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Registration Opens for the 7th Season of the ‘Prince of Poets’ Competition

The registration for participation in the "Prince of Poets" competition, in its 7th season (2016-2017), would run until the 30th of September, 2016, the Cultural Programs and Heritage Festivals Committee – Abu Dhabi announced. Those willing to take part in the competition can submit their requests via e-mail at: The date and the procedure for taking part in the preliminary interviews, which will bring together the nominated poets and the members of the jury, will be announced shortly after the end of the registration process.


Organised every two years, alternately with the “Million’s Poet”, the Prince of Poets, a 10-week competition for classical Arabic poetry, is held at Al Raha Beach Theatre. Over 6 seasons, and from 2007 to 2015, six poets, from the United Arab Emirates, Mauritania, Syria, Yemen, Egypt and Saudi Arabia won the much-desired title. From the 25th of March to the 27th of May 2015, the Cultural Programs and Heritage Festivals Committee – Abu Dhabi organised the 6th season of the Prince of Poets, which had concluded with Saudi poet, Haydar Al Abdullah, winning the title.


“Considered as one of the most influential TV programmes in the Arab region, the Prince of Poets is inspired by the entrenched Arab heritage. It aims at restoring great works of Arab poetry and literature. The programme also seeks to revive the Arab cultural heritage while stimulating creative production on the contemporary poetry scene in the Arab region,” said Mr. Issa Seif Al Mazrouei, Director of the Department for Policies and Special Projects at the Committee.


Mazrouei also noted that “the Prince of Poets project remains committed to its objectives and message towards endorsing classical Arabic poetry, and providing the required support for talented poets. The project also aspires to promote this form of poetry in the Arab circles and revive the positive role of poetry in the local and universal culture. Owing to considerable efforts, the Prince of Poets continues to draw attention to the significant role of Abu Dhabi in the support of cultural interaction and dialogue.”  


With the participation of hundreds of TV productions, the Prince of Poets received the Golden Award for the category of the “Best cultural TV Programme” at the Gulf Radio and TV Production Festival (2016) in Manama. The programme also received Al Owais Award for Creativity (2014) for the category of the “Best Local Cultural TV Programme”. In 2009, the Prince of Poets was awarded two prestigious prizes in the field of television production, both at the Arab and international levels. The programme was picked as the Best Creative Programme at the British A.I.B Festival. And it also received the Golden Award as the “Best TV Programme” at the Gulf Radio and TV Production Festival in Bahrain.


Director of the Poetry Academy at the Cultural Programs and Heritage Festivals Committee - Abu Dhabi, Mr. Sultan Al Amimi noted that “the age of admissible candidates has been limited between 18 and 45. Each submission must consist of one poem that is composed in classical Arabic. All submissions must be exclusively typed and sent by email as an attachment.”


Over six seasons, the programme has revealed the talents of 165 gifted poets who are aged between 18 and 45. The creative productions of these poets have been assembled and acknowledged by the Academy in outstanding poetry collections. The participation of young poets in the programme stands out as a clear evidence of the ongoing appeal and popularity of poetry as a form of expression among the various social categories.







The traditional classical Arabic poems ‘amudi’ (in column form) as well as free verse or taf’ila (metric) poems are accepted. Prose poems are not allowed into the competition.


Each candidate poet is advised to send either one classical poem consisting of at least 20 lines and not exceeding 30 lines, or one taf’ila or free verse poem consisting of no more than two strophes, each containing a maximum of 15 lines.


Along with the poems, candidates must send a typed resume specifying their date of birth, favourite activities and literary achievements, in addition to their permanent address in their home country, email, and contact numbers. They should also send a colour scan of their passport, with at least one-year validity.


“The programme has managed to attract a large audience and secure a media coverage that has surpassed all expectations,” Amimi said, noting that the final stages of the competition are broadcast live on TV, over ten weeks, on both Abu Dhabi TV, and Baynounah TV. During the last season, the Saudi TV Channel 1 (KSA 1) and El-Mehwar TV (Egypt) joined in the broadcast of the final stages of the Prince of Poets.


“In the previous seasons, the Prince of Poets managed to expand geographically, thanks to the live broadcast. It effectively crossed from the Gulf Region to reach millions of viewers in Arab countries as well as all speakers of Arabic, from all over the world. The programme is now widely recognised as a major competition that has instigated a significant movement, with a crucial role in the support of the Arab cultural scene,” Amimi said.


The Prince of Poets programme owes its success to the provided organisational and logistical means, a well-devised media plan, and empirical studies that monitored individual reactions and public opinion in the Arab world. Thanks to the apt selection of a qualified jury, challenges have been overcome towards the support of beauty and creativity on the poetic scene. 




In addition to the Burda, the gown which represents the Arab historical heritage and the ring which stands for the title of the Emirate, the cash value of the top prize received by the winner of the Prince of Poets title is AED 1 million. The holder of the second position gets AED 500,000, the third AED 300,000, the fourth AED 200,000 and the fifth AED 100,000. The Organising Committee of the Competition also sponsors the publishing of printed and audio poetry collections authored by winning poets.


Winners of the Previous Seasons of the Prince of Poets:


First Season:


1 - Prince of Poets: Karim Matouk - UAE.

2 - Mohamed Ould Taleb - Mauritania.

3 - Jassim Al Sahih- Saudi Arabia.

4 – Rawdha Al Haj - Sudan.

5 - Tamim Al Barghouti - Palestine.


Second Season:


1 - Prince of Poets: Sidi Ould Bamba - Mauritania.

2 - Mohammed Ibrahim Yacoub - Saudi Arabia.

3 - Ahmed Bakhit - Egypt.

4 - Muhannad Sari - Jordan.

5- Adi Ould Adba - Mauritania.


Third Season:


The third season:

1 - Prince of Poets: Hassan Baiti - Syria.

2 - Bassam Salih Mahdi - Iraq.

3 - Turki Abdul Ghani - Jordan.

4 - Walid Al Sarraf  - Iraq.

5 - Hikmat Hassan Jomaa- Syria.


Fourth Season:


1 - Prince of Poets: Abdul Aziz Al Zarai - Yemen.

2 - Hisham Al Jakh - Egypt.

3 - Mountazar Al Moussawi - Oman.

4 - Najah Al Arsan - Iraq.

5 - Mohammed Hijazi  - Jordan.


Fifth Season:


1 - Prince of Poets: Dr. Alaa Janib - Egypt.

2 - Yahya Wahhash - Yemen.

3 - Sheikh Walad Bilamash - Mauritania.

4 - Hisham Al Saghri - Sultanate of Oman.

5 - Mohammed Abu Shararah - Saudi Arabia.


Sixth Season:


1- Prince of Poets: Haydar Al Abdullah – Saudi Arabia

2- Dr. Issam Khalifa – Egypt

3- Mohammad Ould Idoum – Mauritania

4- Nadhir Al Sumaidaie – Iraq

5- Manahel Fathi – Sudan