Greater Than Dhad (“Competition”) will be judged over two rounds. The first round will ask participants to submit two dimensional drawings of their Arabic alphabet letter sculpture ideas, as well as providing their eligibility and background (as described below). These submissions will be judged and those selected participants (“Finalists”) will move on to the second round of judging. In the second round, Finalists will be asked to create actual models or renderings of their proposed sculptures before final commissions are assigned. Finalists will be judged on stated criteria to determine 28 final commissions (one per Arabic letter), as stated below.

ELIGIBILITY: The Competition is open to participants who are 18 years of age or older or the age of majority in their jurisdiction of residence (whichever is older) who are professional artists or students in art / sculpture programs at an educational institution (“participant”). Group submissions are permitted. For groups of more than one artist, all members must meet the individual eligibility requirements. Employees and their immediate family members and household members of the Sponsor, Judging Panel (defined below) and their agencies, partners and affiliates are not eligible to participate. The Competition is void where prohibited or restricted by law, and is subject to all applicable laws and regulations.

SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this Competition is Layan Cultural Foundation (“Sponsor”).

COMPETITION TIMING: Competition begins 12:00 am GMT on November 1, 2019 and ends 11:59 pm GMT on June 30, 2020 (“Competition Period”). Sponsor’s clock will be the official timekeeper of this Competition.


  • Follow Competition guidelines, entry form and instructions.
  • Completed entry form, along with sculpture designs (“submission”) should be uploaded to (“website”) by 23:59 GMT June 30, 2020.
  • Submissions must be developed specifically for this Competition and cannot be replications of earlier works of the participant/any group members.
  • All submissions must be original work of the participant/group members.
  • Submissions must be in either Arabic or English only.
  • Sculpture designs should showcase the letter they have selected of the Arabic alphabet as a way to celebrate the Saudi culture.
  • Sculpture designs should primarily utilize the detached or "munfasal" منفصل forms of the Arabic letters.
  • Submissions must also include:
    • Biographical details and CV/resume of the participant’s past works and qualifications (or each of the artists in a group submission.)
    • A portfolio of other work, including previous sculptures and a brief description of scale, material and purpose (story / meaning / significance) for each.
    • Participant’s statement identifying the Arabic letter being highlighted, rationale for the selection, a description of the design and an explanation of how the sculpture and letter representation fit with the mission of the Competition in 500 words or less.
    • Two-dimensional drawings / renderings of the proposed sculpture highlighting the chosen letter of the Arabic alphabet. Drawings must clearly show the letter from several vantage points and include notations on proposed materials, dimensions, etc.
    • Signed acceptance of these Official Rules of the Competition
    • Email address for use in contact and all formal correspondence during the Competition.

    Submissions must be received no later than 11:59 pm GMT June 30, 2020. Normal Internet/phone access and data/usage charges imposed by your online/phone carrier may apply. Entries must be appropriate for any age group and entries that are deemed lewd, offensive, objectionable or inappropriate in any way, in Sponsor’s sole discretion, will be disqualified. Sponsor cannot respond to participants’ questions regarding receipt of submissions. Submissions become property of Sponsor and will not be acknowledged or returned. In the event there is an insufficient number of eligible submissions for any Arabic letters, all prizes may not be awarded.

    ARBITRATION PROVISION: By participating in this Competition, each participant agrees: (i) that any and all disputes the participant may have with, or claims participant may have against, the Sponsor and its agencies relating to, arising out of or connected in any way with (a) the Competition, (b) the awarding or redemption of any prize or participating in any round of judging, and/or (c) the determination of the scope or applicability of this agreement to arbitrate, will be resolved exclusively by final and binding arbitration administered in Jeddah and apply the Saudi Laws and regulations, and conducted before a sole arbitrator in accordance with the rules of Saudi Arbitration; (ii) the arbitrator’s decision shall be controlled by the terms and conditions of these Official Rules and any of the other agreements referenced herein that the applicable participant may have entered into in connection with the Competition (iii) the arbitrator shall be hired by the sponsor. (iv) the arbitrator has to be Saudi National and (v) the arbitrator fees will be paid equally by the two parties. If, however, this provision is found to be invalid, unenforceable or illegal, then the entirety of this arbitration provision shall be null and void, and neither participant nor Sponsor shall be entitled to arbitrate their dispute.


    All submissions received during the Competition Period will be reviewed (first to determine eligibility, background and credentials) and then once verified, they will be judged by a panel of 5 individuals determined by Sponsor and will be deemed the Judging Panel (“Judging Panel”). They will determine the Finalists as well as winning commissions (both rounds). Judges will include representatives from the following: Representative from the Layan Cultural Foundation, a Representative from the Saudi Royal Family; a Representative from the Local or Regional government; an Award-winning Saudi artist; and an International / Middle Eastern sculpture artist.

    First Round: The first round judging will be conducted on or about June 30, 2020, to determine approximately 84 Finalists (two per Arabic letter), based on the following criteria: Adherence to Theme of celebrating the Saudi Culture/Strength of Concept 40%; Overall Design Aesthetic 30%; and Creativity 30%. In the event of a tie during the Finalist judging round, tied submissions will be re-judged based solely on Adherence to Theme of celebrating the Saudi Culture/Strength of Concept.

    Second Round: The Finalists will be contacted and will have the opportunity to produce a scale model or CAD 3D rendering of their proposed sculpture design (the date will be communicated). They will need to provide a description of the sculpture, dimensions, materials, cost estimate, explanation of durability and sustainability, etc. in order to show how the design can be produced (collectively, “rendering”). They will receive a stipend of US$1,000.00 to complete their renderings for inclusion in the final judging. Judging Panel will provide an exact timeline for completion in order to be included or they will forfeit their opportunity to participate. Sponsor will retain all renderings and will not return any to participants. The second round of judging will be conducted on a date that will be communicated, to determine 28 Final commissioned winners (one per Arabic letter) based on the following criteria: Feasibility of Construction 34%; Strength of Concept 33%; and Creativity 33%. In the event of a tie during the Second-Round judging, tied submissions will be re-judged based solely on Feasibility of Construction.
    The decisions of the Sponsor and Judging Panel on any and all matters relating to the Competition will be final and binding. Sponsor and members of the Judging Panel are not obliged or bound to enter into any communications whatsoever regarding such decisions.

    FINAL SCULPTURE EXECUTION: The 28 winners (only one artist/group per Arabic letter) will have the opportunity to create their final sculptures. They will have 6 months for the sculpture to be finished from time of notification and verification (and an exact date will be provided by Sponsor at time of notification). Winners will earn publicity around their sculpture by being included in the Competition’s print and digital communications, in Sponsor’s sole discretion. The cost of shipment to Saudi Arabia and installation of final sculptures will be covered by Sponsor. Any extra expenses incurred for any reason due to a failure on the part of the winner to meet any transportation deadline which was agreed upon between the Sponsor and the winner shall be covered by the winner. A standardized descriptive plaque explaining the letter and artwork will need be affixed to, or placed immediately adjacent to the sculpture. (Plaque will be created and provided by Sponsor for sculpture’s final installation.

  • Sculpture must be executed in generally accepted materials for sculpture, such as metal, hardwood, stone, terracotta, resin or glass or a mix of materials. Use of any other materials must be approved by Sponsor.
  • Sculptures must be bolted down at final installation location and must be made to last for at least 25 years in an arid climate with minimal to no maintenance required.
  • Sculptures must be free standing and be self-supporting.
  • Sculptures must be independent of electrical power. Solar or wind power may be used but must be built into the sculpture and self-sustaining.
  • The use of easily breakable, hazardous, decomposing or deteriorating materials is not permitted. Materials that could be considered to cause harm to viewers will not be permitted and will automatically be disqualified.
  • Sculptures must be capable of being fixed permanently to the ground.
  • Dimensions:
    • Finished sculptures must meet the following size dimensions:
      • Sculptures must be no more than 4 meters tall.
      • Sculptures must be no more than 3 meters square at the base (wide or deep).

    All sculptures should arrive in their final destination in (City) Saudi Arabia no later than September 2021 for final installation. Coordination for installation will be conducted through the Sponsor. Each winner, winning group or an approved representative must be present for the installation in case of problems or necessary changes to their sculpture. Sponsor will cover travel expenses (flight (class TBD), hotel (stars TBD), local travel and select meals, etc.) and travel visa processing and approval for international winners or winners’ representatives. For groups, travel will be provided for a maximum of (4) representatives per sculpture. The winners agree to provide Sponsor with all information required for customs formalities and agrees to sign any relevant separate contracts, which could be required for customs clearance during transportation to the final location, according to all applicable laws. Selected winners will, at the discretion of the Sponsor, be highlighted and publicized online and in a printed exhibition catalog. Sponsor will arrange media coverage and publicity for the sculpture launch event where the commissioned artists/groups will be announced publicly. Sponsor, while guaranteeing the greatest care and custody of applications, models, renderings, works, and sculptures will not be liable for any thefts, fires or damages to the sculptures that could occur during all stages of the Competition. Any insurance is the responsibility of the participants/groups.


    As applicable, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or any other data protection regulations provide a number of protections for the collection and use of your personal data. Any personal information that you provide in connection with the Competition shall be used by Sponsor and Judging Panel to administer this Competition, contact participants, and for the other purposes set forth in the Sponsor’s privacy policy located at By entering this Competition, you agree to Sponsor’s collection of personal information and accept their privacy policy. Your personal data/entry information will be transferred to Saudi Arabia. As applicable, pursuant to EU and other jurisdictions’ laws pertaining to data collection and processing, you have a right of access, modification and withdrawal of your personal data. You also have the right of opposition to the data collection, under certain circumstances. To exercise such right, you may email [email protected]

    GENERAL RULES: The 84 Finalists (and all Finalist group members) will be notified by email (date will be communicated). Finalists/group members will be required to execute and return, via email, an affidavit of eligibility (or Declaration of eligibility depending on winner’s country of residence), liability/publicity release (where legal), agreement to all details of these Official Rules and assignment of rights within three (3) days of notification attempt or the Finalist may forfeit his/her/their opportunity and an alternate Finalist/group may be determined.

    Affidavit packages will be sent via email. Finalists may need to agree to participate in any media events as determined by Sponsor, in their sole discretion. Prizes are not transferable. Entries must be participant’s/group’s original work, must have not won a previous prize or award, must have not been previously produced or published, must not infringe on any third-party rights and must be deemed suitable. By entering, all participants/group members agree to release and hold harmless Sponsor, Sponsor’s agencies, all related entities, and their partners management, employees, and Judges, from any and all damages, losses, injury or death resulting from creation of submitted design, acceptance or use of any prize or for any claims, based on rights of privacy, rights of publicity, copyright infringement or any other intellectual property right.

    Taxes related to the prizes are the sole responsibility of the individual winners, as applicable. Unless otherwise agreed with the Sponsor in writing, the participant(s)/group members for each submission consent to the following: They maintain the rights to the images and submitted works, but give the Sponsor the irrevocable, royalty-free, without any compensation, the worldwide rights of reproduction, exhibition, publication, translation, and communication to the public, in any manner, without exception and in perpetuity, for their works and for the text included in the submission.

    Sponsor has the right to create and reproduce images and video of the winner/winning group in the development of the work for publicity, marketing and educational purposes for the Competition and for Sponsor. Sponsor has the right to reproduce images of the work (with full credit to the winners) for Sponsor’s marketing materials.

    Sponsor, while fully respecting the rights of the artist, will exercise these rights for all institutional activities for communication concerning the Competition. Sponsor has the right to make miniature reproductions of the sculptures for marketing or sales to further its charitable aims, including artist credit lines and recognition on packaging/notification, as appropriate. All materials submitted for application to and consideration of the Competition will not be returned to the participants/groups but will be retained and archived by the Sponsor.

    Acceptance of prize constitutes permission to use the participants’/group members’ names, likenesses, and submissions and renderings, for future marketing efforts without further compensation, except where prohibited by law. No responsibility is assumed for lost, misdirected, illegible, damaged or late submissions or mail. No information regarding submissions or judging will be disclosed. Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion to disqualify any individual that tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operation of the Competition or website; violates the Official Rules; or acts in an un-sportsmanlike or disruptive manner.


    Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to disqualify any participant it finds to be tampering with the submission process or the operation of the Competition, including its website. It also reserves the right to disqualify any participant who does not adhere to these Official Rules. If for any reason, the Competition is not capable of running as planned, the Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend in writing the Competition and determine the applicable Finalists from among all eligible submissions received prior to termination, if any. All Finalists and commissioned artists will receive notification for delays lasting more than 1 year of termination of the Competition. By participating in this Competition, each participant/group member agrees to be bound by these Official Rules, including all eligibility requirements. All interpretations of these Official Rules and decisions by the Sponsor and Judging Panel relating to these Official Rules, judging and the Competition are final.


    Saudi Fine Art & Culture
    Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

    Please review the FAQ page and Terms & Conditions for competition details.

    التبديل إلى اللغة العربية

    Disclaimer: We have opted for the English phonetic translation "Dhad" vs. "Ḍād" in order to facilitate use in social posts as well as for an international audience.

    For further questions or partnership opportunities, please contact the Layan Cultural Foundation via email.

    Application materials submitted via email will not be considered. Please use the online application.

    Deadline 30 Jun