Dubai: Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation (MBRF), a member of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Global Initiatives, has announced the expansion of its knowledge initiatives and projects to consolidate its efforts in the dissemination, transfer and localisation of knowledge in the region.

The enhanced initiatives were unveiled in line with the announcement of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to mark 2016 as the Year of Reading, and based on the directives of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to promote knowledge dissemination in the UAE and the Arab community.

Inspired by the vision and support of Shaikh Ahmad Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of MBRF, the foundation has managed to establish its leading position in the Arab region as a competitive knowledge institution that has enhanced the position of Dubai and the UAE on the knowledge map as a centre of education, scientific research and development, stated Jamal Bin Huwaireb, managing director of MBRF.

Bin Huwaireb said the foundation is keen to take forward its initiatives to the next stage to support reading and knowledge, and build the positive capacity of the youth in the region. It will also work to develop initiatives to achieve the UAE vision to support sustainable development at all levels.

Since its inception, MBRF has played a key role in spreading the culture of reading among all members of society, through a combination of initiatives, which have had great success among all members of society. Most notable among them are: A Book in Minutes, My Family Reads, and the recently launched ‘Dubai’s Digital Library, as well as the Knowledge Chair, Audio Book and Ladies Lounge.

A Book in Minutes was launched to share knowledge with the widest possible audience by publishing translated summaries of international publications by prominent authors to ensure that they can be read and understood in a matter of minutes. The titles covered topics like positive energy, human resources development, life management and leadership, and successful case studies of individuals and institutions that have contributed towards building communities, families and modern society while proactively facing life’s challenges.

My Family Reads initiative aims to encourage learning and reading throughout society in the UAE. Various book collections from across the world, including classics and best-selling titles, are selected based on the Foundation’s criteria. These books are translated into Arabic and distributed among 50,000 families in the UAE, starting with Dubai, and followed by the other emirates.

As part of the MBRF’s efforts to make use of the latest technological developments to provide advanced platforms for the transfer of knowledge and culture, the foundation has launched initiatives such as Dubai Digital Library which supports a culture of reading by showcasing an extensive collection of Arabic books, including translated works covering all genres. The digital library also features Arabic and international periodicals, dictionaries, biographies, photographs and maps.

Within the same framework, MBRF announced late last year during the World Arabic Language Day the launch of its Audio Book initiative. The best Arabic books are recorded with sound provided by a distinguished group of journalists and media figures in the Arab world. The Audio Book is published on various media platforms to enhance the reach of high-quality Arab audio content.

To promote the culture of reading in public places, MBRF, in cooperation with Roads and Transport Authority, launched the Knowledge Chair initiative at RTA Customer Service Centre at Umm Al Ramool, and the Public Transport Library at Emirates Metro Station. The initiative features a mini library comprising an array of outstanding recent publications in several fields such as management, innovation, child stories and novels.

The foundation has also launched a Ladies Lounge’, which is a women’s book club in the UAE and the Arab world, to promote the culture of reading and writing among Arab women.

The foundation is also considering the launch of a children’s reading club.