Dubai: His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Monday announced an integrated strategy to establish the UAE as a global 'centre of excellence' for Arabic language.
The announcement was made at the opening session of the first Mohammad Bin Rashid Policies Council, a new channel of communications with the community and a platform for creative and innovative ideas.
Underlining the 2,000-year heritage of Arabic, Shaikh Mohammad said that a focus on nurturing the language is important to uphold the Emirati national identity for future generations.
He explained that the new initiatives are in line with UAE Vision 2021 that aims at all-round development while promoting national identity and cultural cohesiveness.
"Our national identity is integrally linked to the Arabic language, which serves as an effective medium to express our values, culture and heritage. Promoting the language will enable our future generations to connect with our roots, society and values more effectively," said Shaikh Mohammad.
Shaikh Mohammad announced wide ranging initiatives to promote the use of Arabic, including the setting up of an Arabic Language Charter and the formation of an international committee of experts to promote Arabic as the language of science and technology.
He said that an Advisory Council, headed by the Minister of Culture, will implement the new Arabic Language Charter. The objective of the Charter is to protect the essence of the language and enhance its usage.
Other initiatives announced by Shaikh Mohammad include the setting up of a dedicated educational facility at Zayed University to promote Arabic education for non-Arabic speakers, and establishing a Faculty of Translation at the Mohammad Bin Rashid Media College.
The Zayed University facility will network with international universities and educational centres to also enable student transfer to the UAE for learning Arabic.
The Faculty of Translation is envisaged to become the hub for Arabic translation services in the region, which will offer quality educational materials for students.
Shaikh Mohammad announced plans to enhance Arabic content online through the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA). Poetry, story, calligraphy and reading competitions for school students will also be rolled out under the supervision of the Ministry of Education.
The international committee of experts to revive Arabic as the language of science and technology will be headed by Dr Farouk El Baz. The committee will recommend strategies to modernise scientific learning methods through Arabic that will benefit people across the Arab world.