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Are you passionate about storytelling?
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CNN
Do you want to learn how CNN gathers and verifies news?
Do you want to experience how a fast-paced, global newsroom operates?
Would you like the chance to put your journalism skills to the test in a unique newsgathering & storytelling simulation?

Then CNN Academy Abu Dhabi is for you.

CNN Academy Abu Dhabi empowers UAE nationals and residents with storytelling skills they need to succeed in today’s fast-paced media landscape.
Who Can Apply?
CNN Academy Abu Dhabi is open to UAE nationals and residents over the age of 21 who have a background and/or interest in media and multiplatform storytelling.

CNN Academy Abu Dhabi is tuition-free. However, participants need to ensure they can attend workshops and training sessions throughout the program.

The program will be delivered in English, so English proficiency is key.
  • Senior students and fresh graduates
  • Less than 2 years’ work experience
  • Interest in learning about Artificial Intelligence and Cyber Security
  • Availability to attend in-person training sessions in Abu Dhabi (from September - November 2024) and CNN Academy Simulation Week (from 10 - 17 December 2024)
APPLICATIONS OPEN
14
May 2024
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14
July 2024
SELECTION
06
June 2024
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31
August 2024
When To Apply?
Course overview
Through in-person workshops and online webinar sessions with senior CNN journalists, production specialists and established content creators within the Abu Dhabi ecosystem with the support of Creative Media Authority, participants will learn how CNN gathers information, verifies sources, and produces content for its multiple platforms.
CNN's Becky Anderson with the winners of the 2023 CNN Academy Climate Storytelling Simulation: Abdulrahman Al Marzooqi, Alia Al Zaabi, Lhekkah Sivaraja, Esha Mitra, Daniela Torres Basila
CNN's Becky Anderson with the winners of the 2023 CNN Academy Climate Storytelling Simulation: Abdulrahman Al Marzooqi, Alia Al Zaabi, Lhekkah Sivaraja, Esha Mitra, Daniela Torres Basila
During the first weeks of CNN Academy Abu Dhabi, participants will complete ten core courses on topics such as Ethics in Journalism, the Art of Storytelling, Breaking News Coverage, AI Basics etc.

The program will culminate in an industry-leading newsroom simulation that brings together CNN Academy participants from around the world for an intensive week of training at the Yas Creative Hub in Abu Dhabi.

This year’s CNN Academy Simulation will focus on the age of Artificial Intelligence and Cyber Security.
Course Structure
Calendar
Friday September 20th
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Friday
September 20th
Introduction and Orientation
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Friday
September 27th
The Art of Storytelling
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Friday
October 4th
Ethics in Journalism
Shape
Friday
October 11th
Digital Storytelling
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Friday
October 18th
Visual Storytelling
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Friday
October 25th
Mobile Journalism 1
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Friday
November 1st
Mobile Journalism 2
Shape
Friday
November 8th
Scriptwriting
Friday
November 15th
Social Storytelling
Friday
November 22th
Verifying Stories
Friday
November 29th
Audio Storytelling
Tuesday – Tuesday
December 10th – 17th
The Age of AI: Cyber Security Simulation Week
Tuesday
December 31st
Final Project Submission
Shape
Friday
September 20th
Introduction and Orientation
Shape
Friday
September 27th
The Art of Storytelling
Shape
Friday
October 4th
Ethics in Journalism
Shape
Friday
October 11th
Digital Storytelling
Shape
Friday
October 18th
Visual Storytelling
Shape
Friday
October 25th
Mobile Journalism 1
Shape
Friday
November 1st
Mobile Journalism 2
Shape
Friday
November 8th
Scriptwriting
Friday
November 15th
Social Storytelling
Friday
November 22th
Verifying Stories
Friday
November 29th
Audio Storytelling
Tuesday – Tuesday
December 10th – 17th
The Age of AI: Cyber Security Simulation Week
Tuesday
December 31st
Final Project Submission
THE CNN ACADEMY Simulation in Abu Dhabi: AGE of Artificial Intelligence and Cyber Security
During the final week of the program, participants will attend the CNN Academy Newsroom Simulation at the Yas Creative Hub in Abu Dhabi which will focus on The Age of AI: Cyber security.

Across seven days participants will attend talks and workshops and crucially learn from top CNN journalists what it takes to effectively engage audiences about AI.
Participants will be given a chance to put theory into practice, taking part in an intensive, competitive challenge. Investigate and report on a breaking news story in a fictional country, exploring the challenges and opportunities created by advancements in artificial intelligence.
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“The CNN Academy Climate Storytelling Simulation Week welcomed participants from across the world, including a cohort from the global south whose participation was made possible thanks to the support from The Rockefeller Foundation”
The CNN Academy Newsroom Simulation has been designed in consultation with CNN journalists from around the world that puts journalism skills to the test in a realistic setting.
Apply Your Skills
During the CNN Academy Newsroom Simulation, you will:
01
Understand newsroom workflows during breaking news coverage
04
Enhance interviewing, investigative reporting and decision-making skills
02
Experience the diverse roles of a news coverage team (producer, reporter, photojournalist, editor, editorial director)
05
Improve technical skills for multiplatform content production
03
Apply fact-checking tools and social verification methods
06
Learn how to work under time constraints and with limited resources
01
Understand newsroom workflows during breaking news coverage
02
Experience the diverse roles of a news coverage team (producer, reporter, photojournalist, editor, editorial director)
03
Apply fact-checking tools and social verification methods
04
Enhance interviewing, investigative reporting and decision-making skills
05
Improve technical skills for multiplatform content production
06
Learn how to work under time constraints and with limited resources
FROM THEIR OWN WORDS
Fatima Alsheebani
I was a volunteer for CNN Academy Simulation Week in 2022 and then in 2023 I was a participant - I was able to see two different perspectives - one from “behind the scenes” and the other being in the field. Both perspectives and experiences were amazing and both offered me learnings and challenges, however, as a participant and getting the opportunity to produce a piece and edit, it opened my eyes to so many things. It’s an experience I would never forget, a once in a lifetime opportunity!
Shama Aldhaheri
One of the most beautiful experiences and impactful memories I have had is from CNN Academy Simulation Week. I was the only Emirati in my group and although my teammates came from different cultural backgrounds, we all invested in these differences to create a shared success as a team and work together with one team spirit. This reflects the United Arab Emirates’ direction as a country of tolerance and cultural coexistence.
Alexander Christou
I had an excellent learning experience; it was, at times, quite testing, and I didn’t expect that. I have new friends from all over the world and I am very happy because I spoke in Arabic and Spanish in my group. I learned a lot about journalism in the future, I want to be a CNN journalist, hopefully in Abu Dhabi or in another city in the world.
Ahmad Al Kuwaiti
The nice thing about the simulation week and working with students from different nationalities, is that we are learning languages, the way journalism is practiced in each country, how to write news and how to research information and pull all aspects together to create a final project.
Dior Ezzedine
The Simulation week has been an extraordinary experience; we had to face major challenges and we were totally immersed in the problems and issues - just as a journalist could encounter in the real world.
Aldana Alhashmi
The challenges that I faced through CNN Simulation was extremely different from anything else of course, because of the fact that it’s news reporting, and in my opinion the challenge was trying to gather all the news and putting it together in a report so that the anchor can speak it out seamlessly, which is extremely challenging.
Mohammed Alshamsi
The most exciting part throughout this whole CNN Academy program was interacting and working with groups and teams from all over the world, from China, Kurdistan, Spain, and even people from Latin America. It was a very immersive experience, I didn’t expect it to be so global and to see different perspectives on media and journalism from around the world, this was the best thing that happened throughout.
Suad Ashimi
My favourite session was the content creation and production. My main job is advertising, I do a little bit of media creation, and journalism for different media companies. Having the opportunity to sit with renowned professionals in this field who were able to take me through the principals and pillars of it, I found that really interesting.
Vanessa Mansour
My experience in CNN Academy Abu Dhabi has been unbelievably amazing, it has tested me as journalists in ways I had never imagined.
Marvine Kidweye
The highlight of this experience is the groups work, we get to interact with different nationalities from different perspectives of life with different talking capacities, it’s crazy, it’s mind blowing!
Fatima Alsheebani
I was a volunteer for CNN Academy Simulation Week in 2022 and this year in 2023 I am a participant, and I was able to see the differences between behind the scenes and actually being in the field and both of them are amazing and had their challenges in their own way, however I believe that this year being able to take part and have the opportunity to produce a piece and edit, opened my eyes on so many things. It’s an experience I would never forget, a once in a lifetime one!
Shama Aldhaheri
One of the most beautiful memories I have had is that during the simulation week, I was the only Emirati in my group and although we belong to different cultural backgrounds, but we all invested in these differences to create success for the team and work in a one team spirit, which reflects the country’s directions that Abu Dhabi is a country of tolerance and cultural coexistence.
Alexander Christou
I had an excellent experience here; it was stressful, and I didn’t not expect that. I have new friends from all over the world and I am very happy because I spoke in Arabic and Spanish in my group. I learned a lot about the newspaper and in the future, I will be a journalist at CNN Abu Dhabi or in another city in the world.
Ahmad Al Kuwaiti
The nice thing about the simulation week and working with students from different nationalities, is that we are learning languages, the way journalism is practiced in each country, how to write news and how to research information and pull them together to create a final project.
Dior Ezzedine
The Simulation week has been an extraordinary experience; we had to face major challenges and we were in total immersion with the problems and issues that a journalist could encounter in the real world.
CNN ACADEMY
STUDENT PROJECTS
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Heart of the Nature
Discover the breathtaking beauty and ecological richness of the Mangroves National Park as Abdulrahman Al Marzooqi navigates its waters, collecting plastic and waste to preserve this vital ecosystem.
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Insect Innovation: Pioneering Sustainable Solutions
Explore the potential of insects as a sustainable solution to global challenges. Despite bans in the UAE and Qatar, startups like “Circle Biotech” are pioneering insect farming for pet food, biofuel, and water purification, offering innovative alternatives to traditional food consumption.
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Sustainable Dining at COP28: Promoting Planet-Friendly Options
Explore the impact of food production on the climate crisis at COP28 in Dubai. Investigate the rise of plant-based options, with vendors aligning food choices with the 1.5°C global warming limit. Discover delicious and eco-friendly alternatives, showcasing a commitment to sustainability.
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Cats in Crisis: Abu Dhabi's Call for Action to Find Sustainable Solutions
Learn about the challenges faced by Abu Dhabi's cats community in soaring temperatures. A veterinary clinic director highlights the urgent need for action. With temperatures hitting 50°C, cats struggle to survive, prompting initiatives like the TNR program for cats’ population control. Emphasizing sustainable solutions, there's a call for global empathy in animal welfare.
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Transforming Mango Leaves and Coffee Grounds into Sustainable Fashion
Explore the transformation of waste into stylish leather goods, challenging landfill myths. Witness the eco-friendly conversion of mango leaves into durable sheets, addressing sustainability demands. By repurposing coffee waste, this UAE initiative empowers Indonesian communities. Discover how it's reshaping fashion with responsible consumerism and community empowerment.
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UAE's New Law: Ban on Heavy Vehicles Starting Next Year
Discover the UAE's new law targeting heavy vehicles, aimed at cutting costs and improving safety. By banning trucks over 65 tons, it reduces carbon emissions and tackles tire waste. Through tire retreading, it diverts 28,000 tons of waste from landfills yearly, showcasing legislation's role in environmental sustainability.
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UAE Known for Pearl Diving Generations Before Hosting COP28
Discover the sustainability of oysters in the Arabian Gulf, and learn about their crucial role in filtering seawater and maintaining marine ecosystems. Despite their importance, human activity threatens these balances. Advocate for greater environmental responsibility to preserve our planet for future generations.
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Eco-friendly Travelers Turn to Scooters in Dubai
Discover the rise of eco-friendly electric scooters in Dubai, providing emission-free transportation for residents. With designated lanes and easy access, these scooters offer a convenient and sustainable alternative to cars, contributing to Dubai's goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
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The World Through One Lens
Aldana was a CNN Academy participant that inspired everyone around her, including Maroa who put together this piece to highlight how losing your sight can give you perspective that very few have.
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Art Where No One Looks
An artist sees art where others don't. This is the story of Noura Al Ramahi's sustainable art.
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The Art of Calligraphy
Arabic calligraphy is a corner stone of Arab and Islamic culture. This is the story of the man who sketched it on to the UAE's currency and passport.
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A New Life for Plastic
Check out how a company in the UAE is giving a new purpose to plastic by recycling it into clothes.
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A Slam Dunk for Poetry
Listen to one of the first English speaking Emirati poets as he tells his story of becoming a two-time grand-slam champion.
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Abu Dhabi's Madrollers
Get a sneak peek into Abu Dhabi's adrenaline filled rollerblading community.
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Abu Dhabi's Fabric of Time
The untold story of a 25 year-old tailor's shop in Abu Dhabi and the man inside.
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The Forest in The Middle of The Desert
Take a stroll through Abu Dhabi's plant market and the ones keeping it flourishing.
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Dubai's Underground Supper Clubs
Dubai is known for its food scene, but here is a side to it that you may not know.
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Chemotherapy Reimagined
Step into the lab and learn how a new version of chemotherapy could transform cancer treatment.
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Blast From The Past
A Lebanon glass house is using glass from the country's port blast to bring new life into glass vases and art pieces.
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Drumming a New Beat
COVID-19 has left stands and performance theaters empty across the world in 2020. Kharsha, an Emirati / Japanese drumming band, have felt first-hand what that feels like. With a great question mark cast on the band’s future, they can only hope for the show to go on soon.
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The Unlikely Saviour
Isolated from friends, family and the rest of the world, Twitch — a live-streaming platform— has provided individuals with a window into the world throughout COVID-19. The pandemic has continued to fuel the growth of live-streaming and created a community impact, connecting individuals from all over the world with one another in these trying times.
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The Secret Behind UAE's Vanity License Plates
Talal Al Khoori is the owner of vanity plate Abu Dhabi #5. It is the second most expensive plate in the world and Talal broke records when he purchased it. To some, the practice of spending millions of Dirhams on vanity plates in the UAE is a sign of conspicuous consumption. But when you speak to Talal, you learn that spending so much on a simple alumimum plate has a positive impact on the wider society. Music courtesy of Mansoor Gottem.
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Agility Towards Success
Abdalla Almulla, the founder of MULA design studio, was one of many other designers and business owners affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. But through innovation and agility, Abdalla was able to handle the situation by changing the nature of his work from designing exhibitions to interior design projects.
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A Tale of Perseverance
Saleh Al Yaroubi suffered an accident requiring him to use a wheelchair for more than 40 years. We hear how he overcame his hardships, both mental and physical, seeking from his experience advice on coping with the mental effects of the COVID-19 pandemic today.
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There From the Start
The media industry in the United Arab Emirates has grown exponentially over the past 50 years. This piece profiles one of the first Emirati radio and TV reporters, and my uncle, Obaid Kaboos Alzaabi.
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Portrait of an Artist During a Pandemic
This story is about an artist and a painter who gets his inspiration from people’s faces and facial expression to put it in a nice drawing. He started drawing since he was a child and going through the pandemic lockdown kept him going and continue the thing he love the most which is painting.
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Passing Down the Wings
Falconry is an Emirati tradition passed down from one generation to another. Rashid Ahmed Mujrin is a professional falconer competing in major events. He's also keeping the tradition alive by teaching his sons the art of falconry.
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Pandemic Through the Eyes of a Child
Like many kids, seven-year-old Julie Kayali has been doing online schooling for over a year. With her family welcoming a newborn during the pandemic, how can Julie balance second grade and playtime from the safety of her own home?
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Virtual Vows
South Asian weddings are known for being huge and lavish affairs. During the pandemic however, South Asian couples were forced to shift these celebrations online and say I do through the screen. This piece revolves around the experiences of South Asian couples and a wedding planner who are now adapting to the new norm of virtual weddings.
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A Special Year for Special Kebab
Al Ustad Special Kebab is the oldest Persian family restaurant in the UAE. This is a story about the lessons it learnt from the pandemic a year after lockdown.
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Fashion and Faith
This is a piece about the representation of the Hijab in the fashion industry and the discussion surrounding hijab tokenism and the importance of representation. The topic has been ignited because of the departure of Hijabi supermodel Halima Aden from the fashion industry.
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Knocked Down But Definitely Not Out
Michelle Kuehn is a long-term Dubai resident who turned her passion of boxing into a successful business. Then the pandemic hit and everything she worked toward was crumbling in front of her eyes. This is the story of how she fought back and reclaimed her boxing gym from the grips of the pandemic.
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Olympic Dreams
Ines Boubakri became the first Arab and African woman to win an Olympic medal in fencing during at the 2016 summer games. She's dreaming of greater olympic glory during the upcomig games in Tokyo. But first she has to get through a global pandemic.
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Finding a Friend
My story focuses on the integration of Emiratis and Expats in the UAE. It follows my personal experience; for the first time in 14 years, I found myself in the same (virtual) room as Emiratis, thanks to CNN Academy. My story explores integration from various perspectives to ultimately celebrate the diverse social fabric of the UAE.
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Pressure, Parenting and Pandemic
The pandemic has put a lot of mental, emotional, and financial strain on multiple individuals. This is especially true for mothers who work full-time, take care of the family and the house. This story is about mothers finding a healthy stress outlet and taking time for themselves without feeling ashamed or guilty about it.
Apply Now
For more information, please contact [email protected]