Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has attracted one million followers on Twitter, making him the most followed Arab politician, Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported on Tuesday.
“Brothers and sisters, today the number of followers has exceeded one million. But I prefer calling you participants rather than followers,” a tweet posted on Shaikh Mohammed’s page (@HHShkMohd) said.
“Together we came up with many social, humanitarian and cultural initiatives and I have personally benefited from your constructive thoughts. Thank you all, and I hope that we take our communication and interaction to the next level soon, for the good of our communities.”
Shaikh Mohammed discusses wide-range of topics on his Twitter account, including national achievements, development initiatives concerning both Emiratis and expatriates in the UAE, in addition to humanitarian and charitable initiatives carried out on the regional and international level.
He also posts on his passion: horse racing.
Since the Arab Spring, several Arab leaders have used social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to participate in debates and also be in touch with their followers.
Tunisian government leaders, members of the Jordanian royal family and Lebanon’s top politicians use Facebook and Twitter to communicate directly to constituents.
Arab premiers, however, do not seem to attract large number of followers on Twitter. Tunisia’s Prime Minister Rached Ghanouchi, the first elected premier after the revolution that toppled President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, has only 14,865 followers.
Lebanese politicians, among them Prime Minister Najib Mikati and opposition leader Saad Hariri, are very active on Twitter and use the platform to disseminate messages and express opinions. Mikati, however, has only 54,143 followers and writes mainly in Arabic, while Hariri has 167, 234 followers, and tweets both in English and Arabic.
Meanwhile, U.S. President Barack Obama is the most followed head of state in the world with more than 16 million followers.
Lady Gaga, the American singer and songwriter, beat Obama and has the largest following on Twitter with more than 27 million followers.
The 18 year-old, Canadian singer, Justin Bieber, has the second largest following with more than 25 million followers on Twitter.