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UAE’s new reading law opens a new chapter in excellence

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A UAE president Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s pass a National Reading Law, first law of its kind in the region, which has a 10-year goal to create a nation of avid readers. The new law will promote reading as a lifestyle choice and as a means to a brighter future.

The new law will grant government employees time to read at work- although they must focus on reading matter about professional and personal development within the context of the workplace. It will provide a sound basis for lifelong learning for all members of community.

The new law will put under an obligation the coffee shops in the malls to offer reading material for their customers. The new law will also exempt reading material from any fees or taxes for the purposes of distribution, printing and publishing.

It also encourages shopping centers to offer commercial spaces at competitive prices for setting up public libraries, that must be suitable and easy to use for people with physical impairments or reading disabilities.

In an interview with a newspaper Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the UAE’s vice-president and Dubai’s ruler said.

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A National Archive will be setup by the ministry that will preserve reading materials and hence ensure their availability for future generations. Books that do not acquire an ISBN will not be permitted to be published or distributed.

A fund named Dh100 million has been set up to encourage more people to read. The objective of this strategy is to make reading a lifelong habit for 50% of Emirati adults and 80% of pupils, who should read on average at least 20 books a year. The Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development is tasked with implementing plans and granting the necessary financing.

A committee will also be set up by the Cabinet to oversee the implementation of the law.

Education experts view about the new law

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