November 1, 2016

Dedicated reading time for employees in the UAE


Emblem of the United Arab Emirates.

Emblem of the United Arab Emirates.

In middle school, we called it D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything and Read!); you might have called it S.S.R. (Sustained Silent Reading) (which sounds super lame). Either way, it’s coming to the United Arab Emirates. And it’s coming for grown ups.

On top of declaring 2016 “UAE Reading Year” back in December, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, president of the country and Emir of Abu Dhabi, has announced “an unprecedented cultural and legislative initiative” that will require employers to give their staff dedicated reading time during the workday. The National reports that the government will also provide a “knowledge briefcase” to new parents (perhaps like Finland’s Baby Boxes?) and set up a national fund to support media organizations that encourage reading.

“Our goal is for 2016 to be the beginning of a sustainable cultural change among generations,” said UAE Vice President and Emir of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. “A change that consolidates the importance of reading and celebrates knowledge and boosts the status of reading.”

Sounds like just another day in the office for yours truly at Melville House.



Taylor Sperry is a former Melville House editor.