experiences of all those who call Dubai home. A city’s story is created by its people and as we look towards a prosperous future, it’s time to join together and show the world how 2.1 million people can create one remarkable story. Together we will create the world’s first autobiography of a city,” Shaikh Hamdan wrote on Twitter.

Shaikh Hamdan said the #MyDubai initiative would tell real stories of the city through photographs and videos.

His first tweet using the hashtag #MyDubai was: “This is the first time I participate in the #MyDubai campaign. It’s a campaign through which we want to show the world what life in Dubai is really like: the lives of the people who live here, their most beautiful moments and experiences, and even their feelings, all conveyed through their pictures. We want to portray life here in all its human details: the social values, the beauty…for Dubai is not only about skyscrapers and towers; Dubai is life and has a unique identity … I invite all residents, visitors and Dubai lovers to participate in the #MyDubai campaign and send in their photos and videos.”

Shaikh Hamdan said the passion for Dubai, which existed amongst both UAE nationals and the communities of more than 200 nationalities living in Dubai, was an often untold part of Dubai’s success. “Our achievements are driven by a positive energy and spirit that is felt by everyone who lives in our Emirate, inspiring creativity and harmony and uniting more than 200 nationalities.”

He said the campaign was an opportunity for all to become “an ambassador” of Dubai and share their lives.

A specialised work team will work on the project, curating people’s contributions for use across different media platforms, for example at international exhibitions and to inspire art installations, films and books. A number of initiatives and programmes will be launched throughout the year of #MyDubai, giving further opportunities to take part.

Twitter users are responding enthusiastically to the new campaign. Users are uploading pictures and videos of their favourite Dubai moment.

Khadija Al Zayani said with such a distinguished government and positive people living in Dubai, it could expect to remain on top of the world.

Another user Sadiq Al Bloushi said: “There are more then 200 nationalities living in Dubai. There is culture, tradition, and we all party together.”

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