DUBAI, November 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Responding to a challenge set by Dubai Cares, the global philanthropy created a year ago by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, students from across the United Arab Emirates read 1,323,218 books over a two-week period exceeding the target by more than 30 percent. To put this accomplishmentinto perspective that amounts to one book being read every second of the two-week campaign. The extraordinary number of books were read by 141,415 students ages 4 to 14 from 159 schools in the emirates of Al Ain, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah, and Dubai, according to Her Excellency Reem Al-Hashimy, UAE's Minister of State, and Chairperson of Dubai Cares. She added that1,323,218 books - a number matching those read by students in the UAE -- will now be donated by Dubai Cares to needy children globally.

This program has not only allowed children to enhance their reading skills but it has clearly demonstrated to the world the philanthropic spirit of children in the United Arab Emirates, Minister Al-Hashimy said. Dubai Cares recognizes the impact of parents and teachers who wholeheartedly embraced the 'challenge'by personally encouraging both children and students.

Speaking today at the closing ceremony of the Million Book Challengebefore scores of students, parents and luminaries from the Emirates, Minister Al-Hashimy disclosed that in response to the impressive achievement of the students, Dubai Cares will create more than 1,000 libraries in poor communities around the world, through its partnership with well-known charitable organizations, includingRoom to Read,reinforcing Dubai Cares' commitment to improving literacy. By creating libraries, Dubai Cares is providing sustainable community centers of learning which effectively extend the reach of each book, maximizing the impact for students and their communities for generations, she said.

This year's campaign employed several unusualtechniques to draw attention to children's efforts. Its progress - the number of books read daily by UAE students - was charted daily by a lighted sign running up the side of Burj Dubai, the world's tallest building, which stands a half-mile high. Had the progress line truly reflected the number of books read, it would have risen to five times that height.

The brainchild of Sheikh Mohammed - Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai - Dubai Cares is considered the largest charitable establishment solely devoted to improving primary education globally. It actively addresses the educational needs of more than four million children worldwide through partnerships with international aid agencies. During its inaugural campaign in 2007, Dubai Cares raised the equivalent of US$1 billion, a sum that's being used to generate educational programs globally.

More information about Dubai Cares can be found at:

Contact: Christine Tight E-mail:; UAE phone: +971-50-503-3287 Contact: Alice Markson E-mail:; UAE phone: +971-50-705-0717

Contact: Christine Tight, E-mail:; UAE phone: +971-50-503-3287; Contact: Alice Markson, E-mail:; UAE phone: +971-50-705-0717