Dubai has named the Grand Sheikh of al-Azhar, Ahmed al-Tayyeb, Islamic figure of the year.
The decision was approved unanimously by members of the Dubai International Holy Quran Award’s (DIHQA) organising committee, according to Ibrahim Bumelha, the committee's chairman. He told reporters that the selection of Tayyeb came in recognition of his efforts in the service of Islam.
The committee has been awarding the title annually since 1997. The winner will have served Islam in a distinguished manner through literature or in practical ways, and will enjoy broad support.
Previous winners include Sudan's former president Abdel Rahman Swar al-Dahab, Sheikh Mohamed Metwali al-Shaarawi, and Sheikh Abdel Rahman al-Sodeis.
In April, the board of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award named Tayyeb the "cultural personality" of the year.