Since 2006, the Award has recognised outstanding works by authors, translators, researchers, scholars, publishers and organisations around the world. Not only does winning the award bring immense prestige to the winners, but each laureate also receives a cash prize of AED 750,000 (160,578 GBP / 204,197 USD), to both recognise their achievements and support them in their future literary work. The Cultural Personality of the Year winner receives a cash prize of AED. 1,000,000 (213,435 GBP/ 272,260 USD).

Of the ten award categories, four are open to international submissions:

·  The Translation category accepts works of any genre (fiction, poetry and non-fiction) translated either to or from Arabic, and has previously been awarded to American translator Michael Cooperson for Impostures, an anthology of translations from the Maqāmāt of al-Harīrī.

·  The Arab Culture in Other Languages category recognises works published in languages other than Arabic on aspects of Arab civilisation and culture from fields including the humanities, fine arts, literature and history. In 2024, the Award went to Frank Griffel for a study of post-classical Islamic philosophy, and other recent laureates have covered topics such as the history of the justice system in the Umayyad era (Mathieu Tillier), the Arabian Nights (Dr. Muhsin Al Musawi) and the history and theory of Arabic Oration (Tahera Qutbuddin).

·  The Editing of Arabic Manuscripts category accepts submissions in the fields of editing of Arabic manuscripts and the production of specialised and general lexicons for Arabic texts.

·  The Publishing and Technology category is dedicated to publishers, distributors, research institutions and cultural institutions whose work makes an impact on the promotion of Arab literature and culture. Previous international laureates in this category include Banipal Magazine from the UK, the Biblioteca Alexandrina in Egypt, Dutch publisher Brill and Chinese publisher Bayt Elhekma for Creative Industries.

The categories open to submissions written in Arabic include Young AuthorLiterature (including poetry, short stories, novels, biographies, playscripts, and more), Contribution to the Development of NationsChildren’s Literature (including young adult titles), and Literary and Art Criticism.

The Award for Cultural Personality of the Year is open to nominations from international bodies and recognises prominent Arab or international figures (or organisations) who have contributed to the advancement of Arabic culture. Previous international recipients of the Award have included Casa Árabe in Spain, the Institut du Monde Arabe in France, UNESCO and Lebanese-French author Amin Maalouf.To find out more and to submit your nomination, please visit and register on the SZBA submissions portal.