Harry Potter mania is set to hit the UAE tomorrow with the release of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. The release of the book is under strict embargo until 12:01 am. British time. The first sales of the book will happen at 3:01a.m. in the UAE.

By Peter Donnelly (Staff Reporter)

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Published: Fri 15 Jul 2005, 3:47 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 6:18 PM

This is when Magrudy's book shop in Deira City Centre, and Jashanmal Books Gallery shops throughout the UAE will begin to sell the eagerly awaited sixth book in the Harry Potter series. Linda Park, Chief Buyer with Magrudy's is expecting big sales. "We're expecting a big turn out for the party we're having in our City Centre store. Everything is now in place, so it should be a good event," she said. "We've been rushed off our feet during the last couple of weeks," she added. Other book shops are following the trend by opening their doors early on Saturday morning. Virgin Megastore in the Mercato Mall is one of many. Abeer Aou, the manager said: "we are expecting many customers." He declined to tell City Times how many pre orders of the book they had taken however.

Booksellers are not the only ones who are secretive. Throughout the world security surrounding the book has been tight. Bloomsbury and Scholastic, the British and US publishers of the novel, have gone to great lengths to protect the storyline. Delivery to warehouses occurred via steel container lorries under lock and key. The lorries were fitted with Global Positioning Systems and tracked by satellite.

In Canada (as reported in City Times yesterday) a judge ordered individuals — who were mistakenly permitted to buy the book in a grocers days before the release date — not to read the book until Saturday.

With the secrecy surrounding the novel's storyline, anticipation has reached fever pitch. Rumours about the plot have been appearing on the internet for several months, and many have been refuted by J. K. Rowling, the character's creator.

Rumours about the Half Blood Prince include, Harry having a girlfriend, and Dumbledore being Harry's grandfather.

Other fans have suggested that Lord Voldemort is Harry's grandfather and Professor Snape is in fact a vampire.

However, Harry Potter fans everywhere want to know the identity of the half blood prince. Names suggested include, Harry, Hagrid and Dumbledore. There is also a suspicion that someone dies in the novel and Bill Weasley is one of the favourites to bow out.

The Harry Potter series of books, along with the movie and merchandise rights has allegedly made J. K. Rowling a billionairess.

Rowling is now one of the best selling authors in the world. In the United States alone, Scholastic have produced 10.8 million hard back copies of this particular title as a first edition. In terms of book sales Rowling's name is now mentioned along with the names of some of the best children's fiction authors the world has known.

These include: Lewis Carrol, the author of "Alice in Wonderland"; Beatrix Potter, the author of "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" and Jaqueline Wilson, Britain's children's laureate.

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