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(From left) Dr Aref Al Sheikh, Dr. Rafia Ghubash, Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, Ibrahim Eissa and Ahmad Al-Jarallah at Habtoor Palace in Dubai on Tuesday. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, founding chairman of Al Habtoor Group and founder of the Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Lifetime Achievement Award, honoured a group of exceptional media talents at a ceremony here on Tuesday.

Lifetime achievement awards were presented to Ibrahim Eissa, a 56-year-old Egyptian journalist and TV personality, and to 79-year-old Ahmad Al-Jarallah, a Kuwaiti journalist, author and editor-in-chief of Kuwaiti newspapers Arab Times and Al-Seyassah and owner of the weekly magazine Al-Hada.

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Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor presents the award to Ahmad Al-Jarallah. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Khalaf Al Habtoor presented the third award to Dr Rafia Obaid Ghubash, a 65-year-old Emirati psychiatrist and epidemiologist and former president of the Arabian Gulf University in Bahrain.

Marcel Ghanem, a 56-year-old Lebanese journalist, was also honoured with the award. He hosted the widely popular Lebanese political talk show ‘Kalam El-Nas’.

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The award being presented to Ibrahim Eissa. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

The Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Achievement Award was established in 2017 to recognise individuals or organisations with a proven track record of contribution to the advancement of arts and culture in the Middle East. The award is presented to artists, writers, scientists, academics and athletes who have excelled in their field and who have had a lasting impact on society for at least three decades of service to their respective industry.

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Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor presents the award to Dr Rafia Ghubash. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

“Last year was the pandemic year that separated us. Today we are gathering — thanks to the UAE for providing and supporting everyone. Many countries were in lockdown, but we are fine in the UAE. I want to thank the journalists and media personalities for their support and for raising awareness among the public through dissemination of news and information,” said Khalaf Al Habtoor during the ceremony held at Al Habtoor Palace Dubai, LXR Hotels and Resorts in Al Habtoor City.

“We honour the personalities while they are still alive — not after their death. It is very important,” Al Habtoor added.

The personalities who were honoured in turn thanked the UAE and Khalaf Al Habtoor for the awards and for being recognised for their work, especially during the pandemic.

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Timeline of Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Lifetime Achievement Award:

2017: The first edition of the award was given to the late Kuwaiti actor and writer, Abdul Hussein Abdul Redha.

2018: The second edition of the award was presented to Prince Khalid Al Faisal, the then governor of Makkah.

2019: The third edition of the award was presented to Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub for his outstanding accomplishments in the fields of cardiothoracic surgery and transplants.