x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Dubai peace prize aims to rival Nobel in prestige

Board behind the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for World Peace seek to "spread the inspiring values of Islam throughout the world".

DUBAI // An award established in the emirate is aiming to rival the Nobel Peace Prize in prestige.

Dr Hamad Al Shaibani, chairman of the board of trustees for the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for World Peace, said the aim of the prize was to "spread the inspiring values of Islam throughout the world".

Dr Al Shaibani said it would be open to all, regardless of faith.

"It could be a person or organisation anywhere in the world, no matter their religion, who has helped to contribute to world peace," he said.

The announcement of the award comes after last month's Dubai International Peace Convention, attended by 153,000 people.

The award will be bestowed for the first time at the next Dubai International Peace Convention in 2014, and held every two years after.

Sultan bin Mejren, deputy chairman of the board, said the award would "showcase the true meaning of peace, tolerance and love".

Dr Al Shaibani said the board of trustees would soon hold a workshop, inviting key figures from the Nobel Peace Prize and the Gandhi Prize to help with details of the selection process.

He said the award would not compete directly with the Nobel prizes, which began in 1901 and honour leaders in the fields of peace, physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, and literature.

But the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for World Peace will celebrate, for example, the relationship of a leader with his people.

"We are not here to replace the Nobel Peace Prize but to complete the work that other people have started," said Dr Al Shaibani.

The cash value of the award has not been announced but Dr Al Shaibani said it would be "more than any other award for peace worldwide".

The value of the Nobel Peace Prize last year was US$1.4 million (Dh5.1m).

mcroucher@thenational.ae