Dubai, 8 February 2020:  The nation’s young poets of the future were recognised today at the prize giving ceremony of the Taaleem Award for Poetry held during the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature (4-9 February 2020). The winners received a commemorative book featuring their winning entries and a plaque, awarded to them by Festival authors Martin Kiszko and Hassan Al Matrooshi.

Open to students writing in both Arabic and English, the annual Taaleem Award has become a fixture of the UAE student calendar. This year’s theme for the competition was Tomorrow, which inspired more than 1,600 entries of original poetry based on the theme to be submitted in the four age categories – 11 and under, 12-14, 15-17 and 18-25.

Alan Williamson, CEO of Taaleem, said that the competition had been hugely successful in helping children engage with poetry. “We are always amazed at the high quality of the entries, which increases year on year. The competition provides a wonderful opportunity for our talented young poets, some only discovering the pleasure that poetry brings by entering the competition. It enables them to express their thoughts and feelings in such a creative manner, making poetry more accessible. We are proud to have been involved in providing this showcase for the poets of tomorrow.”



Taaleem English winners:

11 and Under

  1. Dorian Fredrick – Duneha
  2. Arthur Tarrant – Dubai English Speaking College
  3. Vinuthmee Yehansa Bulathsinhalage – Al Diyafah High School


  1. Meerah Al Shehhi – Australian International School of Sharjah
  2. Catherine Gonsalvaz – Gems Our Own English High School
  3. Anya Kumar – Emirates International School – Meadows


  1. Rachel Deyis – Sharjah English School
  2. Vyshnevi Satheesh – Delhi Private School Sharjah
  3. Zahra Ahmad – North London Collegiate School


  1. Salma Abdussalam – Middlesex University
  2. Nireka Dhameja – American University of Dubai
  3. Amal Alnuaimi – Zayed University

Taaleem Arabic winners:

11 and Under

  1. Noha Abu Nader (Kings’ School Al Barsha, Dubai)
  2. Shamma Khalid Abdulla Alamri (Al Mawakeb School – Al Garhoud, Dubai)
  3. Momen Abdulhalim Hassan (Dubai National School – Al Barsha, Dubai)


  1. Hamza Muhannad Wadaa (Al Mawakeb School – Al Garhoud, Dubai)
  2. Amna Hamad AlShehhi (Khadijah School for Basic Education – Cycle 2, Ajman)
  3. Sewar Abu Nimeh (Al Salam Community School – Al Twar, Dubai)


  1. Joumana Hani Mohammad (Al Mawakeb School – Al Barsha, Dubai)
  2. Malak Kamkar (Dubai International Academy – Emirates Hills, Dubai)
  3. Marwa Khalil Almansoori (Dubai National School – Al Twar, Dubai)


  1. Rama Ammar Kayyali (Sharjah University, Sharjah)


The Festival programme is brimming with sessions to engage, entertain and inform, with topics encompassing fiction, history, current affairs, food, health, travel, biography, business and more.  There are opportunities to appreciate poetry, take part in creative writing workshops and generally indulge in intelligent and articulate discussion on a wide range of topics. Sessions appeal to all ages and nationalities, featuring outstanding authors, thinkers and opinion formers.


The Festival is held with Founding Partners Emirates Airline and the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated authority for heritage, arts, and culture.

The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai.


More information about the Emirates Literature Foundation can be found online and year-round news about #EmiratesLitFest is available on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.