The International Prize for Arabic Fiction is one of the most prestigious and important literary prizes in the Arab world.

The International Prize for Arabic Fiction rewards excellence in contemporary Arabic creative writing and to encourage the readership of high quality Arabic literature internationally through the translation and publication of winning and shortlisted novels in other major languages.

Omar Saif Ghobash is a founding trustee of the prize when it was launched in Abu Dhabi in April 2007. It was founded with the intention to address the limited international availability of high quality Arab fiction.

The initiative was based on a suggestion that a prize modeled on the successful Man Booker Prize would encourage recognition of high quality Arabic fiction, reward Arab writers and lead to increased international readership through translation.

The finalists are announced each March in Abu Dhabi, where shortlisted authors receive $10,000 each and the winner is given a $50,000 prize. Authors can look forward to increased book sales both within the Arab world and internationally through translation.

Each year a panel of five judges, made up of literary critics, writers and academics from the Arab world and beyond, is selected by the Board of Trustees. Publishers can submit three of their novels from the previous year. The Judges read all the novels submitted, usually in excess of 100 in total, and together decide a longlist, shortlist and winner. To ensure complete integrity, the names of the Judges are not revealed until the shortlist announcement. This integrity of the judging process is of fundamental importance for the Prize. The Judges can have no regard to external influences and opinions, nor to issues of nationality, religion, politics, gender or age.

The Prize is run with the support of the Booker Prize Foundation in London and funded by TCA Abu Dhabi in the UAE.

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All images courtesy of IPAF