Al Burda Award

About the Award

The Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development launched the annual 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 fifteenth edition, it is a global platform in the field of Arabic and Islamic culture, capable of broadening cultural exchanges between peoples and civilizations. The Al Burda Award attracts participation from international elite poets, calligraphers and fine artists, having surpassed its Emirati origin to become a leading competition on the international level.

With its support of Arabic language arts, Arabic literature, and traditional Islamic arts, the Award has helped to revitalize the Islamic cultural 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.

Award Goals

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

  • Encourage artistic expression in celebrating the life of the Prophet
  • Honor poets, calligraphers and artists that are inspired by Islamic art and culture
  • Motivate youth to innovate, create and present modern Islamic art to the world
  • Share cultural values across the globe through Islamic art
  • Highlight the aesthetics of Islamic art to inspire young people to take pride in their cultural identity
  • Implement regional and global collaborative knowledge and cultural projects

“The Al Burda Award continuously seeks development and modernization to achieve its goal of teaching the beauty of Islamic art to all segments of society.”

Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan

UAE Minister of Tolerance

Former UAE Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development



The Al Burda Award offers two poetry categories. The subject and theme of poetry submissions must be the birth of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), and poems must be no less than 30 lines and no more than 50 lines.

Eloquent Poetry conditions:

  • Poems should be in traditional Arabic vertical patterns.
  • Submitted poetry must be in Classical Arabic.

Nabati Poetry conditions:

  • Submitted poetry must demonstrate commitment to the artistic and technical conditions of Nabati poetry.


The Al Burda Award offers two calligraphy categories. Calligraphy submissions may be in the classical or modern (Hurufiyya) style. The theme and conditions of each style are announced annually.

Islamic Ornamentation

The Al Burda Award offers a competition in Islamic ornamentation. The theme and conditions are announced annually.

New Disciplines

The Al Burda Festival Endowment seeks to expand the reach of Islamic culture by recognizing creative pioneers who embrace experimentation in their approach to Islamic art and culture. The ten artists selected by a jury of cultural experts and Al Burda Partners will develop work that will be presented in 2019.

Current Artists

Al Burda Award Winners

To be announced soon

Past Winners

The Arabi Calligraphy Contest Modern Style

The Arabi Calligraphy Contest Traditional Style

The Islamic Illumination (Zakhrafa) Contest

View All Past Winners









    No computer use is permitted.

General Conditions

1. Participation is open to all, whether living inside or outside the United Arab Emirates.

2. Contestants may compete in all categories, and are limited to one submission per category.

3. Submitted artworks and poems must be not have been previously exhibited, presented in other competitions, or published anywhere in the UAE or abroad. In such cases, winning contestants will not receive any awards.

4. It is prohibited to use digital elements or computer-assisted editing in any submitted artworks.

5. Participants must register via the form on the Award website following the annual announcement of Award terms and conditions ( Participants must complete registration at least 1 month prior to submitting their work for competition.

6. Any submission that does not bear the registration number and contestant name will be rejected.

7. Participants must send an identification card, an image of the submitted work, a list of materials used, and a scanned copy of their passport (valid for at least six months) to

8. All submitted artworks must be signed.

9. Artworks submitted for competition must be sent to the following address: PO Box 97721, Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, Dubai, United Arab Emirates Poetry submitted for competition must be in .doc format; otherwise, the submission will be rejected. Poetry submissions must be sent to:

10. Submitted works received after 10/09/2017 will not be accepted. The award ceremony will take place in Rabi’ Al-Awwal 1439 AH.

11. The Award management bears no responsibility for submitted works delayed or damaged in shipment.

12. The judging panel evaluates submitted works on the basis of their creative and aesthetic quality.

13. The judging panel may add, deny or divide awards as they see fit. Participants may not object to such actions.

14. Non-winning works may be returned to the artist by request, submitted no more than 30 days after the announcement of the results. Any request submitted later than this will be rejected. Works must be collected in person from the Ministry office in Dubai by either the owner or an official representative.

15. By submitting any work (poem, calligraphy or decoration), the participant accepts the Award terms and conditions.