A government official who has set up a large zoo at his own expense in Abu Dhabi was picked as “person of the month” by ‘Emarat Al Youm’ newspaper, which introduced the award in early 2012, the Arabic language daily said.
Major-General Nassir Saif Al Nuaimi, Scretary-General of the Interior Minister’s office, won the award for December for his contribution to animal protection and the establishment of a project offering knowledge and entertainment, particularly for children, the Dubai-based paper said on Wednesday.
“The decision to give this award to Major-General Al-Nuaimi illustrates the newspaper’s appreciation for personalities with exceptional contributions to the community,” the paper’s editor in chief Sami Al Riyami said.
“This person has founded a great national enterprise and spent on it from his own purse to turn it into a recreational, tourist, environment and educational site…such projects are normally set up in other countries and allocated large budgets.”
‘Emarat Al Youm’ said the Abu Dhabi-based Emirates Zoo comprises more than 1,700 animals and birds involving nearly 250 species. It said hundreds of people, including school children, visit the zoo every day.
“I have set up this zoo as a non-profitable project to express my dedication to the community and my homeland as well as to volunteer work. My aim is to bring children closer to the environment and acquaint them with all animal and bird species,” Al Nuaimi told the paper.
‘Emarat Al Youm’, an affiliate of the Dubai Media Incorporated, one of the largest information establishments in the region, introduced the unique award at the start of 2012 and said its editing board would pick the person at the end of each month.
It said the prize would be confined to men and women from the UAE and other Arab countries who are residing in the emirates and that it would include a prize, shield and merit certificate.
“The award would not be given to any person in a senior government position nor to any one in DMI,” the paper said last year.
‘Emarat Al Youm’, one of the most popular Arabic language dailies in the region, is part of the government-owned DMI which also includes ‘Emirates24|7’, the Arabic language Al Bayan newspapers, Dubai TV and other media organs.