Dubai – MENA Herald: In line with the directives and guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation (MBRF), the Foundation has launched the first phase of the Dubai Digital Library.

The Dubai Digital Library aims to provide an advanced electronic platform that supports a culture of reading by showcasing an extensive collection of Arabic books, including translated works covering all genres. The Digital Library will also feature Arabic and international periodicals, dictionaries, biographies, photographs and maps.

The Dubai Digital Library was unveiled at an event organised by MBRF at the HCT-Dubai Men’s College in Academic City, in the presence of His Excellency Jamal bin Huwaireb, Managing Director of MBRF, as well as representatives of MBRF and the local media.

Addressing the event, HE Bin Huwaireb said: “The Dubai Digital Library initiative complements the announcement of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, declaring 2016 as the Year of Reading in the UAE. The initiative is also led by the directives of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to provide an advanced electronic platform with books covering all genres.”

He stressed that through the various projects, MBRF aims to provide advanced platforms that facilitate knowledge sharing the Arab culture to the rest of the world and underline its leading position among global cultures and civilizations. “Our goal is to preserve our national heritage, culture and identity while building bridges of communication and understanding with the different global cultures.”

Bin Huwaireb said that the Dubai Digital Library is one of MBRF’s ambitious project that seek to enrich the volume of Arabic content online as well as promote the use of Arabic language while providing knowledge in a fast and interesting way for the community.

The library aims to reach the widest possible segment of the people through its features such as Arabic and international books, dictionaries, translations, biographies, periodicals, pictures and maps. “MBRF also has several other initiatives such as the Dubai International Programme for Writing, Kindle editions of books, the ‘Book in Minutes’ initiative, Flashes and Wamadat magazines.”

During the first phase, the Dubai Digital Library will have over 1,600 books covering all aspects of documented knowledge, including language, medicine, pharmacy, geography, history, religion, sociology, biographies and others. The library provides easy access to a vast body of knowledge through search options and tools. The Dubai Digital Library is available on multiple platforms and devices, and visitors also have the opportunity to put their comments.

A section of newspapers and magazines issued in Arabic, as well as dictionaries will be provided to support the public in strengthening their language skills. In the coming days, a number of translated works will also be added. People with special needs can also access the library as there are plans to launch audio books on the platform. It will also include a multimedia with images and videos.