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The award is sponsored by Omar Saif Ghobash and his family in memory of his father, the late Saif Ghobash, and is decided by a panel of three judges who take into account all full-length imaginative and creative works of literary merit published in English. The award has the aim of raising the profile of contemporary Arabic literature as well as honouring the important work of individual translators in bringing the work of established and emerging Arab writers to the attention of the wider world. It was established by Banipal, the magazine of modern Arab literature in English translation, and the Banipal Trust for Arab Literature.