DUBAI: More than 20 public relations agencies and in-house communications teams competed for the honors across 22 categories at the first edition of the Arabic Communications Awards, hosted recently by the Middle East Public Relations Association.
The event is considered a significant development for the industry in the region as it is the first awards program dedicated to celebrating the efforts of professionals working in the Arabic language. To qualify for consideration the campaigns must have been published and delivered in Arabic.
“It’s indeed a historic moment not just for MEPRA but for the entire Middle East communications industry and, most importantly, Arabic-speaking PR practitioners,” said Taryam Al-Subaihi, the association’s chairperson, who added that such an awards program was “long overdue.”
The inaugural awards included a special focus on the reaction of brands to the pandemic, which was reflected in categories such as Best COVID-19 Response Campaign, the prize for which went to Action Global Communications for its Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge Back to School 2021-22 campaign; and Best Creative Approach in Response to COVID-19, which went to W7Worldwide.
The Team of the Year award went to the Mubadala Ambassador Program in recognition of its outstanding achievements, performance and demonstration of excellence in the field of communications over the past 12 months.
The recipient of the Outstanding Young Communicator of the Year award was May Obeid of Four Communications, for her exemplary achievements and overall performance as a promising young communicator who is making a valuable contribution to her organization and shows potential as a future leader.
Other notable winners included Place Communications, which won the award for Best Community Outreach Campaign; Four Communications in the Best Government Communications and Public Affairs Campaign category; Acorn Strategy for the Best Internal Communications Campaign; ASDA’A BCW for Best Integrated Campaign, Best Use of Media Relations and Best Website Content Creation; Hill+Knowlton Strategies for Best Use of Social Media; and Weber Shandwick for Best Use of Video.
The audience at the award ceremony included more than 150 media and communications professionals, along with media personalities. Special guests included Rashid Al-Awadhi, vice-chairperson of MEPRA and CEO of New Media Academy, who delivered the keynote speech at the event, and Maryam Bin Fahad, media advisor to the minister of state and the National Media Council in the UAE.