The Sheikh Zayed Book Award was established in memory of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, ruler of Abu Dhabi and President of UAE for more than 30 years, and of his pioneering role in promoting national unity and development. It is presented every year to outstanding Arab writers, intellectuals, and publishers as well as young talents whose writing and translation in humanities have objectively enriched Arab scholarship and cultural, literary, and social life.
An independent cultural award administered by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, Sheikh Zayed Book Award is valued at seven million UAE Dirhams.
The Award recognizes cultural achievement across the broadest and most diverse areas of any international cultural awards, including the following:
1. Contribution to the Development of Nations
Books in social sciences and humanities, including economics, sociology, management, politics, law, and theology, that contribute to a nation's advancement, whether theoretical review or documentation of practice
2. Children’s Literature (including books for adolescents)
Literary, scientific, and cultural books addressing children and adolescents, whether fictional stories or simplified historical and scientific narratives, in an artistic layout
3. Young Author
Works in science, literature, culture, fine arts, and humanities, in addition to published scientific theses, produced by authors younger than 40 years of age
Translated works, either into or from Arabic, that maintain loyalty to original sources, linguistic accuracy, and context
Works from various categories of literature including poetry, short stories, novels, biographies, theatrical plays, and travel books
6. Literary and Art Criticism
Works of criticism in the fields of art, cinema, music, theatrical plays, studies of image, architecture, sculpture, historical ruins, folkloric arts, and theory and history of literature.
7. Arabic Culture in Other Languages
Works produced in languages other than Arabic and tackling the Arab civilization and culture, including humanities, fine arts, literature (novels, shorts stories, poems), and history
8. Publishing and Technology
Publishers, distributors, research institutions, and cultural institutions which promote culture through various forms of digital, visual, or audio processes
9. Cultural Personality of the Year (open to individuals and organizations)
Recognition of a prominent Arab or international figure (or organization) who has contributed to the advancement of the Arabic culture, and who embodies tolerance in their work and promotes peaceful coexistence
1. Honour intellectuals, researchers, and writers who have made significant contributions in literature, social sciences, culture, and knowledge of the modern age.
2. Honour prominent figures for outstanding achievements at a regional and international level, and publicize their names to readers in order to promote creativity and innovative thought.
3. Show appreciation for the immense cultural role of translators, who enrich culture, promote dialogue between civilizations, and bring nations together.
4. Encourage creativity in youth, and motivate them to research and foster a spirit of positive competition within this vital group that represents the nation's present and future.
5. Honour institutions, commissions, research centres, and Arab and international publishing houses representing inventive cultural projects that cater to creativity and promote the human values ??of dialogue and tolerance.
6. Encourage children’s and adolescents’ literature which seeks to develop this important segment of society and its aesthetic taste, and constructs its cultural identity on the foundation of creative interaction between the past and present.
7. Honour non-Arab authors and researchers who promote the Arab culture through their writing in their own languages.