Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Chairman of the Presidential Court for Development and Fallen Heroes’ Affairs, honoured the winners of the 18th Sheikh Zayed Book Award (SZBA) during a ceremony organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) on the sidelines of the 33rd Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan was accompanied to the ceremony by His Excellency Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of the SZBA Board of Trustees; Her Excellency Dr Neveen Al-Kilani, Egypt’s Minister of Culture; His Excellency Dr Sharif Mahmoud Eissa, Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the UAE; His Excellency Dr Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh, Cultural Adviser to the President of the UAE and Chancellor of the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU); His Excellency Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi); His Excellency Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of the Department of Community Development (DCD); His Excellency Saood Al Hosani, Undersecretary of DCT Abu Dhabi; His Excellency Dr Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC and Secretary General of the SZBA; His Excellency Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, Executive Director of the ALC; His Excellency Saeed Salem Al Mazrouei from the Office of Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region; along with representatives of the Spanish, German and US embassies.

The award’s current edition recorded the largest number of submissions in its history, with a total of 4,240 nominations received. The number of participating countries also increased to 74, with 19 Arab countries and 55 others.

His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan delivered the award to the winners in each category, where Egyptian author Reem Bassiouney won in the Literature category; Dr Houssem Eddine Chachia from Tunisia won in Young Author category; and Dr Mustafa Said from Egypt won the award in the Editing of Arabic Manuscripts category.

The winner of the Contribution to the Development of Nations category was Dr Khalifa Alromaithi from the UAE, whereas Dr Ahmed Somai from Tunisia won in the Translation category, Frank Griffel from Germany won in the Arab Culture in Other Languages category, and finally, the Publishing and Technology category saw China-based Bayt Elhekma for Creative Industries win the award.

His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan honoured Casa Árabe in Spain as Cultural Personality of the Year, in recognition of the institution’s efforts in bridging the cultures of the Arab and Spanish people, and in advancing Arabic language and culture throughout Europe and Latin America.

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award honours outstanding achievements of creators and thinkers in the fields of literature, arts, and humanities in Arabic, as well as other languages. It also recognises authors who write about Arab culture and civilisation in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Russian. Since its launch in 2006, the award has supported literary, writing, and translation efforts, in an effort to enrich the intellectual, cultural, and literary scene in various fields of knowledge and humanities.