UAE: Reading competition for students to run from January to April

This year, the contest has been expanded to include kindergarten pupils, in addition to those at elementary and intermediate levels

File photo
File photo

Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Tue 17 Jan 2023, 2:50 PM

Last updated: Tue 17 Jan 2023, 3:45 PM

Youngsters across the UAE will be encouraged to pick up a book and read as much as they can when the latest edition of the Creative Reader Competition is launched by MAKTABA, the Library Management arm of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi).

The competition kicks off in January 2023 and runs through April 2023.

The annual Creative Reader Competition motivates children to not only read as much as they can in Arabic and English, but also to visit and support the emirate’s public libraries. The programme aims to contribute to participants’ intellectual and cultural development and foster a love of reading among the younger generations.

Open to students at public and private schools across the UAE, this year the competition welcomes a new age group, kindergarten students, in addition to elementary and intermediate levels (cycle 1 and cycle 2).

Shaikha Mohammed Al Muhairi, Library Management Department Director at DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “For nearly a decade, the Creative Reader Competition has instilled a culture of reading by motivating children and teenagers to read about a huge range of topics. The competition continues to attract new participants and plays a significant role in building a knowledgeable and culture-based society. We expect to see more participants in this edition, especially with the inclusion of kindergarten students to the competition this year alongside students from Cycle 1 and Cycle 2.”

The competition is open to participants across the country. Those wishing to take part must obtain a MAKTABA membership and register via the MAKTABA website, then pass a personal or virtual assessment interview. Participants must read as many books as possible, fill out the competition form and submit it on time. All competition details are available in a special booklet that can be obtained from schools, public libraries or the MAKTABA website.

The judging panel, which includes writers, educators and librarians, will assess entries based on parameters including the percentage of booklet completion, the number of books borrowed from public libraries, reading comprehension level, and linguistic, critical analysis and creative thinking skills.

Participants can borrow books from MAKTABA branches across Abu Dhabi, and from the MAKTABA digital library. There is also the opportunity to join virtual reading clubs.

The previous edition of the Creative Reader Competition attracted 627 participants, including People of Determination, from all seven emirates – a year-on-year increase of more than 111 percent, reflecting the growing interest of youth in reading for fun and cultural development.

Those interested in participating in the competition can register via the website:


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