Every day is World Book Day at these cool public libraries around the city
On 23rd April, the world will mark World Book Day, an annual celebration declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation to promote reading.
The UAE, and Abu Dhabi in particular, has been advocating the benefits of reading through various public activities and programmes over the years. This is in line with the government’s vision to make reading a daily habit in society by 2026.
Luckily for us also, the city is home to a number of public libraries where children and adults can devour an extensive number of titles in English and Arabic.
So the next time you’re looking for a place to read, you might want to check out these venues…
Khalifa Park Library
Stationed inside Khalifa Park, this library houses more than 50,000 titles. There’s a Rare Books Hall and the Emirates and Gulf Books Collection featuring scientific journals and periodicals. A dedicated children’s library features a collection of books that will stir the creativity and imagination of youngsters. AED 2 park entry, free for children below 10. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Street. Sun-Thu 8am-8pm, Sat 4pm-8pm. Visit: adm.gov.ae
Mayzad Mall Library
Welcoming bibliophiles since 2012, this mall-based library stocks more than 30,000 books with a huge chunk made up of children’s titles. The library – which also has wifi and computers – hosts school visits, reading sessions and community events centred on reading. Free. Mayzad Mall, Mohammed bin Zayed City. Sun-Wed 9am-9pm, Thu and Sat 4pm-8pm. Visit: mayzadmall.com
Al Marfa Library
This library houses a wide collection of books covering various topics. There’s a children’s library as well as an activity room for special educational events like film screenings and storytelling events. But most notable is the library’s vast collection of books and materials on politics, religion and other specialised subjects, making this the ideal place for researchers and academics. A study room provides a quiet place for readers, and there are also computers with internet for those conducting research. Free. Ghweifat International Highway, New Al Marfa. Sun-Thu 8am-8pm, Sat 4pm-8pm. Contact: 02 657 6014
Qasr Al Watan Library
The latest addition to the capital’s growing network of libraries is located inside the country’s presidential headquarters. Here, visitors can access reading material on the subjects of science, art, history, geography and economic and political development of the UAE. The vast selection of books and manuscripts caters to all types of interests – including archaeology, biographies, memoirs, social sciences, statistics, culture, literature, arts and more. Computers and modern amenities such as e-books, audio and video materials are also available. From AED 25 for adults, AED 12 for children, free for children aged three years old and below. Ras Al Akhdar, next to Emirates Palace. Daily 10am-8pm. Contact: 600 544 442, qasralwatan.ae
WORDS Ferdinand Godinez