Home » UAE Government Entities Excel in Video Content, Yet Lack Social Media Engagement

UAE Government Entities Excel in Video Content, Yet Lack Social Media Engagement

Government Digital Communications: Learning from the Best
When it comes to digital communications between the government and citizens, the UAE shines as a top player. Recognized worldwide for its digital advancement, the country is paving the way for global innovation. At the heart of this progress is the UAE Digital Government Strategy 2025. This strategy, built on eight key principles including inclusivity, resilience, and proactiveness, aims to make the UAE a leader in digital transformation.

RCheckUP Digital Reputation Agency has delved into the social media presence of key government bodies to better understand the UAE’s digital journey and uncover key trends and challenges in the government’s digital landscape, highlight best practices, and form advice on further enhancement of communication between UAE residents and governmental institutions. 

How the research was performed

To identify the best governmental digital practices in the UAE, RCheckUP focused on both quantitative and qualitative indicators. Firstly, a list of 46 government institutions, including key ministries, councils, and authorities was compiled. Next, the analysts examined their website traffic and the number of social media followers each institution holds to rank them by media capital (the top-20 ranking is presented below). 

UAE Digital Government Strategy

Additionally, the engagement rate in over 150 social media accounts was analyzed, to identify institutions with the most engaged audience with the help of various analytical systems, including those with machine learning. After that, analysts reviewed thousands of social media posts in Arabic, English, and other languages to analyze which types of content and communication techniques helped achieve audience engagement. Furthermore, 25 marketing experts were interviewed to gather their insights on the UAE’s digital progress. Combining Big Data and expert opinions, RCheckUP identified the following outcomes and trends.

  1. Short videos are the most consumed and engaging form of content

Users in the UAE prefer watching short videos to reading lengthy texts. This major trend also holds true for governmental digital platforms. Over half of the presented cases in our selection involve video content, including the Ministry of Interior’s visually appealing disaster awareness video, and the Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence’s dynamic portrayal of cultural diversity. The selection includes videos featuring official figures and animated content. It is particularly interesting that videos featuring ordinary people, as opposed to stock videography, feel more organic and typically garner more reactions. A great example is the Ministry of Education’s video, portraying the outcomes of the Greening Education initiative. 

UAE Digital Government Strategy

This shift towards video content resonates the changing preferences of online audiences, who seek visually engaging and easily digestible information. As attention spans shorten and the demand for quick, informative content rises, short videos emerge as an effective tool for government agencies to communicate key messages and initiatives to the public.

  1. Infographics and visuals also remain popular, reflecting users’ desire to consume content at a faster pace

A notable example is a publication by the Ministry of Climate Change highlighting the UAE’s global leadership in the percentage of its country’s area with marine reserves. The post is accompanied by an image and infographic, achieving over 2,800 engagements. 

UAE Digital Government Strategy

This is an outstanding result for an account with 30,000 followers. As noted by Yasir Saeed Zubairi, Communications Manager at Economic Cities & Free Zones, AD Ports Group, focusing primarily on video content and infographics allows UAE government entities to effectively capture the audience’s attention and disseminates information concisely and visually appealingly. Another great example is a carousel of infographics posted by the Ministry of Education on Instagram. It tells about the EMSAT test, which will be applied optionally, including for university admissions. The post gathered over 3,400 engagements, with an average annual engagement rate of 259.

  1. Collaborations with influencers gain popularity

According to experts, more and more government bodies in the UAE have followed the trend of collaborations with opinion leaders and influencers in 2023 in their attempt to attract new audiences, including youth, and build trust among users.  This strategic approach has proven effective in enhancing the reach and credibility of government messages, especially on platforms like Instagram and X (former Twitter) where influencers hold significant sway over their followers. The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment’s collaboration with chef Leyla Fathallah preparing a dish to highlight climate impact reduction, is an example of innovative content that garnered positive engagement. 

UAE Digital Government Strategy

This case demonstrates how attention can be drawn to the issues addressed by the department in a format that works well in social media feeds. Such collaborations not only amplify the government’s initiatives but also bring a fresh perspective to pressing issues, making them more relatable and accessible to a wider audience.

UAE Digital Government Strategy
  1. Platform-specific strategies are yet to be fully implemented

According to Priyanka Dasgupta, a Digital & New Media educator and Strategic Communications scholar based in Dubai, customizing posts based on the platform is an integral part of a successful media strategy. However, only a few UAE government entities currently employ platform-specific strategies. A noteworthy example includes the Ministry of Education’s X video urging gratitude for teachers and the Cabinet’s post about a summit announcement. Dasgupta emphasizes the importance of tailoring content to suit the unique features and user behavior of each social media platform. By doing so, government agencies can maximize their engagement and impact on diverse audiences across various platforms. As social media continues to evolve, adopting platform-specific strategies will become increasingly important for effectively conveying government messages and fostering meaningful interactions with the public.

  1. Government authorities are using social media especially in order to appeal to the younger generations

As noted by Dr. Adham Fayad, Assistant Professor in Business Management at De Montfort University, Dubai, that’s why many of them are now focusing more on developing their accounts on Instagram or even TikTok, rather than Facebook. He says institutions are experimenting with new formats, such as AI-generated videos or “how-to” videos, to appeal to younger followers. A great example is the Ministry of Education issuing a video tutorial on how to use their online services.


The main outcome of our research is that despite a high level of digitalization (nearly all key government bodies in the UAE have active webpages and accounts on major social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, X, YouTube, and LinkedIn), most of the institutions still base their digital communication strategy on informing the audience about their services. Very few prioritize engaging the audience and fostering an open dialogue with citizens on the internet. This is definitely an area for improvement, and the following best practices have shown the biggest potential in engaging the audience:

  1. Use of short videos as the most engaging form of content.
  2. Utilizing infographics and visuals to present information concisely and attractively.
  3. Collaborating with influencers to enhance the reach and credibility of government messages.
  4. Tailoring content strategy to specific platforms boosts its effectiveness, especially in terms of user engagement. 
  5. Including UGC (user-generated content) into accounts elicits positive response from target audience, bringing communication of governmental bodies to a new level.