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Officially launched by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in June 2020, New Media Academy received more than 1,500 applications for the new edition of the programme.
The five-month programme will be led by content creator Lowi Sahi (@LowiSahi), who has over 300 million YouTube views and 5 million followers. This season, 50 content creators will learn storytelling, scripting, filming and editing by a line-up of instructors who will join Sahi, including Christian LeBlanc (@LostLeBlanc), Drew Binsky (@DrewBinsky), Caleb Gardener, Mina Al Sheikhly (@MinaAlsheikhly), Mohsin Khan (@@EMKWAN) and others.
After the 50 participants have completed the five-month programme, 10 of the cohort will continue for a further three-year incubation period before becoming full-time content creators. The programme has been designed to shape digital professionals capable of taking on the major shifts occurring in the working world. According to the World Economic Forum’s ‘Future of Jobs Report’, more than 40 per cent of jobs will have a digital focus by 2022.
Rashid Al Awadhi, CEO of New Media Academy, said: “By providing certified training in an array of digital disciplines, we are upskilling young people to lead and elevate the strategies and policies of organisations in the region to new levels to increase global competitiveness and affect a positive shift to digital-first thinking.”
He added: “Influencer marketing, especially in the Arab World, is in a state of flux right now in the region. While the market is growing exponentially around the globe, with some market analysts predicting the industry will be worth more than $15 billion (Dh55.1 billion) by 2022, it is on the decline in the Arab World. To overcome this, we are committed to sourcing and streamlining content creators who naturally excel in the digital sphere to maximise their reputation, reach and revenue.”
Last year’s programme saw 10 content creators, who signed and graduated from the first season, grow their audience reach on their social media channels from 500,000 to 2.2 million followers.
Dr Saif Darwish (@drsaifdarwish), one of the programme’s students and a social media specialist in the medical industry, witnessed an incredible 2,000 per cent growth in this time. All students were able to see “a significant breakthrough” in their analytics over the course of the programme.
The newly-revamped Faris Al Muhtawa programme, has increased its number of hand-picked participants from 20 to 50 content creators. At the end of the programme, 10 creators will be selected and signed up exclusively with New Media Academy to continue their journey. All the while, the training and knowledge will be shared among all 50 participants.
Faris Al Muhtawa provides content creators the latest software and editing tools as well as weekly gatherings and outings for the participants to network and build a community with the New Media Academy team and other students. Over five months, participants are expected to commit two days a week, two hours per day. They will be given weekly assignments focused on storytelling in a variety of formats and mediums which will be reviewed and assessed by the instructors and international content creators.