Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum now has over six million followers on various social media websites, state news agency WAM reported quoting the ruler’s tweets.
Sheikh Mohammed said that his Twitter followers crossed three million while he had around two million fans on Facebook. The ruler also had a million followers each on Instagram and Google+.
“I extend my thanks to all followers and to everyone interacting with us through providing new comments, suggestions and ideas,” he tweeted.
“Social media channels created new opportunities, removed all barriers and made the audience part of our development plans.
“Having a tremendous influence, today social media channels serve as an open parliament and cannot be ignored or misled.”
The 65-year old ruler has been quite savvy in adapting social media, especially Twitter, for governance.
In December 2013, Sheikh Mohammed, via Twitter, asked “every man, woman and child to join us in the biggest ever national brainstorm session to find new ideas for health and education.”
He announced the hashtag #uaebrainstorm for citizens to tweet to as they submitted their ideas.
According to a recent report by The Digital Policy Council, Sheikh Mohammed was ranked seventh among world leaders using Twitter in 2013, up three spots from the 2012 rankings.
He has been an instrumental figure in the UAE’s launch of smart-government and m-government initiatives that aim to offer all government services electronically and via smartphones within the next few years.
Sheikh Mohammed also launched an official YouTube channel of the UAE government to disseminate information about its services and highlight official campaigns.
“We harness social networks to make people happier, develop government work and utilise all that modern technology and means of communication in order to benefit and serve the interests of the country and all those living in it,” he said as he launched the YouTube channel.