Everything you’ve ever heard about Dubai, and the UAE in general, has probably sounded outrageous. After all, the country boasts, among other things, the world’s tallest building, and an indoor ski slope. Just this past year, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, created a Ministry of Happiness within the government, to monitor, assess, and improve happiness of the people living in the UAE. Just think about that; an entire government office dedicated to the happiness of the people.
Being a country of innovative thinkers, new initiatives are launched all the time to challenge the way people think, and view the world. The most recent initiative is that which, shockingly, allows people to pick up a book and read, while at work. Under the new UAE National Reading Law, all government workers are to be given designated time to read during working hours. The objective is to make daily reading a habit of the people of the UAE. The law even requires all coffee shops in the country to make books available to their customers. The law will also oversee the opening of libraries within malls around the country.
“Our objective is to make reading a daily habit in our people,” said His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE. As the driving force behind this new initiative, Sheikh Khalifa has also stated that books that have already been read must be donated, not destroyed. He even goes so far as to reveal on Twitter that “reading material will be exempted from any fees or taxes for the purposes of distribution, publishing and printing. The law offers support for the publishing sector, and also provides facilities for authors and editors.”
His Highness Sheikh Mohammad has given his full support of the new law:
“Our goal is for 2016 to be the start of a sustainable cultural change among generations – a change that consolidates the importance of reading, celebrates knowledge and boosts the status of reading.”
Sounds like an ideal world!
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Featured image via picjumbo
h/t Timeout Dubai