Sharjah Media City (Shams) Announces Podcast Competition Winners
Posted on 2021 Dec,14

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Sharjah Media City (Shams) announced the three winners in its Podcast Competition, launched in November 2021 to attract talented and aspiring podcasters to hone their skills and empower them to become professional podcasters in the UAE and the region.

The winners were Muna Al Dhaheri with her podcast ‘365 days in the Zoo’, Joel Michael with ‘Pod’s Green Earth’, and Aiman and Hamzah Khan with ‘Mine’s worse’.

The Podcast Competition drew more than 130 applicants who had to complete a set of consecutive stages, beginning with registration. The judging panel, which consisted of a distinguished group of experts in podcasting, then shortlisted 30 candidates to attend the exclusive Podcast 101 bootcamp, held in collaboration with Finyal Media on December 9-11 at Shams headquarters.

The bootcamp sought to train qualifying candidates to produce podcasts, select the right topics, and develop the episodes. The training revolved around five themes: developing ideas and concepts, pre-production, recording and editing episodes, distribution and monetisation, and evaluation and analysis.

At the conclusion of the bootcamp, the judging panel selected 10 candidates that met a set of rigorous conditions to perform a list of specified podcast-related tasks. The committee then named the three winners of the Competition.

The panel brings together Fagr Kassim Ali, Director of Media Sector Development at Shams; Mshari Alonaizy, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer at Finyal Media; Chirag Desai, Podcast Producer and CEO of Amia Media, and Lama Nobel, Head of Partnership and Strategy at Podio.

Khalid Omar Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Media City (Shams), honoured the winners and awarded them a AED10,000 cash prize, along with a free permit to establish a company, access to co-working spaces, and free access to a recording studio.

“Sharjah Media City operates in accordance with a clear vision to strengthen the media sector and advance its mission to support and upskill media professionals and talent, enabling them to play a greater role in the growing and rapidly evolving division in the UAE and the region,” Al Midfa noted. “The Podcast Competition undoubtedly helped raise awareness about the importance of podcasts in the media community. With this competition, we aspire to help podcasts prosper in the market and enhance their impact and role to educate the society in various fields.”

“We congratulate the winners for their dedication throughout the competition, and we thank them for the outstanding content they created, which marks a starting point for them in the podcasting world,” he continued. “We are committed to training a new generation of professionals who can make a notable impact on the media sector in Sharjah, the UAE, and the region.”

Meanwhile, Leila Hamadeh, CEO of Finyal Media, said: “The Finyal Media team was delighted to be involved in providing the training for Shams’ inaugural Podcast Competition. It is very encouraging to see so many budding podcasters with great ideas and strong creative talent, and bodes very well for the future of the podcasting sector in the UAE. We are certain that many of the participants will go on to build some amazing new shows as a result.”