The UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY)

Marwa Al Aqroubi, President of the UAE Board on Books for Young People, receiving a UAE Pioneers Award.

The UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) is the local branch in the United Arab Emirates of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY). Founded in Switzerland in 1953, IBBY is an international network of individuals and organisations from 77 countries who are committed to bring books and children together.

The UAEBBY was officially established as a non-profit, non-governmental organisation on January 1, 2010, as a direct result of the efforts of Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Founder and Patron of the UAEBBY. The vision of the UAEBBY is to be the driving force for the promotion of a reading culture among children and young people. The UAEBBY has introduced and developed a broad range of unique projects and initiatives. Some, in a top-down approach, work with publishers, authors and illustrators to develop their skills, enriching Arabic children’s literature, while others work directly with children, showing them the remarkable wonders of storybooks.

Over the years, the UAEBBY has worked unwaveringly to further its mission. Along the way, it has had the privilege to be recognised for its outstanding accomplishments. In 2016, the UAEBBY was presented with a ‘UAE Pioneers Award’ for being the ‘Best Non-profit Organisation to Encourage Reading among Young Adults’ during the ‘Year of Reading’ by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The UAEBBY was honoured in recognition of its ‘Read, Dream, Create’ campaign, which was launched in 2013 to spark children’s imaginations through storybooks. Etisalat Group was also given a ‘UAE Pioneers Award’ for the ‘Best Private Sector Initiative to Encourage Reading among Children’ in acknowledgment of the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature, which is organised by the UAEBBY.