Home » Dubai International Programme for Writing: A decade of excellence in enabling Arab writers

Dubai International Programme for Writing: A decade of excellence in enabling Arab writers

by Mohammad Ghazal

The Dubai International Program for Writing (DIPW) has had a significant impact on the regional literary and creative landscape for more than a decade. The program offered valuable skills and expertise for young people with a flair for writing through a set of training courses and workshops that focused on writing methodologies in various fields of knowledge and thus led to literary and knowledge production. Being one of the most key knowledge projects of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF), the DIPW has contributed to notable achievements since its inception in 2013. It further offered an incubating environment for creativity and innovation that enriched the literary and knowledge movement at local, regional, and global levels. 

The program featured several training courses in writing, narration, translation, children’s and youth literature, and short stories, which were initially held in the UAE and later expanded to Kuwait, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Algeria, and Oman. As many of DIPW’s trainees have become notable authors in many knowledge sectors, the courses aim to attract promising young Arab writing talents and allow them to play a vital role in creating and promoting knowledge in the Arab World. 

Some of the most notable achievements of the program are ‘The Guardian of the Sun’ by Iman Youssef, which secured first place in the Emirates Novel Award 2016; ‘The Dinoraf’ by Hessa Al Muhairi, which won the 12th Sheikh Zayed Book Award in 2018 in the category of Children’s Literature; and ‘Harvard Message’ by Maryam Al Zarouni, which received the Best Children’s Book award at the 15th Al Owais Creative Award in 2018. In addition, ‘Roof of Dreams’ by Badria Al Shamsi got approval from the Ministry of Education in 2018 to be taught to fourth-grade students.

Furthermore, DIPW offers training workshops in `translation to prepare a generation of professionals to translate books and various publications. The key objective of these workshops is to attract young and experienced translators. At the conclusion of the workshop, DIPW publishes several books translated by the participants.

In 2015, DIPW’s workshops produced five novels, while the workshop for the exchange of writers between the UAE and Japan resulted in four books. The Children’s Literature Workshop 2015 delivered 15 stories in the children’s writing category and three books in the adolescent category. In addition, the ‘My Story’ workshop and competition for children’s literature produced two stories in this category and two books within the writing for young people category. The translation workshop in 2017 yielded five translated books. In 2018, the workshop produced three translated novels, and a short story workshop produced seven stories. The novel workshop held in Kuwait produced three novels in the same year. In 2019, the workshops gained immense response, producing three stories in Dubai and four stories in Tunisia as part of the children’s literature sessions.

Being one of the most creative contributors to the intellectual and literary movements in the UAE and globally, the Dubai International Program for Writing targets to motivate young talents and help them improve their creative skills in writing science, research, literature, novels, and poetry, thus making them internationally acknowledged writers. Currently, DIPW has five categories: writing, authors’ exchange, My Story competition, translation, and Ladies Lounge. As part of its ongoing development and growth, the program will introduce new categories.

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