Dubai: The Dubai International Holy Quran Award (DIHQA) competition was launched on Sunday Ramdan 2011 with the participation of contestants from 90 countries.
The competition, now into its 15th edition, is held every year under the orders and patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
The Holy Quran Award competition go under way at the Cultural and Scientific Association in Al Mamzar area of Dubai.

Ahmad Al Suwaidi, head of the competitions unit of DIHQA, said the number of contestants had increased to 90 with 12 new contestants proving eligibility.

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Al Suwaidi said all contestants had successfully cleared preliminary evaluations, except for one contestant from Nepal. Four other contestants representing four different countries had also undergone re-evaluations to ensure that they were ready for the competition, after it was shown that they have displayed some slightly weak results during the preliminary evaluation, he added.

Preliminary screening

"The preliminary round is very important because it helps assess the capabilities of the contestants. Through these preliminary rounds, a schedule is then prepared to distribute contestants of different levels in separate groups," Al Suwaidi said.

The contestants with the ten highest overall scores will then participate in a final round during the concluding phase of DIHQA to determine the winner.

The competition, which will conclude on end of this ramadan , will also witness the participation of the second youngest competitor ever, Qusay Aadil Al Sunasi, at eight years and four months. Al Sunasi is representing the Republic of Ireland.

Originally of Libyan descent, Al Sunasi was recommended by the consular affairs section at the UAE Embassy in Ireland.

Al Suwaidi also pointed out that two visually impaired contestants from Turkey and Qatar are among this year's DIHQA contestants