H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance, today honoured 275 winners of the 18th Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Distinguished Academic Performance for local, Arab and international categories, in a glittering ceremony at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Center.
Addressing the ceremony as patron of the award, Sheikh Hamdan said, ''With firm faith, we launched this award to fulfil aspirations of our prudent leadership and ambitions of our community in response to the vision of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and Their Highnesses Supreme Council Members and Rulers of Emirates for empowering education and materialising its themes on reality. Along with our partners, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO), the Arab Bureau of Education for the Gulf States (ABEGS) and the UAE Ministry of Education, we will collectively shoulder this great responsibility.'' HH paid tribute to the educational community for supporting the award to evolve into an international programme for distinguished education based on three pillars: educational excellence; mentoring talented persons and educational innovation.
Organisers said 275 applicants won in this year's edition, a slight increase of 2 percent over the previous edition, representing 66 percent of the total contestants with an increase of 16 percent as compared to previous entries. Winners in the 17th edition stood at 244 and 26 entries emerged winners in the Gulf Competitions with Saudi Arabia taking the lion's share of ten winners.
The winners included 221 in the Distinguished Student Category, one in the Distinguished School and School Administration Category, 9 in the Distinguished Teacher Category, one in the Distinguished Counsellor Category, three in the Best Implemented Project Category, two in the Best Scientific Innovation Category, three in the Best Applied Educational Research and five in the Distinguished Family Category.
Three institutions received awards for supporting education including the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, which was awarded for its initiative ‘Conservation Award: For a Better Tomorrow’, Majid Al Futtaim Charity Foundation for its health awareness initiative, and the Ministry of Interior which won for the initiative that aims to develop the skills of youth.
The student winners included a student with disability from the centres of the Ministry of Social Affairs.
Some 92 awards were withheld in this year's edition.
Meanwhile, a research project from Algeria won the Arab educational research award.
The award was established in 1998 after a decree by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid, as a way of recognising excellence in educational performance and fostering talent.
The award-giving ceremony was attended by H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of Emirates Group, Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, and Chairman of the Award's Board of Trustees, Sheikh Rashid bin Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Sheikh Saeed bin Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Humaid Al Qatami, Chairman of the Board and Director-General of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), Dr. Jamal Al Muhairi, Secretary General of the Awards and a number of GCC, Arab educators.