Religious books ranked first in terms of favorite books in the UAE at 37%, followed by novels at 33%, and books on history and politics in third place at 31.8%.
Sports betting houses followed with 28.7 percent; self-development books came in next with 28.2 percent, while science books came in last with 26.1 percent of readers choosing them.
Perhaps surprisingly, 84.5 per cent of those surveyed believe that modern technology and social media sites have motivated them to read more, with 88.1 per cent of society reading from social media platforms on a daily basis.
The Ministry of Culture and Youth announced the findings on Sunday during a virtual session titled “UAE National Reading Index: Statistics and Results.” The event was organized as part of the ministry’s events for Reading Month. The National Reading Index was launched by the ministry in 2019 to measure the popularity of reading among members of the UAE community. The goal was to encourage reading and help develop policies and plans to promote it.
More than 3,300 citizens and residents of the seven emirates participated in the investigation. The study also included more than 150 writers, more than 3,000 students, and more than 800 teachers and parents from across the UAE.
The survey was carried out in collaboration with the Federal Center for Competitiveness and Statistics along with other strategic partners such as the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center, Zayed University and the Arabic Reading Challenge Initiative.
Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth, said: “The UAE National Reading Index is an important element of the National Reading Plan 2016-2026, which aims to make reading a way of life in Emirati society for 2026. It is the first one-of-a-kind project in the Arab region, and a way to help build a knowledge-based society and prepare plans and strategies for community development. It is a key addition to enriching the Arab Knowledge Project and helps stakeholders to contribute to its development.”
Hanan Mansoor Ahli, Director of the Federal Authority for Competitiveness and Statistics, said: “[The index] represents an accurate monitoring of reading habits in the country, allowing decision makers and policy makers to launch effective initiatives to promote a culture of reading in society. It is an accurate reflection of how much UAE communities read, which greatly helps support policies and plans in the areas of reading and knowledge development in society.”