The UAE Translation Projects Filling the Gaps in Arabic Libraries

  • Categories: Business
  • Written By: Torjoman
  • Date: August 11, 2020

Historically speaking, translation has not always been at the forefront of global Arabic publishing. However, the United Arab Emirates has launched several strong initiatives to promote translations both from and into Arabic. Language plays a vital role in the country’s diverse society, and its programs are helping to pioneer Arabic translation today.


UAE University Degrees

University degrees in translation are becoming increasingly widespread in the UAE. Before this, a lack of qualified translators became a recognizable issue in business and cultural sectors, which prompted universities to open their doors to translation students at both undergraduate and master’s levels.

Students can now study the subject either full time or part-time and learn about both the linguistics and culture of the languages they choose. Many universities are also recognizing the benefits of teaching translation in ways that “best meet the requirements of the translation market.” Developing these translation programs is a crucial way of promoting translation as a viable career choice.

The Kalima Initiative

Launched in 2007 by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), Kalima combines the publishing industry’s resources with the knowledge of translation professionals. The initiative aims to publish 100 titles per year in Arabic.

Topics covered in the project range from ancient history to contemporary writings. The final 100 translated books were selected from a long list of 25,000, shortened to a shortlist of 2000 before the final 100 were chosen. By filling the gaps in libraries, Kalima encourages reading and supports scientific advancements.

Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation (MBRF) emphases education, culture, research and entrepreneurship and focusing on these main pillars, the foundation has launched multiple projects, including the translation project’ Book in Minutes.’

The Book in Minutes initiative produces Arabic language summaries of international bestsellers, which are then grouped into collections for distribution. The project was launched in 2015 and has since created 200 summaries across a wide range of subjects. More information and access to the titles can be found here.

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award (SZBA) Translation Fund

According to their official website, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award Translation Fund is available for the translation of “all literary and children’s titles that have won the Sheikh Zayed Book Award.” It is a year-round grant offered to international publishers based in a country outside the Middle East, with a maximum award of $19,000 (USD) per title, plus supplements for promotion and production if applicable.

Priority is given to publications translating Arabic works into English, French or German. However, other target languages are considered. The award aims to grow the wealth of Arabic literature that is available abroad.

How should you choose a translator?

The key to success in translation is partnering with a professional translation company. You need to know that your translation is accurate, consistent, and captures the tone of your original text. Professional translation companies also offer quality assurance (QA) services, ensuring that their work is of the highest standard.

At Torjoman, we have been providing top-quality translation and localization services for 25 years. Our specialist linguists are native speakers in the languages you need, and our team uses the latest technologies for project management and QA. We can offer assistance with the following services:

– Translation (including documents, multimedia, and more)

– Localization

– Proofreading

– Voice-over

– Desktop publishing

– Interpreting

– Transcription


As an ISO 17100 certified company, Torjoman can guide you through the translation process, helping you to resonate with international customers. Our translation project managers pride themselves on their efficiency and communication skills and can assist with your budget optimization. For more information on how we can help, please send us a message.

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