Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced his government’s aim of establishing the UAE as a global ‘centre of excellence’ for Arabic language.
The major announcement was made at the opening session of the first Mohammed Bin Rashid Policies Council, established to foster communications within the community and set a platform where creative and innovative ideas are shared.
While highlighting the 2,000-year-old heritage of Arabic language, Sheikh Mohammed emphasised that preserving and nurturing the language is important to maintain the Emirati national identity for future generations.
He added that the cultural initiatives taken by the government are in line with UAE Vision 2021 which aims at promoting national identity and cultural cohesiveness while ensuring all-round development.
“Our national identity is integrally linked to the Arabic language, which serves as an effective medium to express our values, culture and heritage. Promoting the language will enable our future generations to connect with our roots, society and values more effectively,” said Sheikh Mohammed.
He also announced wide ranging initiatives to promote the use of Arabic, including the establishment of an Arabic Language Charter and the formation of an international committee of experts to promote Arabic as the language of science and technology.
An Advisory Council, headed by the Minister of Culture, has been tasked with implementing the new Arabic Language Charter, he added.
The Vice President of the UAE also announced the setting up of a dedicated educational facility at Zayed University to promote Arabic education for non-Arabic speakers, and establishing a Faculty of Translation at the Mohammad Bin Rashid Media College.
The Zayed University facility will establish links with international universities and educational centres in order to facilitate student transfer to the UAE for learning Arabic.
The Faculty of Translation is envisaged to become the hub for Arabic translation services in the region, offering high quality educational materials for students.
Sheikh Mohammad also announced plans to enhance Arabic content online through the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA). State-run WAM news agency reported that poetry, story telling, calligraphy and reading competitions for school students will be held under the supervision of the Ministry of Education.