Dubai: The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) launched UAEpedia at GITEX on Monday, designed to become the first comprehensive online encyclopaedia in the UAE, MohamMad Nasser Al Ghanim, TRA Director General, said.
Majed Al Mesmar, TRA Deputy Director General, told Gulf News that following Shaikh Mohammad’s initiative to support the Arabic language, TRA launched the encyclopedia.
“It is the Arabic version of the encyclopedia while the English one will be launched in 2014,” he said.
He added: “That the UAEpedia content is provided in standard Arabic while it has denotations to the Bedouin or emirati terms. Comprehensive information related to the UAE including the emirates’ history, achievements, prominent figures, rules and regulations, environment and all other details.
“There are details about the kind and nature of the sand of the UAE as well.”
According to Al Mesmar, the encyclopaedia will be the main source not only for emiratis but for everyone keen to look at or research about the UAE.
The website follows an open-source model, allowing the broader public to contribute and modify content.
“We present this achievement to President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and to Their Highnesses Rulers of the Emirates,” he said.
“We also dedicate it to all citizens, residents and lovers of the UAE. The Encyclopaedia is an embodiment of the principles of a knowledge-based society. It also enhances the principles of participation founded by the builder of our civilisation and the founder of our Union, the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan,” he added.
Salem Khamis Al Shair Al Suwaidi, Deputy Director General for Information and eGovernment Sector at TRA, said that currently there are nearly 1,000 articles distributed over 18 main topics such as geography, history, economy, language and literature, and hundreds of sub-topics related to the UAE. The encyclopedia will be useful to researchers, media, students and anyone interested to know more about the UAE.
“The encyclopaedia (UAEPedia.ae) is an initiative of the TRA’s Information and eGovernment Sector. TRA oversees development and implementation of the Federal eGovernment Plan which includes the Encyclopedia,” he said.
Al Suwaidi added that the current content would definitely grew rapidly as it is opened to everyone who would like to add new and genuine data about the UAE.
“However, these data will not be released or posted until we check its credibility through our team of researchers,” he said.