Abu Dhabi: Hundreds of people working in the media sector across the UAE marched in Abu Dhabi on Friday afternoon to express their commitment to key national initiatives.
The ‘Walk to Give’ march organised by the National Media Council (NMC) started at around 4pm from Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi before heading to Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque and back.
Shaikh Diab Bin Khalifa Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan and Dr Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber, minister of state and chairman of the NMC, led the march along with senior government officials including Jaber Al Suwaidi, director general of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’ Court, Mansour Al Mansouri, director general of NMC, and Mohammad Jalal Al Raisi, executive director of WAM, the UAE’s official news agency.
The NMC organised the community engagement event in support of the ‘Year of Giving’ initiative launched by President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
“While expressing the commitment to support [the] Year of Giving initiative, we all participating in the march are actually committing to support each other in society,” Al Raisi told Gulf News.
“The media in the country will take this message forward to everyone in the society,” he said.
The march, held in partnership with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) and etisalat, aimed to highlight the media sector’s role in supporting and contributing to the success of key national initiatives.
Mohammad Al Hammadi, editor of Al Itihad newspaper, told Gulf News that the enthusiasm and excitement expressed by participants in the march was testimony to the UAE media’s commitment towards the noble ideals of the Year of Giving.
Khalifa Al Obaidli, 35, an Emirati social media enthusiast, who had come along with his three-year-old son, Abdullah, took pictures of his son participating in the march. “I will show these pictures to him when he gets older, saying you were part of ‘Year of Giving’ initiative as a child. It will inspire him to have a giving attitude in life to help others,” he said.
Saleh Al Yazidi, 29, an Emirati working as a motivation manager at etisalat, said that apart from the commitment towards the Year of Giving, the march highlighted the unity of UAE society. “You see... people of different nationalities came together for a noble cause, irrespective of their identities. That’s why there is peace and happiness in the UAE, despite the troubles in the region,” he said.
Mohammad Mustafa, 33, a photographer from India who has been living in the UAE for eight years, said he had always felt that he was part of the wider UAE society. “When I marched along with Emiratis and other nationalities, that sense of belonging was reinforced,” he said.
In organising the event, the NMC sought to involve mediapersons to promote the noble messages and objectives of the Year of Giving and other national initiatives.
The march was part of nation-wide efforts to highlight the UAE’s global reputation for volunteer work and community engagement. The event also reinforced the important values of charity and social responsibility across the media sector.
Participants included media professionals from across the UAE, including employees of UAE-based media outlets, correspondents of international media, social media influencers, employees in government communication offices, staff of public relations and advertising agencies, and those employed in the publishing sector, besides those working for other outlets licensed by the NMC and also students in communications and media faculties from various universities.
Participants in the march had a chance to purchase coupons worth Dh100 offered by the Emirates Red Crescent Authority (RCA) to support various charitable causes. Staff at the RCA’s kiosks at Zayed Sports City said many participants purchased the coupons.