Al Burda Award

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The Ministry of Culture and Youth launched the Al Burda Award in AH 1425 / 2004 AD to commemorate the birthday of Prophet Mohammed (God’s blessing and peace be upon him). Now in its 16th edition, it positions itself as a global platform that adopts the diversity of Islamic culture and its aesthetic practices and seeks to revitalize the Islamic culture and artistic movement.  As the Ministry introduces the Al Burda Festival and an Endowment in 2018, the Al Burda Award continues to position the UAE as a champion of creativity in the Islamic art field.

The award recognizes creativity and excellence in the practice of traditional Islamic disciplines and pays tribute to the complexity of the Arabic language through receiving original submissions from poets, calligraphers, and artists whose work is inspired by the Prophet Mohammed, the Holy Quran, and hadiths.  As of 2018, over 300 winners have been awarded in recognition of their distinguished work.

Al Burda Award has traditionally celebrated 3 disciplines:

  • Poetry (Classical and Nabati)
  • Calligraphy (Classical and modern)
  • Ornamentation

In a bid to expand the creative facets of the Award, the 16th edition introduces a new 4th category:

  • Arabic Typography


Award Disciplines


By celebrating the honorable biography and character of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) on the anniversaries of his birthday, the Al Burda Award aims to:

  1. Celebrate Islamic arts as a gateway to cultural communication with the world and as part of global heritage.
  2. Highlight values and principles of tolerance through celebrating the aesthetics of Islamic arts.
  3. Strengthen innovation and creativity through motivating emerging talents in their practice of traditional Islamic arts.
  4. Represent the Islamic world through the participation of creatives in the fields of poetry, calligraphy and ornamentation.
  5. Reflect the cultural and intellectual diversity of the Islamic world through traditional Islamic art disciplines.
  6. Support emerging and young creatives in regenerating traditional art through the use of technology. 

Key Dates

For the 16th edition, the key dates are as follows:

Registration of interest
17 May - 17 Jun 2021
Submission and uploading artwork
17 Jun - 01 Oct 2021
Receiving shipped artwork by MCY*
15 Sep - 15 Oct 2021

*Applicable only to the calligraphy and ornamentation categories. The applicant needs to ensure that enough time is given to ship their artwork for it to be received by MCY before October 15th.

The Award reinforces the key role of the UAE in supporting Islamic art through its efforts to preserve the artistic heritage of the Islamic civilisation and promote outstanding artworks to a global audience.

HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation