Abu Dhabi, UAE: Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) under the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award has named Casa Árabe in Spain as winner of the Cultural Personality of the Year category for its 18th edition. The award acknowledges and honours Casa Árabe’s achievements in bridging the cultures of the Arab and Spanish people and advancing Arabic language and culture throughout Europe and Latin America.

The Award’s Board of Trustees and Scientific Committee decision to name Casa Árabe as this year's Cultural Personality of the Year was unanimous, recognising the institution's success in fostering cross-cultural dialogue. Throughout its existence, Casa Árabe has welcomed numerous Arab writers, artists, and thinkers to engage with Spanish Arabists, all in pursuit of cultivating an environment grounded in principles of tolerance and respect for cultural diversity.

HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Tourism and Culture - Abu Dhabi, said: “The Sheikh Zayed Book Award plays a crucial role in promoting Arab cultural heritage and facilitating cross-cultural exchange and understanding worldwide. This is a mission shared by this year’s Cultural Personality of the Year, Casa Árabe, an organisation which has worked to bridge the distance between cultures and peoples. Over the 16 years since its establishment, it has become a national reference for teaching Arabic, and worked tirelessly to introduce Arab heritage and its influence on civilisation to new audiences, creating a vibrant hub for literature, culture, and thought and allowing for greater mutual knowledge between Spain and the Arab world."

HE Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC and Secretary-General of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, said: "The Sheikh Zayed Book Award aims to recognise leading international practices in the cultural and creative fields and promote common values and tolerance among peoples. I extend my congratulations to Casa Árabe for the much-deserved honour of being unanimously chosen as Cultural Personality of the Year, given their outstanding contributions to enhancing the global cultural landscape. Casa Árabe plays integral role in Spain-Arab cultural relations through its social, cultural, educational, and economic activities, raising greater awareness of the cultural diversity of the Arab world through its initiatives, projects, and programmes.”

Casa Árabe is a meeting point for dialogue and interaction. It aims to raise awareness of the importance of Islamic and Arab culture and expand the possibilities for collaboration and exchange among intellectuals, writers, translators, artists, and students from various backgrounds, fostering relationships, promoting intercultural communication, and creating cultural bridges between different countries.

Casa Árabe has operated as the strategic centre for Spain’s relations with the Arab world, a meeting point where individuals, private enterprises and public institutions from the worlds of business, education, academia, and culture can cooperate and partner on mutually beneficial projects. Casa Árabe also has an active and strategic positioning in the digital world, increasing the effectiveness and reach of its activities through innovative technological practices and a strong and dynamic presence on social networks.

Casa Árabe plays a significant role in promoting Arab culture not only in Spain but globally, showcasing its diverse elements spanning art, literature, architecture, sports, and overall cultural creativity. The institution emphasises the beauty of the Arabic language, teaching it to non-native speakers and recognising it as the primary tool for connecting people from different backgrounds. Casa Árabe’s cultural programme highlights the value of the Arab and Islamic historical legacy, as well as humanitarian work – something that is particularly important at the international level.

Each year the Sheikh Zayed Book Award presents its Cultural Personality of the Year award to an entity or personality at the Arab or international level who has significantly contributed towards enriching Arab culture through creativity or thought. The works or activities of the recipient should exemplify the values of authenticity, tolerance, and peaceful coexistence. The winners of the current edition of the Award will be honoured at a ceremony hosted by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre in conjunction with the 33rd Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF).


About Casa Árabe

Since its establishment in 2006 under the supervision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Casa Árabe in Madrid has served as a vital bridge between Arab and Spanish cultures. It has sought to conduct studies that showcase Arab culture in European and Latin American contexts. Casa Árabe has two headquarters, one located in Madrid and the other in Cordoba. It positions itself as a key meeting point for Spain and the Arab world, facilitating dialogue between civilisations. By hosting top Arab writers, artists, and thinkers alongside Spanish Arabists, Casa Árabe promotes a culture of tolerance and respect for diversity.

About Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, established following a directive from the President of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, as part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, works to support Arabic language development and modernisation through comprehensive strategies and frameworks, enrich the scientific, educational, cultural and creative contributions of the Arabic language, promote Arabic language proficiency and cultural understanding, and support Arab talents in the fields of writing, translation, publishing, scientific research, arts, content creation and organisation of book fairs. The Centre works to realise its foundational vision through dedicated programmes, human expertise, and meaningful partnerships with the world’s most prestigious technical, cultural, and academic institutions.

About Sheikh Zayed Book Award

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award commemorates the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founding President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, and his pioneering role in promoting national unity and development. The Award, and its associated accolades, are presented annually to outstanding writers, intellectuals, and publishers, as well as young talent whose writing and translation in humanities objectively enriches Arab intellectual, cultural, literary, and social life. The Sheikh Zayed Book Award at the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre is an independent cultural initiative administered by Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi.

About Abu Dhabi International Book Fair:

Established in 1981, the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) is a leading global cultural platform that brings together publishers, intellectuals, scholars, libraries, agents, and cultural and media institutions to exchange ideas and experiences, explore opportunities, and foster communication and collaboration in the publishing sector and creative industries.

This annual event hosts Arab regional and international publishers and offers a comprehensive cultural and intellectual programme covering professional, educational, creative, and entertainment domains. In addition, ADIBF hosts activities, lectures, panel discussions, and specialised workshops featuring distinguished literary figures and intellectuals from different fields. This contributes to the development of the publishing sector and the creative industries, bolsters the capabilities of local and Arab publishers, and opens new horizons for them. The 33rd edition of Abu Dhabi International Book Fair will be held in ADNEC from 29 April until 5 May 2024.

About the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) drives the sustainable growth of Abu Dhabi's culture, tourism and creative sectors, fuels economic progress and helps achieve Abu Dhabi's wider global ambitions. By working in partnership with the organisations that define the emirate's position as a leading international destination, DCT Abu Dhabi strives to unite the ecosystem around a shared vision of the emirate's potential, coordinate effort and investment, deliver innovative solutions, and use the best tools, policies, and systems to support the culture and tourism industries.

DCT Abu Dhabi's vision is defined by the emirate's people, heritage, and landscape. We work to enhance Abu Dhabi's status as a place of authenticity, innovation, and unparalleled experiences, represented by its living traditions of hospitality, pioneering initiatives, and creative thought.