Abu Dhabi: His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, praised the young readers in the region on the occasion of launching the national Month of Reading in the UAE.

“Our region is stronger with enlightened young readers,” he tweeted on Saturday.

The tweet said: “With the start of the UAE’s Month of Reading, I received a number of participants of the Arab Reading Challenge’s fourth edition, which has so far reached 13 million students from 49 countries.”

The national Month of Reading was launched in accordance with the Cabinet decision, which set the month of March of every year as the reading month, with the aim of promoting a culture of reading among different segments of society, according to a press release issued by the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development on Saturday.

Commenting on the event, Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, said the Month of Reading is an annual event, in which educational and cultural institutions launch their initiatives, projects and programmes that stimulate the community to read and make reading a daily habit in our life.

She said the UAE has developed legislative frameworks and sustainable action programmes and integrated strategies to build a culture among youth about the role of reading.

Al Kaabi pointed out that reading is the characteristic of civilised societies. The UAE has entered a new phase with the decision of the President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to enact the National Reading Law, the first of its kind in the world, to support the development of human capital.

The UAE launched the National Strategy for Reading 2016-2026, which aims to integrate reading into the lifestyle of the UAE society by 2026 by focusing on fostering a culture of reading within households, students and employees. It includes 30 key national trends in the education, health, culture, community development, media and content sectors, said the press release.