Sheikh Zayed Book Award has opened submissions for its 17th edition. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: The Sheikh Zayed Book Award (SZBA) has opened submissions for its 17th edition, with submissions to be accepted until October 1.

Organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), the award is one of the most prestigious for writers and publishers of the Arabic word.

The previous edition of the award — the 16th edition — had received the largest number of submissions across its nine categories since its inception, with more than 3,000 submissions from 55 countries. This represented an increase of 28 per cent over the 15th edition.


The SZBA classifies submissions into nine categories: Literature, Translation, Contribution to the Development of Nations, Arab Culture in Other Languages, Children’s Literature, Literary and Art Criticism, Young Author, Publishing and Technology, and Cultural Personality of the Year.

“The Sheikh Zayed Book Award continues to make strides towards enriching Arab culture and today, we are on the verge of a new chapter for the initiative, where it continues to embrace innovators and creative thinkers from around the world,” said Dr Ali bin Tamim, ALC chairman and secretary-general of SZBA.

“The award is now one of the most respected of its kind, as proven by the unprecedented number of nominees in its most recent edition, where writers and thinkers from various fields competed for the prize. This year, we again look forward to receiving a host of imaginative and enlightening new works,” he added.

How to apply

The award receives self-nominations from authors, as well as submissions from publishing houses, which can nominate books that they have published, with written consent from the authors. The nominated works must meet a set of criteria to be submitted for consideration for SZBA.

All nominated works must have been published within the past two years and must not have won any prominent international awards. Original nominated works should be written in Arabic, with the exception of works nominated under the Translation category, which must be translated to or from Arabic, and submissions under the Arab Culture in Other Languages category, where works published in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Russian are accepted. For the Cultural Personality of the Year Award, entrants must be nominated by academic, research or cultural institutions; literary bodies and universities; or by three prominent intellectual and cultural figures. Nominees for all other categories are required to personally fill out the nomination forms on the SZBA website.

Nominees can submit their submissions to SZBA and access more information about the process on the official SZBA website or by emailing