Emirates NBD, a leading bank in the region, announced today that it will serve as the official Banking Partner for the upcoming Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, which is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, and in partnership with Emirates Airline and the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority.
Set to take place from March 6-10, 2012, at the Dubai Cultural and Scientific Association and at the Intercontinental Hotel Dubai Festival City, the Festival is the Middle East’s largest celebration of the written and spoken word. This year’s event is the fourth edition of the Festival, and will create an environment that enables informal interaction with authors from across the world to promote education, debate and, above all else, a love of reading.
“As one of the leading local financial services providers in the UAE, Emirates NBD is a keen supporter of community-focused initiatives, in particular those that encourage the pursuit of education and learning,” said Saif Al Mansoori, Deputy Head – Group Marketing and Branding, Emirates NBD. “We believe that reading is key to the development of a knowledge-based society, and is instrumental in nurturing personal and intellectual growth.
“We are proud to be associated with the Festival of Literature, as this is in keeping with our long-term objectives of promoting a ‘Passion for Learning’ among people of all ages and cultures. Recent surveys show that the Festival of Literature has been instrumental in encouraging more people to take an interest in books, and Emirates NBD is fully supportive of initiatives that encourage such holistic personal development,” he added.
Similar Emirates NBD initiatives that encourage educational pursuits in the community include the ongoing nationwide “Banker for a Day” programme, and bank’s book donation campaign in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.
“Banker for a Day,” which was launched in 2011 across the UAE, aims to provide secondary-level students with the chance to experience all aspects of a normal working day at the bank, providing them with the opportunity to participate in the workplace as employees. More than 140 students from various schools across the country, have already participated in 24 sessions of the programme since its launch last year. The book donation campaign met the dual objective of creating a learning environment through promoting reading among youth, while at the same time encouraging people to share the books they have already read.
“Reading as a leisure activity is fast diminishing, and people seem to have lost the art of enjoying good literature. We therefore conceived the Festival of Literature as a meeting of minds where ideas are shared, and hope that it will help foster a love of reading,” said Isobel Abulhoul, Festival Director, Emirates Airline Festival of Literature.
“We are very pleased to welcome Emirates NBD as the official Banking partner of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature this year,” she added. “The endorsement from leading corporate institutions like Emirates NBD will generate greater interest among people and will go a long way towards creating a reading culture in the community.”
The Festival of Literature is a not-for-profit event supported by sponsorship and the voluntary efforts of Dubai’s dedicated reading community. The Festival has a strong educational component, with more than 70 authors visiting schools, and also includes a series of workshops, student reading and writing competitions, and Fringe Festival activities that encourage student participation.