According to thenational.ae employees will be given time off work to read under a law that was passed on Monday, which also exempts reading material from taxes and fees.
The President, Sheikh Khalifa, announced the law, which is aimed at achieving the country’s vision of a knowledge-based economy.
"Our goal is to prepare generations that work towards excelling and achieving the vision of the UAE, which since its inception has recognised the importance of knowledge, science and culture, and harnessed them in the best interests of the homeland and Emiratis," Sheikh Khalifa said.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, hailed the law on Twitter as "an unprecedented cultural and legislative initiative".
Fees and taxes for distributing, publishing and printing reading material will be scrapped, and facilities for authors, editors and publishing houses will be provided. Sheikh Mohammed said the law would consolidate “the cultural image of books in our society, and oblige coffee shops in shopping malls to offer reading material for customers”. He added that “the law will encourage the private sector to invest in the establishment of libraries and cultural centres. This will be done by providing the private sector with facilities, incentives and discounts'.
He also added that the goal is for 2016 to be 'the start of a sustainable cultural change among generations – a change that consolidates the importance of reading, celebrates knowledge and boosts the status of reading.”
A national fund will be set up to support reading initiatives and assist media organisations to advertise the importance of books. The fund will also be used to organise a month dedicated each year to promoting literature.
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