UAE: New competition challenges students to adopt reading culture

Teams from public, private, charter schools to take part in contest


Ismail Sebugwaawo

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Published: Sun 29 May 2022, 3:29 PM

Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) has launched a school team competition called Battle of the Books to foster a youth reading culture and nurture a generation of passionate readers.

Launched during Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, Battle of the Books is open to individuals as well as teams of four students from grades seven through 10 from public, private, or charter schools.

“Battle of the Books underlines the Department’s commitment to embedding the culture of reading as part of a student’s daily routine,” explained Amer Al Hammadi, ADEK Undersecretary.

“It is an essential activity to their development and education. It enhances cognitive development, helps develop their creativity, empathy and deeper understanding of the world around them and cultures that are different from their own. Reading helps students improve their literacy skills and their concentration abilities, which will positively affect their academic performance.”

The competition will open with an individual summer reading challenge in July and August. Participating students are encouraged to read as many books of their choice as they can to be eligible for the individual prize categories.

Registrations will be open until June 30th, with registering students receiving a digital reading log to enter their readings, as well as periodic surprise challenges and plot twists. Students can register at

The team category challenges participants to read English or Arabic books, across different genres, including mystery, fiction, adventure, and poetry and then answer questions on the content of the books they read. The competition, which comprises two phases, will culminate with a grand live finale in March 2023, coinciding with UAE Reading Month.

In the first phase, running from September to November 2022, schools will prepare their teams through in-school training rounds. Around 72 teams will vie for places during inter-school semi-final qualifiers in January and February 2023, with school versus school rounds selected via a live draw.


Knock-out rounds will continue until the top teams remain for each genre, with each team then going forward to the competition’s Grand Finale.

The Grand Finale will take the form of a live quiz gameshow with contesting teams battling it out for the championship. The Battle of the Books’ ultimate winning team will lift a champions’ trophy, and valuable additional prizes will be awarded in different categories to eligible participating students.


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