With the literary scene turning increasingly energetic in the wake of the burgeoning popularity and impact of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, the need to channel this interest to schools is a pressing one. The Arabic Language Week, organised by the festival, concluded successfully last month and proved to be yet another significant event to grace the cultural calendar of Dubai. Generating an interest in reading among Emirati children is an important investment the UAE has to make for its future, as it is a cognitive pursuit with far-reaching implications for the intellectual growth of the country.

The more a child reads, the more he learns to challenge his imagination, a precursor to creativity. While technology’s hold over a child’s mind today has its proponents and detractors, there is scarcely any argument about the rewards of reading. A fact that finds its validation in the growing numbers of Emirati authors writing books for children. Programmes like the Arabic Language Week, which promotes visits to schools by young Emirati children’s book authors to interact and encourage children to read, reveal that the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is demonstrably on its way to achieving its many objectives.