UAE Launches New Law to ‘Make Reading a Daily Habit’

Post by Mark


Described as the first of its kind, the UAE’s new “national law of reading” was announced by UAE president, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, earlier this week. It will allow government staff time to read at work – although they must focus on reading matter about professional and personal development within the context of the workplace.

The law will also oblige coffee shops to offer reading material for their customers, said Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the UAE’s vice-president and Dubai’s ruler, and will see branches of libraries opened in malls, as well as exempting books from fees and taxes. [Source]

Can we please just get a decent bookshop in Kuwait? We’re not asking for much.

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27 comments, add your own...

  1. Dev says:

    A decent bookshop in Kuwait? Such loss-bearing business can now only be taken up by the Government. :)

  2. Anon says:

    Seriously, we deserve a decent bookshop. And a decent library. :'(

  3. dashti says:

    Big shout out to Maktoum family. They love their country and they really make a big difference setting up diff projects ventures….

    This man the president if UAE was spotted sitting in tube with his son. I was gobsmacked….

    Huge respect to the Maktoum.

  4. dashti says:

    We have more eating places than reading places lol…

  5. mungee says:

    There was one. then it moved to bayth lothan

  6. James says:

    I’m confused, which world are you living out of? Kuwait has the highest time spent in readership. Look left, right and then in your rearview mirror for a sec when driving. Everyone is on Whatsapp – reading!

  7. Jacob says:

    To those who always gripe about the absence of decent bookstore in Kuwait, it is time they patronized the existing bookstores in this country – however meager their collection be. If you are even a half way serious reader, very often there will be something on the shelves for you to pick through. No bookstore can have it all but if more people pursued reading through physical books, or encouraged their children to read, bookstores would be a sustainable business and they would be encouraged to stock better reading material. It won’t be untrue to say that Kuwait has among the highest number of restaurants/eateries per-capita in the world and among the lowest number of bookstores per capita. Perhaps the health of any nation would be better if the roles were reversed! If every resident of Kuwait purchased just one book each year it would be a different story to tell.

    There are but a handful of bookstores in Kuwait; some new and two used. Go by and support them.

    • Mark says:

      Novels aren’t the only kind of books that people buy, but that’s the only kind of books you find at the bookshops here.

      • Jacob says:

        That is not wholly true. I have been involved in setting and/or running three used bookstores in Kuwait and I can clearly say that it was not just novels alone that are on the shelves. It could well be a majority but there are ample non-fiction books from across the genres. Be it History, Biographies, Business, Self help, antiquarian books and what not. At Better Books alone there are atleast 2000 kids books (few if any are copies) and I am sure Q8books has a sizable collection too.

        • Mark says:

          I think you missed the point with my comment. Of course there are kids books in Kuwait, of course they sell self help books, business books and biographies I didn’t say they didn’t.

      • b4 says:

        That’s not true. Jareer and That Al Salasil have entire corners dedicated to comic books, encyclopedia and academic content.

      • Ahmed says:

        What’s wrong with reading novels?

    • WakeUpPeople says:

      More importantly, bookstores that have EVERY kind of book. Some Hitchens, Harris, and Dawkins would do the country some good. Censored books don’t count and are an insult to meaningful literature.

      • Man says:

        Love your comment.

        Second that….Books open up your mind to new ideas.

        Last but not least books from Hitchens & Dawkins can help societies do serious introspection.

        PS : Virgin stores in Beirut had few Dawkins’ titles…

      • Mubarak says:

        Other then Dawkin’s Selfish Gene, I don’t see anything these people wrote to be helpful or useful.

        • Man says:

          Dont agree.

          Delusion is a gr8 book to make every culture introspect & take you towards path of questioning everything. Real science will make you humble and it can you get out of false sense of superiority.

          As far as Hitchens is concerned…you have got to give to him for his pursuit of objectivity and ruthless dissection of issues.

  8. Hamad says:

    We need 50 shades goddammit!!!

  9. Lulu says:

    Brick and mortar bookshops are disappearing everywhere, not just here.

    With amazon providing cheaper prices and digital books being more convenient, even in the western world bookshops are closing left and right.

    I’d be happy with just some decent books in the book fair. The kids section is fairly big and well stocked so I’m hoping the next generation are better readers

  10. Burhan Khalid says:

    This isn’t about books or bookstores – the bigger picture is enforcing reading as a fundamental part of daily life.

    Basically – unplug yourself from the digital world and read a freakin’ book, a magazine, or anything.

    That’s what is key here – not the fact that there aren’t bookstores everywhere.

    You could replace every other Starbucks with a bookstore, it won’t make a difference if there isn’t a fundamental culture of reading.

    • orion says:

      Exactly, self improvement is their priority. I think their leader’s vision is a country of highly informative and intellectual people that are way ahead of everyone else. I don’t think it’s all about books as anyone can read from their smartphones.

  11. lolguy says:

    Easiest solution would be to stock existing coffee shops with books which patrons can read. Maybe workout a solution where they have the option to buy/borrow as well.

    Perhaps a carriage-esq company could handle the logistics of handling the supply. Instead of creating new infrastructure, utilize the existing.

  12. Yazi says:

    There is no decent bookstore in Kuwait and as someone mentioned the restaurants outnumber everything else.

    Many booksellers have complained about unreasonable censorship in Kuwait. Forget actual books, it’s difficult to even get English fashion magazines without half the pages being torn.

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