Who we are

About Dubai Public Libraries

The late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, inaugurated Al Ras Public Library early in 1963 at a building overlooking the Dubai Creek, thus heralding a new era of knowledge in Emirati society.


Al Ras Public Library is the oldest and first public library in Dubai and the UAE offering informational material for the public. There were difficult economic and living conditions at the time, but the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, thought insightfully and reflected the importance of providing knowledge to all members of the Emirati community.


The Dubai public library roll-out did not stop at this point, but rather accompanied Dubai’s development journey, which sought to expand the provision of culture and understanding to serve residents of the emirate, and accordingly, with the passage of time, many proposals emerged to establish neighborhood libraries in residential areas, where the late Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum directed the establishment of four further public libraries in Hor Al Anz, Al Rashidiya, Al Safa, and Umm Suqeim, all of which were opened successively in 1989. After this followed the rest of the libraries we know today.


In keeping with the civilizational development witnessed by Dubai, its public libraries have succeeded in developing themselves in terms of technical and organizational aspects and have been drafted in accordance with international standards. It also worked to develop its membership by providing many special benefits that citizens and residents as well as companies registered in the country, can benefit from, including borrowing books, accessing the internet for free, accessing a variety of services at reduced fees, obtaining purchasing discounts from some publishing houses and participating in the events and programs of Dubai Public Libraries. Readers can also suggest knowledge materials to be added to the library through the website or smart application.


The Dubai Public Library network affiliated to Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) includes eight advanced libraries for adults, which are spread all over Dubai, seven of which contain specialised libraries for children, in addition to multi-purpose halls and classrooms. Its branches are among the preferred destinations for a large member of citizens and residents.


Over the years, Dubai Public Libraries have been able to design, develop and provide their services in a distinctive way, and have worked to develop their experience to become a reliable reference for benchmarking in the public sector at the local and regional levels.