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Dubai plans to build Arab world's biggest library

DUBAI, February 2, 2016

Dubai has announced plans to build the biggest library in the Arab World, designed in the shape of an open book on a Arabic lectern, at a cost of Dh1 billion ($272 million), said a report.

The 1 million-sq-ft Mohammed bin Rashid Library, to be built in Al Jaddaf area in Dubai, will house more than 4.5 million books and include several areas for interaction, events, activities, educational and cultural festivals, reported the state news agency Wam.

The ambitious seven-storey facility was launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, on Monday in the presence of senior government officials.

The gaint library will also be a museum of the Arab heritage and the history of human civilisation as well as venue for arts and literary exhibitions, heritage preservation initiatives.

It will also boast a 500-seat theatre for lectures, seminars and launching of intellectual and cultural initiatives regionally and globally, said the report.

The library will also host several cultural and cognitive initiatives, such as the Dh2.4 million ($653,266) 'Arabic Language Award', launched recently to help people embrace their Arab identity.

It is scheduled to open in 2017, the report stated.

Speaking at the launch, Sheikh Mohammed said: "We are the leaders of civilisation, duty and culture, and so we need to revive the spirit of learning and curiosity within our culture through innovative initiatives that push our boundaries."

"This is why we decided to start the Year of Reading by launching this state-of-the-art library and to let everyone know that we will transform the UAE into an Arab and global cultural and learning centre while strongly establishing reading as a societal norm," he stated.

"The human mind is the centre of development and the book is the tool used to renew the mind. A nation can never grow without a renewed mind and a lively, knowledgeable spirit," remarked Sheikh Mohammed.

"We want a dynamic library which will reach you before you reach it, visit you before you visit it, and which encourages you to start reading from childhood, while supporting you as a scientist, researcher or specialist, when older. It will be a compound for books, a community for readers and writers, and an association for content, culture and thought owners," said the Dubai ruler.

The library will also serve as a platform for hosting and launching the most significant intellectual and cultural initiatives regionally and globally, said the Wam report.

The library is based on six pillars: the first is the main library, which includes eight specialised libraries: for Children, Youth, Family, Business, Arabic, International, Popular and Multimedia, it added.

Lauding the initiative, Dewa managing director and CEO Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, said: "While the Arab World faces many challenges, the Mohammed bin Rashid Library, with its printed, audio, and electronic books, is a unique opportunity for 42 million readers in the region."

"This project is a sign of hope: a beacon that lights the way and revives the hope of achieving a real knowledge renaissance in all Arab countries. It will bring about positive change in Arab societies by raising a generation who value reading and culture as important tools in the development of people and progress of countries," he remarked.

In his comments, Empower chief executive Ahmad bin Shafar said: "It is no wonder that the Dubai Creek area was chosen to establish the first public library in Dubai more than 50 years ago as well as the largest Arabic knowledge-based project of our times, as the spot serves as a knowledge oasis and a cultural hub, hosting a multitude of cultural landmarks in it."

"This library will contribute to strengthening the cultural and scientific development in the UAE, which is always determined to be a capital of culture and a venue for multi-civilizations, as well as an oasis of knowledge and scientific research regionally and globally," he added.-TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Dubai | library | Arab World |

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