Over the years, the private and public sector in the UAE have launched several cultural awards to encourage and promote artists and creators and to provide support in the form of exposure and financial reward. Some of the awards that are currently active in the UAE are the following:
* Arab Social Media Award: The Award, launched in 2014 by Dubai Executive Office, highlights the most important initiatives of social media in the Arab world and honors individuals and institutions that have creatively used social media channels to increase awareness of issues of concern to the Arab community and have had a positive impact on the development and prosperity of the community. There are 20 categories for the award, including categories for arts, media, youth, tolerance, and technology. In 2018, 31 social media influencers and organizations received the award.
* Arab Journalism Award (AJA): Launched in 1999, is the region's most prestigious award recognizing journalistic excellence. The award's main goal is to reward talent, inspire, and stimulate creativity and enhance the constructive role of the press in serving the community. It rewards talent under 13 categories including investigative reporting; young talent in journalism; photojournalism; economic journalism; outstanding cartoon artwork; sports journalism; best press interview; best columnist; media personality of the year; political journalism; cultural journalism; smart journalism and humanitarian journalism. The award's main goal is to reward talent, inspire, and stimulate creativity in journalism. The award has had 19 editions, has received 68,300 submissions from 43 countries and has been awarded 275 journalists
* Happiness Film Award: The award is organized by the Ministry of Community Development and aims to support the development of positive and purposeful content by providing an innovative platform to engage community members. People are invited to provide creative content that promotes positive values and habits, and innovatively cements concepts of happiness and quality of life in society. The competition consists of short 1 minute film submissions. The award gives participants the freedom to choose the most appropriate film format to convey their ideas such as drama, documentary, advertisement, educational material, theatrical sketch, or any of the other filming styles they prefer.
* Sheikh Zayed Book Award: The Sheikh Zayed Book Award is organized by the Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi and is presented annually to outstanding writers, intellectuals and publishers, as well as young talent whose writing and translation enriches the Arab intellectual, cultural, literary and social life. Each prize consists of a gold medal bearing the Sheikh Zayed Book Award logo, a certificate of merit, and a cash reward, comprising a total prize value of seven million UAE Dirhams (US $1.9m) annually. The Cultural Personality of the Year receives a prize of one million UAE Dirhams, while the winners of the other categories receive 750,000 UAE Dirhams each.
* International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF): IPAF is supported by the Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi and was launched in April 2007. It is the most prestigious and important literary prize in the Arab world, and if often referred to as the "Arabic Booker Prize". Its aim is to reward 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. One of the main aims of the IPAF is to encourage the translation of Arabic literature into other languages. The shortlisted authors each receive $10,000 US. The winning author goes on to receive a further $50,000 US, with a commitment that IPAF will meet the cost of translation of the winning novel into English. Novels associated with IPAF can look forward to increased readership and sales both within the Arab world and internationally through translation.
* Little Writer Competition: The competition is organized by the Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi. It is a series of competitions for children called 'Little Writer' which focuses on the Arabic language as an intellectual and cultural component that support social values. The winning stories are included in a volume called "Little Writer in the Big Book" which is distributed to all schools' libraries and MAKTABA's branches across the Abu Dhabi.
* Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Patrons of the Arts Awards: The awards is organized by Dubai Culture and Arts Authority honor and recognize individuals, business, organizations, and government entities that have provided financial and in-kind support for the promotion of artistic activity in Dubai. Contributions are recognized in the visual arts, film, literature and performing arts. In 2019, this award was replaced by the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Arts Awards.
* Mansoor Bin Mohammed Award for Short Films: The Community Development Authority in Dubai delivers this award, and its objective is to encourage creativity and innovation among young people. The Award aims to (1) raise community awareness of human rights issues, (2) encourage youth to employ creative skills to portray human rights and thus to develop their creative artistic capacities and (3) to promote the values of tolerance, cultural diversity, and to combat discrimination and extremism. To date 30 films have won this award.
* Jameel Prize for contemporary artists and designers: Organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, in partnership with Art Jameel, the vision of the Jameel Prize is to recognize the influence of Islamic tradition on contemporary culture and celebrate contemporary practitioners inspired by Islamic design and visual culture. The artists and designers short-listed for the Jameel Prize are invited to show examples of their artwork in a special exhibition, which debuts either at the V&A or another notable international museum, before travelling to other venues around the world. There have been five editions since the Prize began in 2009.
* Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture - UNESCO: Funded by the Department of Culture in Sharjah, the award was established under the directives of His Highness, Ruler of Sharjah, in cooperation with UNESCO, when Sharjah was named Capital of Arab Culture in 1998. The award is given in recognition of the efforts of cultural figures, or institutions that contribute to the intellectual and artistic promotion of Arab culture and its appreciation and understanding around the world.
* Sharjah Award for Theatre Creativity: The Department of Culture in Sharjah organizes the Award, which was established in 2007. The Award encourages and honors Arab playwrights who have shown their dedication to theatre over the years and created effective platforms for Arab theatre.
* Sharjah Award for Arab Creativity: The annual Sharjah Award for Arab Creativity is brought by the Department of Culture in Sharjah and was established in 1996. It supports talented writers in the UAE and across the Arab world. Categories of the award are: short stories, poetry, playwriting, children's literature, and essays.
* Sharjah International Prize for Cultural Heritage: A merit award established in 2016 and granted annually by the Sharjah Institute for Heritage to individuals, groups, or projects in honor of the efforts made in the field of heritage preservation and has completed its third cycle. The award works to appreciate the various efforts exerted at the local, Arab and international levels in the field of heritage preservation and documentation of successful experiences and practices in order to ensure its continuity. The award aims to spread the spirit of theoretical and practical scientific competition between those interested and working in the field of scientific and field research in preserving and codifying heritage. The award also honors human treasures and emphasizes the effective role of narrators carrying oral literary masterpieces, traditional knowledge and craft skills in preserving the cultural heritage of man and ensuring its permanence.
* Sharjah International Book Fair Awards: The annual Sharjah International Book Fair Awards which is brough by the Sharjah Book Authority , promotes the production of good quality publications and recognize and appreciate distinguished individuals and organizations for their contribution to the social, cultural and literary fields. The breakdown of the awards include: Turjuman Award, Award for an Emirati Book, Award for the Best International Book, Award for the Best Arabic Novel, Publisher Recognition Award, and Cultural personality of the Year Award.
* Sharjah Award for Arab Photo: The Sharjah Award for Arab Photo honors Arab photographers who contribute and enrich the Arab photography scene globally, with valuable photographs that reflect the Arab world.
* Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Award: The Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Award is granted to a number of outstanding Arab innovators and intellectuals in recognition of their significant contributions in the following categories of (1) poetry (2) short story, novel and drama (3) literary studies and criticism (4) humanities and future studies.
* Fujairah International Monodrama Festival Awards: The Fujairah International Monodrama Festival Awards was established in 2003 and brought by Fujairah Authority for Culture and Media. It aims at encouraging the presence of Monodrama in the Arabic theatre in general, and in Emirati theatre in particular, and supporting the young and talented artists who can contribute to its growth.
* Fujairah Photography Award: Brought by the Fujairah Culture and Media Authority and established in 2007, the Award was launched with the aim of upgrading the intellectual, cultural and aesthetic scene in Fujairah in particular, and the UAE in general. It also aims at presenting creative works that reflect reality, spark the creative interest and curiosity of the public and enrich the world of visual arts.
* Ibda'a Media Student Awards: The aim of the Ibda'a Awards is to discover, showcase and develop the talents of media students attending university or college. The Etisalat Award for Arabic Children's literature: The award was launched in 2009 and aims to provide an incentive for publishers, authors, and illustrators to publish Arabic children's books and apps that are of the highest quality in both form and content. It is one of the richest awards of its kind in the world and is considered among the most important literary awards for children's literature in the Arab region.
There are many cultural awards in the UAE, and many of them are regional and international awards. Many people and organizations participate in these awards and competitions, some of those accomplishments are highlighted below:
* Sharjah Department of Culture manages 7 domestic, regional and international cultural awards in areas such as poetry, drama, fine art critique, Arabic culture, innovation and creativity.
* Many of the organizations in the UAE which manage awards and competitions ensure student engagement and participation in these awards. For example, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), the authority responsible for education in Dubai, facilitated student participation in the following: International Prize for Arabic Fiction, Emirates Airlines Literature Festival, and other awards.
* The Happiness Film Award received nearly 200 creative participations over a period of 2 months, and 22 films qualified for the semi-finals. The first three winners won the opportunity to attend the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, in an award presented by the Ministry of the Interior, in addition to financial prizes worth 5,000 UAE Dirhams for the 22 finalists. In addition, Majid Al Futtaim Group offered financial prizes of 50,000 AED Dirhams to the first place winner, 30,000 AED Dirhams for the second place winner, and 20,000 AED Dirhams for the third place winner.
* The Sheikh Zayed Book Award is organized by the Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi and is presented annually with the following results in the last few years:
o 2016 - 46 countries, 1,169 nominations
o 2017 - 45 countries, 1,175 nominations
o 2018 - 41 countries, 1,191 nominations
o 2019 - 49 countries, 1,502 nominations
o 2020 - 49 countries, 1,900 nominations
* International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF): 1,781 writers from 24 countries participated in the 13 editions of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, from its inception in 2008 to 2020.
* Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Patrons of the Arts Awards: The second edition of the Awards, held recently recognized 40 patrons for contributing over AED 130 million in financial or in-kind contribution towards the arts. This followed the first edition where 59 organizations and individuals were recognized for their financial and in-kind support of about AED 250 million from 2007 to 2009.