Dubai: Competition at the 22nd edition of the Dubai International Holy Quran Award (DIHQA) is heating up as nearly half of the contestants give their performance with just a week to go for the finals.

On Saturday, eight contestants performed in the packed hall of Dubai Chambers, including Ahmad K.N. Dwikat from Palestine, Abdul Baari Oloruntosin Salami from Ireland, Abdul Latif Abdul Majeed Abdul Latif Bastaki from Bahrain, Tapsoba Issahaka from Burkina Faso, Nepalese Umar Faruque, Amin Hussain from Sweden, Hassane Jibrilla Oumarou from Niger, and Zambian Usama Ilyas Patel.

Palestine’s 18-year-old Ahmad Dwikat performed admirably and credited his family for his rise, reaching Dubai after winning two local competitions.

A nursing student, Dwikat completed memorising the Quran at the age of 13.

Another stand out performer on Day 5 was 25-year-old Abdul Latif Bastaki from Bahrain.

An experienced performer, Bastaki has taken part in several international competitions over the last few years, finishing in the top five in many of the competitions.

Studying Islamic jurisprudence at the Sharia College in Bahrain, he also works at the Department of Quran in Bahrain.

Among the performers on Saturday was Nepal’s Omar Faruque, who completed memorising Quran at the age of 10.

One of the youngest performers this year, 14-year-old Faruque won three local competitions back home leading to his nominations for DIHQA.

One of the biggest competitions of its kind, in terms of prize money and participation, the annual contest has inspired hundreds of youngsters from around the world to take up memorisation of the Quran.

Spreading its reach further every passing year, the competition this year will has representation from 104 countries.