The BOOKHERO initiative is being held until September 4, with hundreds of books on display at the Oasis Centre Atrium. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: BOOKHERO, an annual initiative to distribute free books in the UAE, is back this year at the Oasis Centre Mall in Dubai.

The initiative is being held until September 4, with hundreds of books on display at the Oasis Centre Atrium.

Mohammed Al Qubaisi, CEO of BOOKHERO, said the educational books are being distributed at the Oasis Mall since August 8.

“BOOKHERO patrons might be familiar with its educational book swap initiative that began in 2016. Last year’s initiative saw 4,000 educational books given away for free. Following the success of the programme we decided to re-launch the programme for the benefit of students and parents,” said Al Qubaisi.

Founder of BOOKHERO Montserrat Martin said this initiative has grown popular among students and parents across the UAE over the years.

“Last year, we went the extra mile to provide four free educational books for a student as part of our arduous mission to encourage reading and make educational books accessible for all. The initiative has been well received and that is why we are back this year as well to support reading and making books accessible to all.”

Martin said: “In order to claim entitlement to the four free books, we ask students to share their details, proof of academic enrolment, etc.”

“We are responsible for encouraging people to read at very affordable costs - mainly Dh10-20. We have ‘staff free’ locations all over Dubai and Abu Dhabi where people can purchase books and pay directly inside an ‘honesty box’. We meet small community challenges, such as sending books to underdeveloped countries and financing the whole process,” said Martin.

Al Qubaisi added the company has also been financing an animal welfare helpline since 2010 that answers around 40,000 inquiries on a yearly basis. “Our free educational book swap programme since 2016 at Oasis Center Dubai, and other activities that make us who we are. The books are for free, no strings attached, no payments, and no returns. We only require that students appreciate the books and make the most out of them. Who knows, maybe we are giving free books to the next medicine or scientist Nobel Prize winner,” said Al Qubaisi. s

Martin said: “There is always more pleasure in giving than receiving. We would like for people to think of BookHero as an active body that creates hope and happiness through words. We are also hoping to spread this initiative with other companies, inviting them to find small community targets to help in whatever way they can.”