Organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) under the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT), the Sheikh Zayed Book Award has named Casa Árabe in Spain as winner of the Cultural Personality of the Year category for its 18th edition. The award acknowledges and honours Casa Árabe’s achievements in bridging the cultures of the Arab and Spanish people and advancing Arabic language and culture throughout Europe and Latin America.

The award’s Board of Trustees and Scientific Committee decision to name Casa Árabe as this year's Cultural Personality of the Year was unanimous, recognising the institution's success in fostering cross-cultural dialogue. Throughout its existence, Casa Árabe has welcomed numerous Arab writers, artists and thinkers to engage with Spanish Arabists, all in pursuit of cultivating an environment grounded in principles of tolerance and respect for cultural diversity.

His Excellency Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Tourism and Culture - Abu Dhabi, said: "The Sheikh Zayed Book Award plays an important role in promoting cross-cultural exchange and understanding worldwide. This is a mission shared by this year’s Cultural Personality of the Year, Casa Árabe, an organisation which has worked to bridge the distances between cultures and peoples as well as create a vibrant hub for literature, culture and thought, allowing for greater mutual knowledge between Spain and the Arab world."

His Excellency Dr Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC and Secretary-General of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, said: "The Sheikh Zayed Book Award aims to recognise leading international practices in the cultural and creative fields and promote common values and tolerance among peoples. I extend my congratulations to Casa Árabe for the much-deserved honour of being unanimously chosen as Cultural Personality of the Year, given their outstanding contributions to enhancing the global cultural landscape.

"Casa Árabe plays an integral role in Spain-Arab cultural relations through its social, cultural, educational, and economic activities, raising greater awareness of the cultural diversity of the Arab world through its initiatives, projects, and programmes. Initially opening 16 years ago as a centre for the Arabic language instruction, it has since grown to become a national reference for teaching Arabic, the main pillar of its activities to introduce Arab heritage, the legacy of Andalusian culture, and its influence on civilisation to new audiences."

Casa Árabe is a meeting point for dialogue and interaction. It aims to raise awareness of the importance of Islamic and Arab culture and expand the possibilities for collaboration and exchange among intellectuals, writers, translators, artists and students from various backgrounds, fostering relationships, promoting intercultural communication and creating cultural bridges between different countries.

Casa Árabe has operated as the strategic centre for Spain’s relations with the Arab world, a meeting point where individuals, private enterprises and public institutions from the worlds of business, education, academia, and culture can cooperate and partner on mutually beneficial projects. Casa Árabe also has an active and strategic positioning in the digital world, increasing the effectiveness and reach of its activities through innovative technological practices and a strong and dynamic presence on social networks.

Casa Árabe plays a significant role in promoting Arab culture not only in Spain but globally, showcasing its diverse elements spanning art, literature, architecture, sports and overall cultural creativity. The institution emphasises the beauty of the Arabic language, teaching it to non-native speakers and recognising it as the primary tool for connecting people from different backgrounds. Casa Árabe’s cultural programme highlights the value of the Arab and Islamic historical legacy, as well as humanitarian work – something that is particularly important at the international level.

Each year the Sheikh Zayed Book Award presents its Cultural Personality of the Year award to an entity or personality at the Arab or international level who has significantly contributed towards enriching Arab culture through creativity or thought. The works or activities of the recipient should exemplify the values of authenticity, tolerance and peaceful coexistence. The winners of the current edition of the award will be honoured at a ceremony hosted by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre in conjunction with the 33rd Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF).