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Nation Home > General
Abu Dhabi book fair gets bigger

Silvia Radan / 26 March 2013

Book dealers from 50 countries will bring to Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre over 500,000 titles in 30 different languages in the Capitalís biggest international book fair yet.

This 23rd annual Abu Dhbai International Book Fair (ADIBF), being organised by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (ADTCA) from April 24-29, has been expanded from four to five exhibition halls, with an extra 15 per cent space due to its popularity.

A major focus this year will be on digital publishing with the eZone doubling in size from 2012, along with a richer and extensive cultural programme.

“This year’s growth in the fair reinforces the reputation and development of Abu Dhabi as a global centre for arts and culture. The ADIBF 2013 is an outstanding platform for Arab and international publishers and renowned authors to congregate and display their talents and capabilities to a highly educated and receptive audience. Visitors will have rare opportunities to interact closely with reputed authors as well as fresh creative talent and publications from across the world,” said director-general of the ADTCA Mubarak Al Muhairi.

About 60 authors will participate in ADIBF, signing their latest novels or talking publicly about the world of publishing.

Among them is Youssef Rakha, a writer, photographer and journalist born in 1976. He is the cultural editor at Al Ahram Weekly, the Cairo-based English-language newspaper. Rakha is the founder of “The Sultan’s Seal (www.yrakha.com)”, a blog in both Arabic and English languages. His publications include two novels, collections of short stories, poems and travel books.

Also coming this year is Nihad Sirees, an acclaimed Syrian novelist, playwright and screenwriter. He was born in 1950 in Aleppo and lived there most of his life — until early 2012 when, under surveillance and intense pressure, he went into exile in Cairo. His first novel, Cancer, was published in 1987. He has written TV dramas and six more novels, including The Silence And The Roar, penned in 2004 during a period of ‘internal exile’, when he and several intellectuals were banned from public cultural life in Syria. He currently lives in USA as a Visiting Writer at Brown University.

Representing the UAE will be Noura Al Noman, who studied English literature at the UAE University and got a masters in translation in 2004 from the American University in Sharjah. She has written two children’s picture books, published by Kalimat in 2010 and is the author of the first science fiction novel for teenagers, Ajwan, which was published in 2012 by Nahdet Misr Publishers.

The ADIBF’s commitment to young readers has been further strengthened this year, with the creation of a Young Readers’ Programme as part of the cultural programme that will support the existing Creativity Corner for young visitors, allowing them to experience the joy of reading and writing through a number of ‘edutainment’ workshops and activities.

The ADIBF’s professional programme ensures there is a platform for exhibitors to establish contact with publishers in the Mena region and beyond and gives valuable guidance on industry trends, digital publishing in the Arab world, start-ups in the publishing sector, children’s book publishing, the use of illustrations and translation rights among other issues.

“The demand from exhibitors has been phenomenal and reinforces once again how important this event is and the role it plays in the region. For six days we celebrate the book in all its forms and formats,” said director of the fair Jumaa Abdulla Al Qubaisi.

As in the past four years, the ADIBF will continue its support for the Spotlight on Rights initiative, offering exhibitors and registered trade visitors the opportunity to apply for subsidies worth $1,000 per title towards licensing rights to and from the Arabic language. At the 2012 book fair, 270 applications were received from publishers under the Spotlight of Rights scheme.

The fair will be open daily from 9am to 10pm, except for Friday when it will be open from 4pm to 10pm. Entrance is free.


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