DUBAI, --The General Secretariat of the Executive Council, which is a member of the Higher Committee for the 'Year of Reading" initiative, and responsible for coordinating all activities relating to the initiative in Dubai, has invited the private sector and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to take part in the 'Year of Reading."

The move is part of the secretariat's drive to strengthen the reading habits in the community, and comes in line with the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on declaring 2016 as the 'Year of Reading.' To encourage the wide engagement on this initiative, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, issued directives to amend The UAE Pioneers Award 2016 categories and criteria to focus on rewarding 45 individuals and institutions that have played a vital role in promoting reading in 2016. All activities and initiatives undertaken by individuals, government entities, private organisations and NGOs will be evaluated, with the best activities and initiatives nominated for The UAE Pioneers Award in December 2016.

The winning initiatives, individuals, and institutions will also be featured and recognised in a book that will be published by the UAE cabinet.

Abdullah Al Shaibani, Secretary General of the Executive Council of Dubai, said, "Our wise leadership believes that reading is the cornerstone of a society that is capable of building a knowledge-based economy and civilisation, and grooming a promising generation that can meet future challenges facing the UAE. This year's edition of The UAE Pioneers Award will be dedicated to individuals and institutions that have contributed unique initiatives that positively impacted the society. The door is open to individuals as well as private, public and non-governmental organisations to submit their applications at the earliest, for the chance to be honoured and rewarded by Mohammad bin Rashid."

He added, "Building a culture of reading needs to start with individuals and families, and must be supported and nurtured by all institutions in the Emirate. As part of the Dubai Plan 2021, we are committed to building a culture of reading in our society by promoting reading at the individual, family, and community levels, and ensuring that reading becomes a key part of public and private institutions, and NGOs in Dubai."

Shumous Majed bin Faris, Dubai Coordinator for the Year of Reading 2016, joined the call in welcoming wider participation by the community. "We would like to thank all government departments who have supported us thus far in executing the directives of our wise leadership. We would like to highlight the importance of the private sector and NGOs in supporting the "Year of Reading" initiative by opening the door for them to submit their entries for The UAE Pioneers Award," Shumous added.

"We look forward to receiving all entries related to reading activities in Dubai on our email:, and we would like to recognise all efforts that facilitate knowledge building and transfer across all segments of the community, and emphasize their importance in strengthening UAE's global standing in all areas."

The General Secretariat of the Executive Council urges all members of the private sector to submit their entries combining all the relevant initiatives to the email: to ensure a strong participation from Dubai.

Source: Emirates News Agency