Dubai: A new Dh5 million prize, called the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Tolerance Award, will be awarded in Dubai in February 2020 to individuals and entities who have demonstrated a significant impact in promoting tolerance in the community.

Nominations open

On Sunday, Dubai-based International Institute for Tolerance (IIT) announced in Dubai the start of nominations for the award, open to all people and entities globally.

The award’s five categories — human thought, literary creativity, arts, youth projects, and new media — each carry a Dh1 million cash prize.

IIT is expecting around 30,000 applications and nominations, with the deadline set for “the end of this year”.

Individuals and entities worldwide with outstanding achievements in promoting tolerance can be nominated for the “first-of-its-kind award”, which will be presented at a ceremony in Dubai on February 19, 2020.


Nominations can be made by registering on the award’s website,, in accordance with the criteria and conditions approved by the award’s board of trustees.

The award, to be held every two years, was launched earlier by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The award also aims to encourage entrepreneurship in establishing “tolerance norms” both at the national and international levels, in addition to promoting interfaith dialogue and portraying the true image of Islam as a religion of tolerance.

First global initiative

Speaking at Sunday’s press conference, IIT managing director Dr Hamad Al Shaikh Ahmad Al Shaibani said: “The [award] is the first global initiative of its kind that seeks to promote the value of tolerance that the UAE holds dear, and widen the scope for openness and cross-cultural exchange. Launching this award in the UAE’s Year of Tolerance [2019] is particularly significant.”

Al Shaibani added: “We announce today the start of competitions to pick winners for the first edition of the award that includes a collective cash prize of Dh5 million.”

The award’s secretary-general, Major General Ahmed Khalfan Al Mansoori, said: “This international award celebrates achievements that promote tolerance in the areas of human intellect, culture and art, in addition to honouring individuals and entities across five categories: human thought, literary creativity, arts, youth projects, and new media.”

Al Mansoori added: “The [award] is open to all candidates representing all sectors within the UAE and beyond. All members of the public can submit their nominations with proof points where applicable through the award website. Individuals that are recommended by eminent personalities from within their society can also participate in this award.”

Measuring impact

Al Mansoori told Gulf News submissions for the award started coming in on November 16, the ‘International Day for Tolerance’, which was started by Unesco in 1995. He said the submissions are coming in daily from the UAE and abroad.

The secretary-general added that “for sure, we will see what is the impact” of the person or entity in promoting tolerance, and not just the initiative or idea itself. “We will also send our team to his or her country to see” what positive change has been created in the community, Al Mansoori said.

Inclusive nature

He added that IIT has a number of agreements and contacts with international organisations, such as Global Peace Foundation, “who have started to send in their nominations; our target is international is scope”. The award, he said, is inclusive of all people, without regard to their nationality, ethnicity, or religion.

Selecting the winners

All nominations should be submitted during the approved dates specified

Applications in the UAE should be submitted on a specific form available for this purpose on the award website

A brief summary of the applicant’s CV and a report of his or her achievements, initiatives and proposals in any field across the categories of the award should be attached to the award application.

Nominations in the UAE are to be submitted to the ‘Technical Advisory Committee’ formed by IIT’s board of trustees for its review. The committee will then forward the submissions with its recommendations to the arbitration committee.