Suvarna Garge (Editor)

Sheikh Zayed Book Award

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First awarded

United Arab Emirates

Official website
Awarded for
Arab writers, intellectuals, publishers

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award is "one of the most prestigious and well-funded prizes in the Arab World." It is presented yearly to "Arab writers, intellectuals, publishers as well as young talent whose writings and translations of humanities have scholarly and objectively enriched Arab cultural, literary and social life." The award was established in memory of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the principal architect of United Arab Emirates, the ruler of Abu Dhabi and president of the UAE for over 30 years (1971–2004). The first award was in 2007. The total value of the prizes is DH 7,000,000 making it one of the richest literary awards in the world.

The "Cultural Person of the Year" is the premier category, it includes an award of one million Dirhams (around $300,000) while the other categories receive around $200,000 each.

Beginning with 2013 awards, a new category was added called "Arabic Culture in Other Languages" worth $205,000 "to honor best written works in Chinese, German and English languages on the subject of the Arabic civilization and culture including novels, short stories, poems, biographies, history and arts." In addition a number of other categories were merged, created or redefined.

Each year, the category titles and number of categories can change.



  • Cultural Personality of the Year: Denys Johnson-Davies
  • Literature: Wacini Laredj, The Prince and the Passage of the Iron Doors
  • Fine arts: Tharwat Ukhasha, The Indian Art
  • Translation: Georges Zinaty, Althat a'inha Ka'khr (translated from French to Arabic)
  • Contribution to the Development of Nations: Bashir Mohamed Al-Khadra, The Prophetic – Caliphate Pattern in the Arab Political Leadership and Democracy
  • Young author: Mahmoud Zein Al-Abedeen, Architecture of the Ottoman Mosques
  • Children's literature: Mohammed Ali Ahmad, A Journey on Paper
  • 2008

  • Cultural Personality of the Year: Mohamed Benaissa
  • Literature: Ibrahim al Kouni, Call of What Was Far
  • Fine arts: Rifat al-Chaderji, Dialectics and Causality of Architecture
  • Translation: Faiz Assayagh, Sociology
  • Young author: Mohamed Saadi, The Future of International Relations
  • Publishing and Distribution: Emirates Centre for Scientific Research and Studies
  • Children's literature: Huda Al-Shawwa Qadoumi, The Journey of Birds: To Qaf Mountain (about Mount Qaf)
  • 2009

  • Cultural Personality of the Year: Pedro Martinez Montavez
  • Literature: Jamal Al Ghitani, Ren
  • Fine arts: Maher Rady, Thought of Light
  • Translation: Sa'ad Abdulaziz Maslouh, Translation Theory: Contemporary Trends (translation of Edwin Gentzler's Contemporary Translation Theories)
  • Contribution to the Development of Nations: Baqer Salman Al Najjar, The Strenuous Democracy in the Arabian Gulf
  • Young author: Youcef Oghlici, The Intricacy of Terminology in the New Arab Discourse
  • Publishing and Distribution: Dar Al Masriah Al Lubnaniah
  • 2010

  • Cultural Personality of the Year: Khalid bin Mohammed Al Qasimi
  • Best Contribution to the Development of the Country: Ammar AM Hasan, The Political Establishment of Sufism in Egypt
  • Young author: Mohammad Al Mallakh, Time in Arabic Language: Its Linguistic Structure and Significance
  • Translation: Albert Habib Mutlaq, The Animal Encyclopedia
  • Fine arts: lyad Al Husseini, The Art of Design
  • Children's literature: Qais Sedki, Gold Ring
  • Publishing and Distribution: Nahdet Misr Publishing and Printing
  • Literature: Hafnaoui Baali, Comparative Cultural Criticism- an Introduction (Note: Award withdrawn due to "research methodologies and ethics employed by the author" i.e. plagiarism)
  • 2011

  • Cultural Personality of the Year: Xhong Jikun
  • Contribution to the Development of Nations: Abdul Raouf Sinno, Harb Lubnan 1975–1990
  • Literature: Mohammad Miftah, Mafaheem Muwasa'a Li Nazaryah Shi'ryah
  • Translation: Mohammad Ziyad Kibbeh, Al Tharwah wa lqtisad Al Ma'rifah (trans from Revolutionary Wealth by Alvin and Heidi Toffler)
  • Children's literature: Alaf Tabbalah, Al Bayt Wal Nakhlah
  • 2012

  • Cultural Personality of the Year: UNESCO
  • Fine Arts: Shaker Abdel-Hamid, Art and Eccentrics
  • Translation: Abu Y'arub Al Marzouqi, A Prelude to Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy (from the German book by Edmund Horsel)
  • Young author: Layla Al Obaidi, Al Fakh in Islam ("Humor in Islam")
  • Publishing and Distribution: Brill Publishers
  • Best Technology in the Field of Culture: Paju Bookcity
  • Children's Literature: Abdo Wazen, The Boy Who Saw the Color of Air
  • 2013

  • Cultural Personality of the Year: Ahmed el-Tayeb (Egypt)
  • Arab Culture in Non-Arabic Languages: Marina Warner (UK), Stranger Magic: Charmed States and the Arabian Nights
  • Translation: Fathi Meskini (Tunisia), Being and Time (from the German by Martin Heidegger)
  • Literary and Art Criticism: Abdullah Ibrahim (Iraq), Al Takhayol Al Tarikhi (Historic Visualization)
  • Publishing and Cultural Technologies: National Council for Culture, Arts and Literature, Kuwait
  • Best Contribution to the Development of the Country: Elizabeth Kassab (Lebanon), Contemporary Arab Thought (Arabic: Al Fikr al 'arabi al Mu'aser)
  • Young Author: Adil Hadjami (Morocco), Falsafat Jeel Deleuze ("Deleuze philosophy on Existentialism and Difference")
  • 2014

  • Cultural Personality of the Year: Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, Ruler of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Contribution to the Development of Nations: Saeed Abdullah Al Soyan for his study "The Epic of Human Evolution"
  • Children's Literature: Jawdat Fakhr Eldine for his book "Thirty Poems for Children"
  • Young Author: Rami Abu Shihab for his book "Permanence and Deception: Post-Colonial Discourse in the Contemporary Arab Criticism"
  • Translation: Mohammed Al Tahir Al Mansouri (Tunisia) for translating the book "Housing the Stranger in the Mediterranean World"
  • Literature: Abdel Rasheed Mahmoudi (Egypt) for his novel "After Coffee"
  • Literary and Art Criticism: (no award)
  • Arabic Culture in Other Languages: Mario Liverani (Italy) for his book "Imagining Babylon"
  • Publishing and Technology: Arab Foundation "House of Wisdom", from Tunisia
  • 2015

  • Cultural Personality of the Year: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
  • Contribution to the Development of Nations: (no award)
  • Children's Literature: (no award)
  • Young Author: (no award)
  • Translation: Hanawa Haruo (Japan) for translating Naguib Mahfouz's Cairo Trilogy into Arabic
  • Literature: Osama Alaysa (Palestine) for his novel Majaneen bait lahem ("The fools of Bethlehem")
  • Literary and Art Criticism: (no award)
  • Arabic Culture in Other Languages: Sugita Hideaki (Japan) for Arabian-Naito to Nihon-Jin ("The Arabian Nights and the Japanese")
  • Publishing and Technology: Arab Scientific Publishers Inc. (Lebanon)
  • 2016

  • Cultural Personality of the Year: TBD
  • Children's Literature: (no award)
  • Young Author: (no award)
  • Contribution to the Development of Nations: Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi (UAE) for Al-Sarab (The Mirage)
  • Translation: Keyan Yahya (Iraq) for translation of The Meaning of Meaning by Ogden and Richards
  • Literature: Ibrahim Abdelmeguid (Egypt) for Ma Wara’a al-Kitaba (Beyond Writing)
  • Literary and Art Criticism: Said Yaktine for Al-Fikr al-Adabi al-‘Arabi (Arabic Literary Thought)
  • Arab Culture in Other Languages: Roshdi Rashed (Egypt) for Angles et Grandeur
  • Publishing and Technology: Dar Al-Saqi publishers of London
  • References

    Sheikh Zayed Book Award Wikipedia

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