SCAD releases the results of Reading Survey in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi for 2020

In Celebration of Reading Month

SCAD releases the results of Reading Survey in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi for 2020


  • 38% of individuals regularly read in Abu Dhabi
  • 1% of the survey sample prefer online reading
  • 84% of Abu Dhabi society believe that relevant institutions in the emirate performed their role successfully to instill a culture of reading among community members


The Statistics Centre – Abu Dhabi (SCAD) published the results of the reading survey in the emirate of Abu Dhabi for 2020. The survey was aimed at knowing the population trends on reading. This reading survey is conducted in conjunction with the National Reading Month, which the UAE celebrates every March. The survey included a sample of the spectrum of the emirate community and covered all regions (Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Dhafra). The number of participants was 1,732 individuals aged 15 years and above.


Mr. Abdullah Ahmed Al Suwaidi, Acting Director-General of SCAD, indicated that the reading survey was in response to the directives of President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The goal is to launch a set of programmes and initiatives aiming to build a knowledge-based community. The ultimate goal is to establish the UAE as a global capital for content, culture and knowledge.


Al Suwaidi said: “SCAD continues to collect statistical data and extract indicators according to the best international standards and practices. This will help decision makers and stakeholders to undertake initiatives that contribute to achieving the vision and directives of our wise leadership, as well as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.”


According to the survey results, 38% of individuals read regularly in Abu Dhabi community. The highest reading rates were in Abu Dhabi region, where 42% of individuals read on a regular basis, followed by Al Ain with 39.8%, then Al Dhafra region with 28.9%. The results also indicated that there is almost equality between citizens and non-citizens in the tendency to read on a regular basis. The percentage of citizens was 37.2% compared with 38.9% for non-citizens.


Regarding the reasons for not reading, 63.5% of those surveyed indicated that they did not have enough time, 36.3% cited work pressure, and 20.0% said that reading is not their hobby. A further 8.7% mentioned that they do not read due to the lack of appropriate atmosphere for reading, and 5.2% indicated that reading material is not always available.


The survey showed that 71.1% of those surveyed in the emirate preferred the internet as a source of reading, followed by printed books with 58.3%, e-books with 32.8%, newspapers with 12.6%, magazines with 9.9%, followed by published scientific studies and research papers with 7.2%, and finally, audiobooks with 5.3%.


Regarding the most appropriate place to read, nine out of ten people stated that the best place to read was home, at a rate of 90.1%., Reading at the workplace followed by 18.3%, reading during commuting , at 4.3%, reading at school, college or university libraries at 4.0%, reading in public libraries at 2.5%, and reading in other places at 2.2%.


Furthermore, the survey addressed the extent to which the community members believe that the relevant institutions in the emirate of Abu Dhabi played their role in instilling a culture of reading among society. The survey showed that eight out of ten people – 84% believed so. The highest percentage was in favour of Al Ain, at a rate of 89.7%, followed by Al Dhafra region at 87.8%, then Abu Dhabi at 76.4%. On nationality basis, non-citizens believe that the relevant institutions in the emirate of Abu Dhabi have successfully played their role to cultivate a culture of reading among members of society – at a higher rate than citizens – 86.5% and 81.2%, respectively.


The National Reading Month is held this year under the theme of Joy of Reading. Federal and local authorities, the private sector, as well as educational and cultural institutions are participating in the National Reading Month. All of them have launched initiatives and organised events to continue the outstanding efforts to enhance the culture of reading.



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