According to the Arab Media Outlook 2016-2018 report, issued by Dubai Press Club, the future of media is characterised by rapid digitisation and content on the small screen. This is already evident in the share of views on mobile phones which jumped from 11% in 2011 to almost 70% in 2015. According to the same report, millennials interact much more with media content, making them creators as much as consumers. As per the Arab Social Media Report 2017, issued by the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government, 58% of social media users in the Arab region express their views or sentiments regarding their government’s policies using social media. Government organisations in the UAE, are aware that 95% of the population use Facebook, and accordingly utilise social media to develop their services, collect ideas, suggestions, and feedback to develop their services and make their customers happier. DEWA is a pioneer in using social media Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) was one of the first government organisations in the UAE to use social media tools to communicate with the public. DEWA actively interacts with the public through social media based on international best practices. It was the first government organisation to adopt a social media policy that is aligned with the Guidelines for Social Media Usage in United Arab Emirates Government Entities, which was issued by the Emirates E-Government in the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA). DEWA uses social media to receive enquiries, observations, and feedback from customers and the public to improve its services and make customers happier. DEWA also utilises social media to promote awareness about its programmes, initiatives, projects, smart services, and conservation campaigns, as well as spread awareness about sustainability and the environment. Social media channels are tools to develop government services “At DEWA, we are guided by the long-term vision of our wise leadership who realised early on the positive role of social media in developing government services by listening to comments, suggestions, and ideas. Thanks to the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, we have successfully transformed these channels into tools for development, innovation, and knowledge, and windows for communications and constructive interaction. This is done by utilising these modern, rapidly-developing, widespread tools and making use of their capabilities. Our social media channels are key tools to positively communicate with our customers and listen to their suggestions and feedback. This helps us achieve their happiness and the happiness of society as a whole as well as achieve DEWA’s vision to become a sustainable innovative world class utility,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA. “DEWA is the first organisation to develop a social media policy that includes performance indicators, communication methods and plans, as a way to select platforms and interact with different channels, types of content, number of posts, and other criteria. DEWA uses six social media platforms for interaction, and promote its services and campaigns, using a variety of content types for different stakeholders. This includes photos, videos, infographics, and live streaming. These efforts have contributed to DEWA’s corporate identity perception reaching 89% in 2017, which underlines the success of social media in establishing constructive interaction with stakeholders and receiving their positive feedback,” said Khawla Al Mehairi, Executive Vice President of Strategy and Government Communications at DEWA. DEWA excels in using social media compared to its global counterparts DEWA conducts an annual survey to study society’s happiness about the information it provides and the channels used to deliver these messages, including social media. A quarterly study is also conducted to analyse the results of key performance indicators related to the social media strategy. The results demonstrate DEWA’s excellence globally in various indicators compared to the best 10 utilities worldwide and the best 10 electricity and water companies in the USA. These include the number of social media followers, interaction with the public, and number of YouTube views among other indicators. In 2017, DEWA’s social media accounts had over 4 million followers, while the average of the best utilities worldwide was 190,427 followers. At the UAE level, the percentage of society’s happiness with DEWA’s commitment to providing useful information to them continuously was 90.78% in 2017 (this includes accuracy, benefit, information accessibility, and reliability) compared to 86.82% in 2015. 18% of the participants said they received information through social media channels compared to 10.5% in 2015. A recent report published by Mintrics in cooperation with Forbes Middle East, showed that DEWA topped government organisation in the UAE in terms of videos posted across different social media channels during the Holy Month of Ramadan 2018. Awards In recognition of its successes in the digital media and in using social media channels, DEWA has received many awards including the Arab Social Media Influencer Summit Award for its work on the environment in 2016. It also received the Distinguished Entity in Government Communications at the 19th Dubai Government Excellence Program Award 2017. Between 2015 and 2017, DEWA has received 15 government organisations from the UAE to conduct benchmarking and learn about its distinguished experience in this field.