His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Sunday announced an integrated strategy to establish the UAE as a global ‘centre of excellence’ for Arabic language.
The announcement was made at the opening session of the first Mohammed Bin Rashid Policies Council, a new channel of communications with the community and a platform for creative and innovative ideas.
Underlining the 2,000-year heritage of Arabic, Sheikh Mohammed said that a focus on nurturing the language is important to uphold the Emirati national identity for future generations.
He explained that the new initiatives are in line with UAE Vision 2021 that aims at all-round development while promoting national identity and cultural cohesiveness.
“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 announced wide ranging initiatives to promote the use of Arabic including the setting up of an Arabic Language Charter and the formation of an international committee of experts to promote Arabic as the language of science and technology.
He said that an Advisory Council, headed by the Minister of Culture, will implement the new Arabic Language Charter. The objective of the Charter is to protect the essence of the language and enhance its usage.
Other initiatives include 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 Mohamme d Bin Rashid Media College.
The Zayed University facility will network with international universities and educational centres to also enable 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, which will offer quality educational materials for students.
Sheikh Mohammed announced plans to enhance Arabic content online through the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA). Poetry, story, calligraphy and reading competitions for school students will also be rolled out under the supervision of the Ministry of Education.
The international committee of experts to revive Arabic as the language of science and technology will be headed by Dr. Farouk El Baz. The committee will recommend strategies to modernise scientific learning methods through Arabic that will benefit people across the Arab world.
Mohammed reiterates support for Arabic language protection efforts
Sheikh Mohammed reiterated his support for all individual and collective efforts to promote Arabic language in the UAE.
Describing Arabic as "our national and pan-Arab identity and a source of pride and therefore all those concerned must preserve it and protect it from tampering and negligence," Sheikh Mohammed urged protection of the essence of the language and enhance its usage.
"Our society needs educated people who are armed with the language of the Holy Quran," he said.
Sheikh Mohammed made his remarks as he received members of the Arabic Language Protection Society led by Undersecretary of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development Bilal Al Bodour.
He gave directives to extend support by all public and private institutions to the efforts of the Society which organizes Arabic language training courses and lectures and provides opportunities to national youth to enhance their education.
Al Bodour briefed Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid on the activities of the 700-member Arabic Language Protection Society.
In attendance at the meeting were Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy ruler of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Aviation Authority and Chairman of Emirates Group, Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister for Cabinet Affairs, Lt General Musabbah Rashid Al Fattan, Director of the Office of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and other officials.
Mohammed receives Governor General of Australia
Sheikh Mohammed received on Monday at Al Bahr Palace in Dubai, Australian Governor General Quentin Bryce and her spouse.
Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai was also present on the occasion.
During the meeting they reviewed friendship ties and cooperation between UAE and Australia in cultural, scientific and trade fields. Sheikh Mohammed affirmed the strong relations existing between the two friendly countries.
For her part, Bryce hailed the cultural renaissance witnessed by UAE in all fields particularly education and infrastructure sectors.
The meeting was attended by Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Aviation Authority and Chairman of Emirates Group, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister for Cabinet Affairs, Dr. Maytha Salem Al Shamsi, Minister of State, Head of honorary mission accompanying the guest, Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani, Director-General of Dubai Rulers Court, Lt. General Musabah Rashid Al Fattan, Director of the office of the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, UAE Ambassador to Australia Ali Nasser Al Nuaimi and Pablo Kang Australian Ambassador to UAE.
Mohammed receives Chinese official
Sheikh Mohammed on Monday also received Yang Dongliang, Member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Tianjin Committee, and Executive Vice Mayor of Tianjin.
The meeting discussed cooperation and historic relations between the United Arab Emirates and the People's Republic of China in general and between Dubai and Tianjin in particular. Sheikh Mohammed welcomed expansion of economic and cultural ties for the betterment of mutual interests.
For his part, Yang Dongliang conveyed to Sheikh Mohammed the desire and will of the Chinese government and people to boost relations on all aspects.
He also hailed the cultural renaissance witnessed by the UAE particularly the city of Dubai, which impressed the world with its openness and infrastructure and pilot projects.
Dongliang invited Sheikh Mohammed to participate in the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2012, widely known as the Summer Davos at Tianjin, People's Republic of China from 11-13 September.
The meeting was attended by Director of Dubai Ruler's Court Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shebani, the Director General of Dubai Media Office Ahmed Abdullah Al Shaikh, President of Maras Holding Abdullah Ahmad Al Habbai and President of Tianjin Innovative Finance and Investment Company Mr. Poly.