A young literature lover has earned the praise of the Ruler of Dubai after winning the UAE round of this year's Arab Reading Challenge.
Sultan Al Mazroui, 11, saw off competition from 452,000 other pupils across the country by reading an impressive 300 books in one year.
The fifth-grade pupil at Ajyal International School in Abu Dhabi will now go onto represent his country in the semi-finals of the annual event, to be held in the coming months.
Writing on Twitter, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, congratulated Sultan on his achievement.
“Sultan Salem Al Mazrouei read 300 books in one year and today he topped 450 thousand students from the UAE who participated in the Arab Reading Challenge which reached 21 million students from 51 countries around the world,” he said.
“Greetings to Sultan and greetings to a competitive generation of Arabs readers.”
Sultan said he was spurred on to keep on reading by Sheikh Mohammed.
"He is a major supporter in this challenge, and he gave us the positivity and motivation to read and become better people,' Sultan said.
"His advice and guidance reach to all segments of the UAE society, and the Arab world generally."
Sultan revealed his favourite author is Naguib Mahfouz, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1988.
"I love how he tackles important social issues in a simple manner and his novels are realistic and act as a mirror to the social life in the Egyptian society, and the Arab world at large.”
Atika Bint Zaid School in Khor Fakkan was crowned the UAE's best school.
The Arab Reading Challenge was launched in 2015 by Sheikh Mohammed with the aim to encourage one million students from across the region to read 50 books in one academic year.
It is open to anyone in the region, as well as Arabs living abroad, who are aged between eight and 18.
This year's challenge has attracted 21 million children from 51 countries.
Last year, Hadeel Anwar, a seventh-grader from Sudan was named the Arab Reading Challenge champion after more than 13 million learners from 49 nations took part.
She claimed a Dh500,000 top prize.