View of part of the Fujairah Corniche and the Hajar Mountains in the Background

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Follow Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai on Twitter

Facebook Frenzy
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum started on Facebook last month and after two days he had over 700 ‘friends.’ By two weeks he had acquired 1400 official friends and so many requests for friendship that he is now in the process of developing a ‘public page’ that allows people to come face to face with more than 5,000 people.

Twittering Sheikh in 140 Characters
His Highness is getting serious about communicating to people via social media and recently he opened a Twitter account so that he could be in touch with the many Twitterers in the UAE and region.

In only 140 characters Twitterers answer the question: “What are you doing?” With the 32 characters that it takes to write ‘Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum’ it is interesting to see His Highness condensing his name to ‘HH Sheikh Mohammed’ or simply ‘Mohammed.’

While his brief Twitter bio states ‘Official Tweets by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’, his Twitter name (like an email name) is simply, ‘HHShkMohd.’

People may talk about the ordinary things that make up their everyday life but those in business are using it as a way of grabbing people’s attention and selling their wares.

What is Sheikh Mohammed tweeting about?

His most recent tweet (8 July 2009) has been about a congratulatory cable he sent to President Ahmed Abdullah Mohammed Sambi of the Union of Comoros on his country's Independence Day.

He also tweeted today that he is in the process of addressing questions online concerning the reopening of UAE schools after Eid and its impact on Private and British schools.

In another tweet he expressed appreciation for all the many opinions and insights that people have shared with him regarding the question he asked on Facebook about school semesters and Ramadan.

Facebook and Twitter in Tandem
Sheikh Mohammed has recently installed Tweetdeck that allows him (and other users) to link Twitter and Facebook and enable writing messages by both computer and phone.

Tweetdeck makes it possible for the Sheikh to send Tweets (messages) just to those on Twitter or to people on both Twitter and Facebook. It is interesting to note that his sister-in-law, Queen Rania, perhaps the greatest Twitterer in the Middle East, also uses Tweetdeck. (Check this same article to see how Twitter possibly saved a life in the UAE).

Following and Followers
Facebook has ‘friends’ (although when Sheikh Mohammed gets his ‘public page’ he will have ‘fans’) but Twitter has ‘followers’.

At the time of writing Sheikh Mohammed is following 657 other people and is being followed by 903 followers.

Twitter with the Sheikh
If you open a free Twitter account you could follow His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and send him messages at this link: HH Sheikh Mohammed (HHShkMohd) on Twitter.

Twitter in Plain English
Twitter has a very good explanation of Twitter in several languages but it has not yet appeared in Arabic.

Here is a short video entitled 'Twitter in Plain English'.

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Judged One of the 75 Most Influential People of the 21ST Century, ETE.
Poems Give Most Revealing Glimpse of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al Maktoum, ETE.
Sheikh Mohammed Hailed as Most Powerful in Horse Racing Industry, ETE.
Sheikh Mohammed Pays Record Price for Aussie Horse Racing Deal, ETE.
Sheikh Mohammed’s Ambitions for Middle East, ETE.
Sheikh Mohammad Models Rare Style of Leadership, ETE.
Sheikh Mohammed’s Leadership is Honoured, ETE.
New Website for H H Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ETE.
Dubai and Sheikh Mohammed on 60 Minutes Video, ETE.

What is your Twitter user name?

Dr Geoff Pound

Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at) and on Facebook and Twitter.

Image: Sheikh Mohammed on Twitter.