The Ras Al Khaimah Quran Award, which kicked off on January 2, has attracted a record number of contestants this year. Top ten winners in the six categories of the Award can bag Dh1.95 million and certificates of appreciation. Ahmed Al Shehi, Director-General of the RAK Holy Quran Establishment, said applications would only be accepted from 20 Quran study centres and 45 mosque sessions for memorising the Quran across the emirate. "November 20 has been set as deadline for application in the now 9-section award." Al Shehi said the top ten winners in the six categories of the Award will go with Dh1.95 million instead of Dh720,000 as was the case in the last edition, along with certificates of appreciation. "Participation in the award is open for only RAK nationals and residents whereas contestants, be they male or female, needed to memorise three parts of the Holy Quran to be eligible for participation in the now 9-category contest." According to a top official, the 16th edition of the annual competition has seen up to 3,220 Quran memorisers, including 1,429 male and 1,791 female contestants, from across the country. Shaikh Saqr bin Khalid bin Humaid Al Qassimi, Chairman of the RAK Holy Quran Establishment, said as many as 1,124 Emiratis against 2,096 residents are participating in the competition this year. "There is a 168 per cent increase in competitors as compared to last year which saw only 1,200 memorisers." Though only 1,700 contestants were expected to chip in, the organising committee is all set for the initial and final tests with competent four subcommittees to better streamline all procedures as accurate as possible. Winners of the Award are to go home with more prize money this year after the organising committee decided to raise the award from Dh720,000 to Dh1.95 million, according to Khaleej Times.