Dubai: The 15th cycle of the Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Distinguished Academic Performers yesterday honoured 186 winners who excelled in academic achievement, behaviour and work development.

Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, gave away the awards to winners at a ceremony in Dubai on Wednesday at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Speaking at the event, Shaikh Hamdan said: “Thankfully, in the 15 years that the award has been established it has honoured the achievements of quantity and quality and perhaps even had a hand in the establishment of educational quality standards, as well as the creation of an intellectual and philosophical reflection for excellence. Furthermore it has developed a modern scientific database for spotting and nurturing the gifted.”

Shaikh Hamdan also commended UAE University for receiving the “Distinguished Institute of the Year” award and thanked Abu Dhabi Police who won the “Education-Supporting Institution” award for its support to education.

During the event the Minister of Education Humaid Al Qutami congratulated the winners and thanked the UAE leadership for supporting education throughout the changes that the sector is witnessing.

“We praise the UAE leadership for their unlimited support to the education sector which is witnessing a shift in its interactive scene which includes scientific developments in the management of education. It also supported the changes in the means of communication and telecommunication, and the interlaced issues in culture and values that all represent the most prominent features of contemporary education.”

The award honoured 186 winners out of which 162 were from the ‘Outstanding Student’ category.

In the ‘Outstanding Student’ category 61 public school students were awarded the Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Distinguished Academic Performance.

One of the winners, grade 10 student Ahmad Hamdan Mohammad who is studying at the Abu Dhabi School for Secondary Education, said that winning the award has contributed to building his character and leadership skills.

“I consider the award to be a documentation of my talents and educational excellence. I feel happy and thankful to God first and my parents second for helping me in developing my interests,” said Mohammad.

University student Dina Ahmad who studies at the Khalifa University of Science Technology and Research stated that the Hamdan award is proof that hard work does pay.

“I am honoured to have received the award. It made me feel like all the hard work I have put in over the last three years has paid off. I believe that the Hamdan award is a great motivation for students to work hard and excel in their education,” she added.

The award also honoured two elderly students from the northern emirates who have excelled in education despite their age. They won in the ‘Outstanding Student’ category.

One of the winners, grandmother Shaikha Abdouli who is studying in the 8th grade at the Dibba Centre for females, is proof that education has no age limit. “Although I am a grandmother and I have many responsibilities I have always been the type that wants to excel in everything that I do. For this reason I was persistent in continuing my studies despite my age and even excelled in it.”

As for winners from the GCC countries the award honoured 16 individuals of whom seven won in the “outstanding student” category, six in the ‘Outstanding Teacher’ category and three in the ‘School and School Management’ category.

Other categories included ‘Applied Educational Research’ which was won by two people from the Abu Dhabi Education district. The award also honoured teachers, schools, families, researchers and education-supporting institutes.

To view all the winners visit the Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Distinguished Academic Performer website: