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Sun 24 Jan 2016 05:23 PM

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Revealed: the most liked MidEast leaders on Facebook

Dubai's Sheikh Mohammed topped the list in the GCC, but Obama dominates globally

Revealed: the most liked MidEast leaders on Facebook

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has topped a new list of Middle Eastern leaders with the most "likes" on the Facebook social media platform.

Egypt's leader has six million followers, making him the most popular leader in the region. He is closely followed by Her Royal Highness Queen Rania of Jordan, an early adopter of social media, who has 5.5 million “likes”.

The study, entitled 'World Leaders on Facebook', is by PR and consultancy firm Burson-Marsteller and looks at how world leaders, governments and international organisations communicate via social media. Over the past eight years, Facebook has emerged as the platform of choice for world leaders and governments to engage with their constituents. According to the study, 169 of the 193 UN member states maintain an official Facebook page.

Within the GCC, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is the most popular leader on Facebook, with 3.1 million “likes” on the platform. Sheikh Mohammed joined the social networking site in 2009 and has a total of more than 11.4 million followers across a number of social networks, including twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Google +.

“Home to a young, increasingly connected and mobile population, the MENA region is progressing into a dynamic and vibrant area. The UAE, in particular, is known for its open business environment, cosmopolitan nature and impressive adoption of smart devices, making it a model country of what is best about the region,” said Sunil John, founder and CEO of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller. 

“With the UAE government’s focus on the development of smart services, the leadership remains on the pulse of public consciousness- a value that is captured by the engaging, transparent and informative social media presence of HH Sheikh Mohammed.  

Worldwide, US President Barack Obama is the most popular leader on Facebook with 46 million “likes” on his Barack Obama campaign page. President Obama is closely followed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with more than 31 million fans on his personal Narendra Modi page and 10.1 million fans on his institutional PMO India page, which is in third position. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Abdel Fattah El Sisi complete the top five list of the most popular world leaders on Facebook.

The study also found that 87 heads of state, 82 heads of government and 51 foreign ministers maintain personal pages on the platform.

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