International Prize for Arabic Fiction announces new sponsor for 2013 Prize

IPAF logo

The International Prize for Arabic Fiction
(IPAF), the prestigious prize for the Arabic novel, is to be sponsored by the newly created Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) from 2013, marking the Prize’s sixth cycle. The Prize fits in well with the cultural focus of TCA Abu Dhabi, which is also responsible for the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair and the Louvre and Guggenheim developments.

With its ongoing association with the Booker Prize Foundation, IPAF will maintain its unwavering commitment to independence, transparency and integrity.

The change in funding comes at the end of the fifth year of the Prize which, since its inception in 2007, has grown from strength to strength with the support of the Emirates Foundation for Philanthropy. Following a new direction from its board, the Foundation was re-launched earlier this year as the Emirates Foundation for Youth Development, with a strategy that moves away from grant making to social investment in sustainable long term programmes which improve the lives of young people in the UAE positively and permanently.

HE Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Managing Director of the Emirates Foundation and Chairman of the Abu Tourism and Culture Authority, comments: ‘Since its launch in 2007, the Prize has grown steadily building a reputation of transparency and independence not only regionally but also worldwide. It is with pride that Abu Dhabi will remain the main hub of the Prize. The new sponsorship will not affect the Prize’s administration which shall remain the same. We see IPAF as an important Prize that has enriched global readers with the best in Arabic literature translated into different languages and we are committed to continue supporting this successful initiative.’

Jonathan Taylor, Chairman of Trustees for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, adds:

‘We have been hugely grateful to the Emirates Foundation whose steadfast support over the first five years of the prize enabled its successful establishment. We now start a new chapter in partnership with TCA Abu Dhabi, which will ensure the future of the Prize and the continuation of the independence and integrity for which it is noted.’

Over five years, the Prize has been awarded to six winners and, to date, IPAF novels have been translated into some 20 languages. The 2008 and 2009 winners are now available in English and publication in English has been secured for the winners in the three subsequent years. Rights for the latest (2012) winner, Rabee Jaber, have already been sold in several languages including Polish and Spanish.

Looking forward, submissions for the 2013 Prize closed at the end of June and are at an all-time high, with over 130 eligible submissions from authors from 16 countries across the Arab World: a reflection of the Prize’s importance for the Arabic literary community. From this year, publishers are able to submit any new title by an author who has previously been shortlisted for the Prize, in addition to three other novels.

The Prize also welcomes three new trustees this autumn, to replace retiring trustees. They are: Jordanian publisher Maher Kayyali; Lebanese-American publisher Michel Moushabeck and Emirati poet and film-maker Nojoom Alghanem.

The longlist for the 2013 Prize will be announced in December 2012, followed by a shortlist announcement in January 2013. As is tradition, the winner will be announced at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair in April 2013.


Spokespeople for the Prize are available for comment. To arrange an interview, contact Four Colman Getty as follows:

Katy MacMillan-Scott on +44 (0)20 3023 9076 /

Ellie Hughes on +44 (0)20 3023 9046 /

• To download the press release in Arabic, click here.

• To download the press release in English, click here.

• For further information on TCA Abu Dhabi, please contact Abdul Nasser Nahar, Manager Media Relations Office, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, on: / + 971 2 657 6290

• The International Prize for Arabic Fiction is awarded for prose fiction in Arabic and each of the six shortlisted finalists receives $10,000, with a further $50,000 going to the winner. For further information about the Prize, please visit or follow the prize on Facebook

The first six winners of the Prize are:

2008: Sunset Oasis by Bahaa Taher (Egypt)

2009: Azazeel by Youssef Ziedan (Egypt)

2010: Spewing Sparks as Big as Castles by Abdo Khal (Saudi Arabia)

2011: The Arch and the Butterfly by Mohammed Achaari (Morocco) and The Doves' Necklace by Raja Alem (Saudi Arabia)

2012: The Druze of Belgrade by Rabee Jaber (Lebanon)

• The Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) conserves and promotes the heritage and culture of Abu Dhabi emirate and leverages them in the development of a world-class, sustainable destination of distinction which enriches the lives of visitors and residents alike. The authority manages the emirate’s tourism sector and markets the destination internationally through a wide range of activities aimed at attracting visitors and investment. Its policies, plans and programmes relate to the preservation of heritage and culture, including protecting archaeological and historical sites and to developing museums, including the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. TCA Abu Dhabi supports intellectual and artistic activities and cultural events to nurture a rich cultural environment and honour the emirate’s heritage. A key authority role is to create synergy in the destination’s development through close co-ordination with its wide-ranging stakeholder base

• The Emirates Foundation was launched in April 2005 as an initiative from HH General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. It is chaired by HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

In 2012, the Emirates Foundation was re-launched under the name “Emirates Foundation for Youth Development” as an integrated national initiative that seeks to invest in UAE youth. The new strategy adopts venture philanthropy which aims to impact the lives of UAE youth positively and permanently through measurable projects that have sustainable impact. To achieve this, the Emirates Foundation for Youth Development will work in three key focus areas: social inclusion; community engagement; and leadership and empowerment. It will seek to identify, educate and inform the public about challenges facing UAE youth while developing sustainable, enterprise-based solutions to social issues and to motivate young Emiratis to volunteer, participate and give back to society.

The Emirates Foundation works to enhance partnerships between private and public sectors, and make use of these partnerships to develop non-profit projects and initiatives across the UAE. EF is funded through contributions from the Abu Dhabi government and private sector companies channeled to support its endowment fund.

For press enquiries regarding the Emirates Foundation, please contact Doha Al Hamad, Senior Corporate Communications Officer, on
tel: 00971 2 404 2813


Published Date - 24/09/2012