The announcement was made today in a press conference at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, in the presence of Jumaa Al Qubaisi member of the board of Trustees, Executive Director of the National Library.
Following the declaration of Him as winner of the Award, HE Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, President of Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Tourism and the Award’s Board of Trustees, Dr. Ali Bin Tamim, Award’s Secretary General, and the members of the Board extended their warmest congratulations and sincerest regards to Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashed Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, for winning this year’s award, which honors prominent figures for his distinguished contributions to Arab culture.
Bin Tamim explained that the decision came as a tribute to His being one of the most prominent agents of change in all walks of cultural development, with achievements ever expanding far and wide all over the world, fostering Arab culture, whether in creative work, intellectual endeavor, or promotion of tolerance and peaceful coexistence. His Highness’s work, Bin Tamim added, brings hope and optimism to creative individuals in all fields, exemplifying the very essence of the vision of His Highness the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, in whose name the Award is given.
Bin Tamim explained that the Award’s Board of Trustees and Scientific Committee found it impossible to name all His Highness’s personal traits and countless achievements. Consequently, he selected no more than a few of the numerous achievements of His Highness:
- Putting together strategic plans to maintain the country’s sustainable development, consolidating justice and social welfare, and overseeing the process of change which is visible to all.
- Establishing the “Mohammed bin Rashed Al Maktoum Foundation,” which pioneered in several areas such as Culture, Entrepreneurship and Employment, and Knowledge and Education. Under His Highness’s leadership, the Foundation aims to bridge the knowledge gap between the Arab region and the developed world, improving the standard of education and research in the region, developing leadership programs for youth, and stimulating job creation.
- Launching numerous initiatives that reflected the ideal role model for youth, communicating with and inspiring their generation.
- Protecting the rights of Arab women in general and the Emirati women in specific, highlighting women’s crucial role in culture and society.
- Giving equal attention to all segments of society, with prime focus on children and young people.
- Sponsoring a number of projects that define the cultural identity of the Emirati society, promoting the language, literature and culture of the Arab nation.
- Launching the Government Summit, which represents a platform to showcase the most important tools, means and special strategies to enhance innovation in the government departments. It also comes in line with His Highness’s directives to name 2015 as the year of Innovation.
- Launching initiatives that reinforce the national identity of the United Arab Emirates by encouraging young persons to learn about their history and read more about their culture.
- Sponsoring creative individuals and innovators, and promoting leaders through training and skills development programs.
- Establishing the International Humanitarian City for Humane Services as the world’s largest hub for humanitarian aid which underpins the UAE’s continuous efforts to help the victims of crises and families whose lives are scarred by hunger and poverty.
The Sheikh Zayed Book Award was launched in 2007, intended to promote scholarship and creativity in the Arab World. It carries cash prizes totaling AED 7 million - with AED 750,000 per winner (Approx. USD 200,000) in all eight categories (including the one on Arab Culture Other Languages). The winners will receive their awards in addition to a certificate of merit and a Gold Medal on May 11th, 2015 during a grand ceremony in Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.