Abu Dhabi: The 2008 Abu Dhabi Awards nomination campaign has come to an end after a one month nomination period.

The final count is 42,536 nominations, around 25 per cent more votes than last year. The awards are an annual recognition ceremony to reward everyday citizens for their good deeds and was inaugurated in 2005.

Humane acts

The awards are designed to encourage people to commit acts of humanity and generosity among their fellows and are open to various nationalities and all ages.

More than 8,000 nominations were seen in 2005, its first year while last year saw over 34,000 nominations. As many as 84 per cent of the 2008 submissions were generated in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the rest came from Al Ain and Al Gharbia. Almost three quarters of all nominations were submitted during the Eid holidays.

"We are pleased with the total number of nominations received, but even more delighted with the increase in how many different individuals were recognised." said Maryam Amiri of the Awards organising committee. She went on to thank the members of the community for their continuing support.

All nominations are currently being looked at individually by a panel whose final shortlist will be reviewed by a judging committee, made up of senior government officials.

The merit of people nominated will determine the final number of awards given. In 2005 and 2006 ten individuals received awards, while only nine were handed out in 2007.

The Abu Dhabi Awards Ceremony will take place in December, with the exact date still to be decided. Awards will be presented by General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.