UAE: Here's a quick guide to Sharjah International Book Fair 2021

The 40th edition of the yearly event is now open



Abdulrazak Gurnah, Tanzanian novelist and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature 2021, interacting with the attendees of 40th Sharjah International Book Fair at Expo Centre in Sharjah - Photo by M. Sajjad
Abdulrazak Gurnah, Tanzanian novelist and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature 2021, interacting with the attendees of 40th Sharjah International Book Fair at Expo Centre in Sharjah - Photo by M. Sajjad
by

Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Wed 3 Nov 2021, 10:32 PM

Last updated: Wed 3 Nov 2021, 10:33 PM

Bibliophiles' favourite day of the year has finally come: The 40th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) is now open.

Here's a quick guide to the event:

• Covid-19 tests or vaccination certificates are not required(given the high vaccination rates and the drastic drop in Covid cases)

• Wearing face masks is mandatory

• Self-payment machines have been made available at hall entrances for speedy checkout. You can also pay from your digital wallet

• Download the SIBF app (on the Google Play Store or iOS app store) to access the fair's programmes. Here, you'll find the schedule of sessions, workshops, shows, as well as a list of publishers and the books on display. It will allow you to plan your visit and receive notifications about the timing of the sessions you wish to attend.

• Don't miss the chance to meet the writers of the hit Netflix series Money Heist — Javier Gomez Santander and Diego Avalos

• Hear the real-life rags-to-riches story of American Chris Gardner, and Nobel Prize for Literature winner Abdul Razak Gurnah, and award-winning Indian novelist Amitav Ghosh.

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Among those who made sure they were present on day one of the SIBF was John Helmy, an Egyptian expat who is attending the fair for the 10th year in a row.

"I arrived in UAE from my home in Alexandria in 2010 in search of better financial prospects. I came here alone and had no family or friends. I found my first set of friends in the UAE at SIBF," he told Khaleej Times.

Holding six copies of the latest English and Arabic literary hits, Helmy, said: "We are a group of book lovers, and now, we make it a point to attend the fair every year." Helmy and his 'bookworms' group' — as he called them — make the most of the opportunity to buy books, meet their favourite authors, and attend panel discussions featuring literary giants.

"That is what is amazing about SIBF. It is organised every year for the sheer love of the written word," he said.

Launched under the theme 'There's always a right book', the 40th annual SIBF is playing host to 1,576 publishing houses from 83 countries. More than 15 million titles are on display.

Book lovers were treated to a multitude of special events on Wednesday, including the inauguration of several country pavilions at the fair.

Xavier Chatel, the Ambassador of France to the UAE, met with Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), on the first day of the literary fair, and Miquel Iceta, Spain's Minister of Culture and Sports, visited their pavilion.

Dr Aman Puri, Consul-General of India in Dubai, also inaugurated the India stand on Wednesday. The Publications Division of India's Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is participating in the fair this year.

- dhanusha@khaleejtimes.com


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