The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF) has expanded its portfolio of knowledge publications in 2020, issuing several publications across various knowledge disciplines via its ‘A Book in Minutes’ initiative and the Dubai International Programme for Writing.
The Foundation also made millions of publications available to the public through its ground-breaking Digital Knowledge Hub platform, in an effort to widen the scope of knowledge production and dissemination in the UAE and the world, all while promoting a culture of digital reading among communities, and supporting Arabic online content.
The Dubai International Programme for Writing carried on with its activities and training workshops in 2020 despite the international COVID-19 crisis, expanding its reach to additional Arab countries through videoconferencing platforms. This, in turn, led to an uptick in the number of books and publications written by participants in the Programme, including short stories, translations, children’s books, and young adult literature.
A total of 23 new titles were produced and will be made available through the Digital Knowledge Hub, bringing the total number of publications issued by the Programme since its inception to more than 107, where the investigative article writing workshop alone can count 73 participants in total. The Programme welcomed 50 participants at its workshops in 2020 – prominent authors who benefitted from these sessions to hone their skills.
MBRF made sure all of its publications were available on the Digital Knowledge Hub platform, especially at a time when people were confined to their homes by the precautionary and preventative measures implemented to curb the COVID-19 outbreak. The ‘Invest in Knowledge’ initiative, rolled out at the time, made available more than 2.6 million digital items of content covering all knowledge disciplines and appealing to every segment of the community.
“The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation has launched several projects over the years to spearhead the production and dissemination of knowledge, and promote reading and culture in the community,” said MBRF’s CEO Jamal bin Huwaireb. “These projects have seen an exponential rise in demand this past year driven by the global restrictions enacted to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, including social distancing, which led to people staying in their homes for longer periods of time. Many people went searching for reliable sources of knowledge, easily accessible from anywhere and at any time. MBRF’s Digital Knowledge Hub provided just that, offering users high-quality and diverse publications.”
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been a remarkable increase in demand for digital reading, specifically through our Digital Knowledge Hub platform,” bin Huwaireb added. “The number of users on the platform jumped to 252,466 in 2020, up from 182,124 in 2019, reflecting public appetite for digital knowledge resources that allow them to easily access knowledge through a modern online platform, in line with the requirements of our time.”
The Foundation will continue to work on enriching the platform with additional productions and publications, in an effort to establish the Digital Knowledge Hub as the premier digital reading destination for readers in the UAE and across the region.
For its part, the ‘Book in Minutes’ initiative published 24 summaries of books in 2020, also providing them though the Digital Knowledge Hub platform. These included books in various disciplines, such as education, health and the environment, the modern family, future foresight, entrepreneurship , artificial intelligence, and self-development. This brings the total number of publications issued by the initiative to 225 titles by the end of 2020.
Meanwhile, Wamadat and Flashes magazines, issued by MBRF, continued to provide readers with the latest and most-discussed global discoveries, particularly those related to AI, space, literacy efforts, and the eradication of infectious diseases. They covered all developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic and international efforts to mitigate its economic, social, and health impact. The two magazines also covered topics on advanced technologies and data, and their impact on sustainable and community development. The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation offered the magazines for free to the public via the Digital Knowledge Hub platform.