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Abu Dhabi Reads Back on Track

by Eddie Rayner

Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) has set the stage for the return of ‘Abu Dhabi Reads ‘this March to celebrate UAE Reading Month.

Designed to foster reading as a daily habit among all community segments, ‘Abu Dhabi Reads’ is in line with the national ‘UAE Reads’ campaign objectives of enriching the reading culture and building a future generation of leaders equipped with culture and knowledge.

“People are never alone with a book; reading opens the mind to new perspectives and has proven to be a critical enabler in developing students’ knowledge and improving their cognitive and communication skills. In keeping with the National Plan for Reading, we are taking Abu Dhabi Reads campaign to the community to foster the importance of reading and bring books closer to Abu Dhabi schools and the wider community, encouraging them to take up reading as a daily habit.”

Library on Wheels to offer book-swapping opportunities during tours across schools and key landmarks in Abu Dhabi

‘Abu Dhabi Reads’ comprises two main activations; as of 4 March, ADEK will organise a host of activities at Umm Al Emarat Park from Friday to Sunday. The events will feature a multitude of reading and literature-associated topics, including creative writing, bookmark design, language workshops, storytelling training and public speaking, as well as puppet shows. Children will also have the opportunity to engage in exciting and interactive storytelling sessions presented by Abu Dhabi based authors.

Reserved exclusively for school trips on Friday mornings, the park pop-up will be open to the general public from 5 pm – 9 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 pm until 8 pm on Sundays. The list of activities and workshops will be regularly updated on ADEK’s website and social media accounts.

Weekend activations at Umm Al Emarat Park include workshops, storytelling sessions, puppet theatres and more

Additionally, ADEK will launch its mobile Library on Wheels. Library on Wheels will tour Abu Dhabi schools with students invited to exchange books with the community, which allows students to swap the books they read with other titles to expand their knowledge. In midweek afternoons and on weekends, the Library on Wheels will move to key landmarks throughout Abu Dhabi where open-air pop-ups will offer readers the chance to relax and read their favourite books, enjoy storytelling sessions, and exchange books.

On Thursday 3 March, ADEK will launch a dedicated webpage detailing the full ‘Abu Dhabi Reads’ campaign agenda. Abu Dhabi communities are encouraged to follow ADEK’s accounts on social media channels for more details on activities.

Since 2017, the UAE celebrates March as the reading month to encourage and establish a culture of reading in society. The annual event is central to the Emirates’ National Plan for Reading which aims to enhance the literacy skills of UAE nationals by 2026.

The National Plan for Reading aims to activate the role of the family and society in improving the reading behaviour of individuals, building the right systems and infrastructures required to boost learning, and improving the quality of reading materials in the UAE among others.