Dubai: The first phase of the Dubai Digital Library was launched by the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation (MBRF) at an event organised by MBRF at the Higher Colleges of Technology-Dubai Men’s College in Academic City.

The library aims to provide an advanced electronic platform that supports a culture of reading by showcasing an extensive collection of Arabic books, including translated works covering all genres. It will also feature Arabic and international periodicals, dictionaries, biographies, photographs and maps.

“The Dubai Digital Library initiative complements the announcement of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa in Zayed Al Nahyan declaring 2016 as the Year of Reading in the UAE. The initiative is also led by the directives of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum [Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai] and Shaikh Ahmad Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum to provide an advanced electronic platform with books covering all genres,” said Jamal Bin Huwaireb, managing director of MBRF.

Bin Huwaireb stressed that through the various projects, MBRF aims to provide advanced platforms that facilitate knowledge sharing of the Arab culture with the rest of the world and underline its leading position among global cultures and civilisations.

“Our goal is to preserve our national heritage, culture and identity while building bridges of communication and understanding with different global cultures.”

During the first phase, the Dubai Digital Library will have over 1,600 books covering all aspects of documented knowledge, including language, medicine, pharmacy, geography, history, religion, sociology, biographies and others.

The library provides easy access to a vast body of knowledge through search options and tools. The Dubai Digital Library is available on multiple platforms and devices, and visitors also have the opportunity to put their comments.

Bin Huwaireb said that the Dubai Digital Library is one of MBRF’s ambitious project that seeks to enrich the volume of Arabic content online as well as promote the use of Arabic language while providing knowledge in a fast and interesting way for the community.

The library aims to reach the widest possible segment of people through its features such as Arabic and international books, dictionaries, translations, biographies, periodicals, pictures and maps. “MBRF also has several other initiatives such as the Dubai International Programme for Writing, Kindle editions of books, the ‘Book in Minutes’ initiative, Flashes and Wamadat magazines.”

A section of newspapers and magazines issued in Arabic as well as dictionaries will be provided to support the public in strengthening their language skills. In the coming days, a number of translated works will also be added. People with special needs can also access the library as there are plans to launch audio books on the platform. It will also include multimedia with images and videos.