The brilliant students who read dozens of books to win this year’s Creative Reader Competition have been honoured at an awards ceremony, hosted by MAKTABA at the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi).

The 30 winning students from public and private schools across the UAE received their awards at Manarat Al Saadiyat on June 30th, 2021, with the event taking place under precautionary measures to ensure the safety of the winners and their families.

About 470 students took part in the eighth edition of the Creative Reader Competition, with each of them reading an average of 75 books throughout the year. The participants were evaluated according to their comprehension of the chosen books, as well as their creative critical thinking, oral fluency, and sound expressive reading.

“We are proud of the level of participation that we witnessed this year, which reflects the students' passion for reading as a means of acquiring knowledge and expanding their perceptions,” said Shaikha Al-Mehairi, Library Management Department Director at DCT Abu Dhabi. “Reading is not just a leisure activity, but also a way to build a child’s character and enhance their intellect and imagination, which in turn contributes to establishing knowledge-driven generations.

“Despite the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, many families were keen to involve their children in the competition and motivate them to read as many books as possible. While we congratulate the winners for their perseverance and passion, we also commend their parents for their effective role in encouraging children to read and compete in a contest that requires extraordinary efforts to win.”

Fatima Al Tamimi, Programming Lead and Competition Supervisor, said: “The Creative Reader Competition continues to demonstrate the success of MAKTABA’s programmes in providing children with a productive cultural environment through which they can learn and develop important skills to enrich their lives.

“The popularity of the competition further proves its relevance to younger generations, showing how it managed to keep up with their interests and capabilities at this crucial phase of their mental and intellectual development.”

The Creative Reader Competition is organised annually by MAKTABA at DCT Abu Dhabi, and the Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK), to encourage children to read and borrow books from public and digital libraries.

The competition is part of framework of DCT Abu Dhabi’s efforts to highlight the importance of the Arabic language as an intellectual and cultural vessel. It supports the creativity of talented students in the field of reading and directs these talents towards comprehensive community development, enriching the literary arena and spreading cultural and societal values among members of society.