Dubai: Emirates airline and Google are celebrating Arabic reading all through October in a collaboration to reach millions of smartphone users in the region and support UAE’s Year of Reading initiative.
The collaboration aims to make Arabic books more accessible for first-time online book readers and book lovers alike with discounts of up to 90 per cent on online books at the Google Play Books store, which hosts more than 5,000,000 titles.
Discounts are valid across nine countries in the Google Play Store (both in IOS and Android) for the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt. This is the first such online book initiative, and the first discount of this scale in the region at the Google Play Store.
For a four-week period, Google will run its highest-ever discount on the Play Books store on more than 4,000 popular fiction, non-fiction and children’s titles in an effort to reach millions of smartphone users in the Middle East and GCC.
Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation and Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates airline and Group, said: “Our ‘Celebrating Arabic Reading’ initiative with Google aims to encourage more people to read, and try out Arabic e-books. Smartphones and tablets are increasingly a part of our daily lives, so it makes perfect sense to promote reading on these new platforms as well. People are hungry for content, especially Arabic digital content, and there isn’t a smarter investment for the future of this region than providing access to e-books to broaden the horizons of millions.”
Ronan Harris, vice-president for Large Customer Sales for Google Europe Middle East and Africa, said: “Technology has always played a pivotal role in providing people with equal access to information, and empowering them with knowledge. That’s something we’re very passionate about at Google and it’s in line with our core mission here in Mena to help promote and preserve local Arabic content on the web whether it was on YouTube, Search, Maps or Play. Through our collaboration with Emirates, we hope we can make Arabic literature more accessible and enjoyable than ever. There is so much opportunity to build the digital ecosystem here and we’re happy to have partners like Emirates make it happen.”
Emirates also commissioned the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature and the Emirates Literature Foundation to help identify and curate a collection of over 50 Arabic books in the Google Play Books store that will be discounted at 90 per cent off. This curated book collection encompasses a wide variety of best-selling fiction and nonfiction titles.