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Three million books will be distributed across thousands of schools in the Arab world. Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has directed the distribution of three million books across thousands of schools in the Arab world to promote reading.

The initiative follows Monday’s inauguration by Sheikh Mohammed of the Mohammed bin Rashid Library, a new cultural beacon in the region built with an investment of Dh1 billion to cultivate a culture of reading, while supporting the development of creativity, knowledge and art at both individual and social levels. It will provide a platform for intellectual, literary and imaginative minds across the region and the world.

Sheikh Mohammed said: “The Mohammed bin Rashid Library seeks to deliver a quintessential Arabic message; it will have an overall impact on the entire region with a vision to enrich the cultural landscape in the Arab region and globally.

“We have the largest reading competition in the Arab world wherein 22 million students participate, and we have the latest Arabic library built at a cost of Dh1 billion with a noble mission to revive importance and reverence for books amongst our new generations.”

Sheikh Mohammed said that knowledge is the basis of progress, and a knowledge of books is the basis upon which other knowledge is to be built. “Reading is the most important skill that our new generations can be armed with. The Mohammed bin Rashid Library will play a genuine role in consolidating culture and knowledge while promoting the habit of reading nationally and on the Arab level.”

The Mohammed bin Rashid Library aims to help people with various interests, especially young people, to access printed and digital books, in order to shape an Arab generation that understands the role of reading and culture in society’s development.

Across its seven floors, the Library includes more than 1.1 million printed and digital books in Arabic and foreign languages, over 6 million dissertations, around 73,000 music scores, 75,000 videos, approximately 13,000 articles, and more than 5,000 historical print and digital journals within an archive covering 325 years, along with about 35,000 print and digital newspapers from around the world, and nearly 500 rare collectibles.

The library will open its doors to the public on Thursday.