Sheikh Zayed Book Award

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Sheikh Zayed Book Award
Sheikh Zayed Book Award medal.jpg
Awarded for Arab writers, intellectuals, publishers
Date annual
Country United Arab Emirates
First awarded 2007
Official website

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award is "one of the most prestigious and well-funded prizes in the Arab World."[1] 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."[2] 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.[3]

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."[4] In addition a number of other categories were merged, created or redefined.[5][6]

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









  • 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 [19][20]

  • 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


  • Cultural Personality of the Year: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum[22]
  • Contribution to the Development of Nations: (no award)[23]
  • Children's Literature: (no award)[21]
  • Young Author: (no award)[23]
  • 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")[24]
  • Literary and Art Criticism: (no award)[23]
  • 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)


  • Cultural Personality of the Year: Amin Maalouf[26]
  • 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

2017 [27]

  • Cultural Personality of the Year: Abdallah Laroui [28] [29]
  • Children's Literature: Lateefa Buti (Kuwait) for Bila qubba’a (Hatless)
  • Young Author: (no award)
  • Contribution to the Development of Nations: Mohammad Chahrour (Syria) for Al Islam wal Insan (Islam and the Human Being)
  • Translation: Ziad Bou Akel (Lebanon/France) for translation from Arabic to French of Averroés: Le Philosophe Et La Loi’ Ibn Rushd
  • Literature: Abbas Beydoun (Lebanon) for Khareef al Bara’a (The Autumn of Innocence)
  • Literary and Art Criticism: Said Al Ghanimi (Iraq/Australia) for Fā‘iliyyat al-Khayāl al-Adabī (The Validity of Literary Fiction)
  • Arab Culture in Other Languages: David Wirmer for Vom Denken der Natur zur Natur des Denkens
  • Publishing and Technology: Kalimat Group, Sharjah, UAE


  1. ^ "Sheikh Zayed Book Award announces its 5th Year Winners", 2011 announcement page
  2. ^ "About" page, Sheikh Zayed Book Award
  3. ^ "Government founds 1m [pounds sterling] book prize." The Bookseller 2 Mar. 2007: 18. Literature Resource Center. Web. 8 Oct. 2012. GALE|A164104106
  4. ^ "Literary Prize Recognizes Works Celebrating Arabic Culture in English." Entertainment Close-up 10 May 2012. General OneFile. Web. 8 Oct. 2012.
  5. ^ "Nominations pour in for sheikh zayed book prize." (2012, Aug 26). The National [Abu Dhabi]. ProQuest document ID 1035160511
  6. ^ "Sheikh Zayed Book Award Launches Its Revamped Website." Islamic Finance News [Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia] 1 Aug. 2012. Infotrac Newsstand. Web. 8 Oct. 2012.
  7. ^ a b c d e f "Winners 2007-2012". Retrieved December 1, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Major Cultural Award in Arab World Announces Winners." PR Newswire 17 Mar. 2008. Gale Student Resources In Context. Web. 8 Oct. 2012. GALE|A176762249
  9. ^ "Zayed Book Award announces Spanish scholar Pedro Montavez Cultural Personality of the Year." The Emirates 9 Mar. 2009. General OneFile. Web. 8 Oct. 2012. GALE|A195259752
  10. ^ "Winners of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award 2010." (2010). Middle East (410), 59. ISSN 0305-0734
  11. ^ Neild, Barry. "Japanese manga heroes join fight to save Arabic culture." CNN. September 10, 2010. Retrieved on September 10, 2010.
  12. ^ "Sheikh Zayed Book Award withdraws Literature Award." WAM – United Arab Emirates News Agency, Oct 26, 2010. Article A240530982 Last accessed Oct. 8, 2012
  13. ^ "Judges take back AED 750,000 Zayed literary prize on plagiarism grounds". Retrieved October 11, 2012. 
  14. ^ Sheikh Zayed Book Award’s Board of Trustees Statement of winners for the Award’s Sixth Session 2011/2012 Archived 2012-03-30 on Wayback Machine., award website,
  15. ^ Book news from the Emirates Archived 2012-04-06 on Wayback Machine., David Tresilian, Al-Ahram Weekly On-Line, 5 – 11 April 2012, Issue No. 1092
  16. ^ "Sheikh Zayed Book Award promotes new category in Berlin". Khaleej Times. 10 September 2012. Retrieved Oct 8, 2012. 
  17. ^ "2013 Sheikh Zayed Book Award Winners Announced". April 3, 2013. Archived from the original on November 10, 2013. Retrieved November 9, 2013. 
  18. ^ mlynxqualey (April 2, 2013). "Sheikh Zayed Book Award for Literature Withheld Again This Year". Arabic Literature (in English). Retrieved November 9, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Sheikh Zayed Book Award names Personality of the Year 2014". Sheikh Zayed Book Award. April 16, 2014. Retrieved May 27, 2014. 
  20. ^ Lindsay Carroll (March 31, 2014). "Egyptian author wins Sheikh Zayed Book Award for Literature". The National. United Arab Emeritus. Retrieved May 27, 2014. 
  21. ^ a b "Sheikh Zayed Book Award Ninth Session Winners Announced". Retrieved December 1, 2015. 
  22. ^ Ayesha Al Khoori (April 15, 2015). "Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid named Cultural Personality of the Year". Retrieved December 1, 2015. 
  23. ^ a b c Staff writer (March 16, 2015). "Three Sheikh Zayed Book Award categories disqualified due to poor quality". Retrieved December 1, 2015. 
  24. ^ Saeed Saeed (May 9, 2015). "Sheikh Zayed Book Award winner Osama Alaysa finds new meanings in madness". Retrieved December 1, 2015. 
  25. ^ "Sheikh Zayed Book Award Announces Winners of Its Tenth Cycle (2015-2016)". Sheikh Zayed Book Award website. 6 April 2016. Retrieved April 12, 2016. 
  26. ^ "The 'Cultural Personality of the Year' Award Winner". Sheikh Zayed Book Award website. Retrieved April 28, 2017. 
  27. ^ "Sheikh Zayed Book Award Eleventh Session Winners Announced". Sheikh Zayed Book Award website. 9 March 2017. Retrieved April 28, 2017. 
  28. ^ "Sheikh Zayed Book Award Names Abdallah Laroui "Cultural Personality of the Year"". Sheikh Zayed Book Award website. 5 April 2017. Retrieved April 28, 2017. 
  29. ^ "Laroui named Cultural Personality of the Year". Gulf News. 5 April 2017. Retrieved April 28, 2017. 

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