Dubai: His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, yesterday (Monday) chaired the first board of directors meeting for the Mohammad Bin Rashid Library Foundation (MBRLF).
Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, was present.
Shaikh Mohammad instructed members of the board to work towards attracting the best minds, books, scientists, linguists and intellectuals, stressing that “we want the library to be a house of wisdom where researchers meet, youths innovate and knowledge is generated”.
“We do not want the library to simply be a place that houses books, but also a place that attracts youth and encourages and motivates them towards literature, culture and knowledge,” said Shaikh Mohammad.
He pointed out that the library is a part of the UAE’s efforts exerted to consolidate the habit of reading in society and to make it a daily habit.
During the meeting held at Shaikh Mohammad’s office in Emirates Towers, the Vice-President instructed board members to start implementing the mechanisms for the library project. “I do not want you to wait till the project is completed. I want you start working now on attracting highly knowledgeable people.”
Shaikh Mohammad said that the library will be an extension of a series of live cultural projects in the country. “During the Year of Reading, the UAE by launching its cultural and literary initiatives has turned into the largest vibrant library,” he added.
Shaikh Mohammad told the board members that they are tasked with drawing up plans and policies, and innovating diverse initiatives and activities to make reading a daily value in UAE society.
Mohammad Abdullah Al Murr, Chairman of the MBRLF, said: “At a time when calls for division and racism are on the rise in some countries, Shaikh Mohammad calls for cultural openness and tolerance, as he proves day after day that he is an exceptional visionary leader.”
Recently, Shaikh Mohammad issued a law establishing the library as a public organisation. The Dh1-billion library, launched by Shaikh Mohammad last February, will feature more than 1.5 million volumes, one million audio books and two million e-books, making it the world’s largest electronic collection and the biggest library in the Arab world.