Sheikh Zayed Book Award accepting submissions for 18th iteration

New Editing of Arabic Manuscripts category added for this year

Ali bin Tamim, chairman of Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, speaks at Sheikh Zayed Book Award ceremony held at Louvre Abu Dhabi. Photo: Khushnum Bhandari / The National
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The Sheikh Zayed Book Award is now accepting entries for the 18th iteration of the annual literary prize.

Organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), a part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), submissions will be open until October 1 and winners will be announced next year.

The award honours the usual nine categories: Literature; Publishing and Technology; Translation; Contribution to the Development of Nations; Arab Culture in Other Languages; Children’s Literature; Literary and Art Criticism; Young Author; and Cultural Personality of the Year.

A new segment has also been added this year: Editing of Arabic Manuscripts.

Winners of the 2023 Sheikh Zayed Book Award were honoured on the sidelines of Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2023. Photo: Arabic Language Centre

Applicants who want to apply must have made an impactful contribution to the art of editing manuscripts. The works submitted must be original while maintaining accuracy. They should also show in-depth understanding of the techniques and science of editing manuscripts or lexicons. The category is accepting works written in any language as long as they revolve around Arab culture and knowledge.

“We are proud of what the Sheikh Zayed Book Award has achieved over the past 17 years, growing year on year and cementing its position as a beacon of literature and culture. It continues to nurture the cultural movement in the UAE, the region, and the world, highlighting the very best literary works and intellectual contributions and fostering wider cross-cultural exchange between the UAE and nations around the globe,” said Ali bin Tamim, chairman of the ALC and secretary-general of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award.

“To ensure our continued success, we must adapt and evolve, and for the Award’s 18th edition we are pleased to offer the new Editing of Arabic Manuscripts category, which will allow us to showcase the important work of professionals in the field of Arabic heritage texts and highlight the beauty and richness of our heritage.”

Nominees can only submit one piece of work to one category for award consideration. Both authors and publishing houses can submit work, which must have been released in the past two years. Nominees must not have won any other prominent international or Arab prizes. Re-submissions will be accepted, provided they meet the two-year criterion. Books must have an ISBN number to verify property rights.

Submissions should be in Arabic for most categories, except for a few exceptions – the Translation category, for which they can either be translated from or into the language; Arab Culture in Other Languages category, which can include works in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Russian; as well as the new editing category.

Applicants for the Cultural Personality of the Year award must be nominated by a cultural, research or academic institution or by three influential intellectual and cultural figures.

The previous Sheikh Zayed Book Award recorded the largest number of entries across nine categories, with a total of 3,151 submissions from 60 countries, including all 22 Arab nations.

More information at

Updated: June 01, 2023, 11:45 AM