UAE: Abu Dhabi welcomes Logos Hope, world’s largest floating book fair

Residents are offered a selection of more than 5,000 titles at the ship docked at Mina Zayed Port


Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Thu 18 May 2023, 7:58 PM

Last updated: Fri 19 May 2023, 3:00 PM

Logos Hope, the world’s largest floating book fair, is back in the UAE Capital.

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT – Abu Dhabi), inaugurated the fair after the ship docked at Mina Zayed Port. At this free-to-attend exhibition running till June 4, bibliophiles are offered a selection of more than 5,000 titles at an affordable price. And what’s remarkable about Logos Hope is the fact that it carries a crew of international volunteers of more than 65 nationalities dedicated to the same purpose: Sharing knowledge, help and hope with people.

“This is our home. We welcome guests to our home,” said ship captain Ionut Vlad, who is from Romania and has been onboard for the past seven years with his wife and daughters.

Ship captain Ionut Vlad.
Ship captain Ionut Vlad.

As the Master of Logos Hope, Vlad has been to many countries. However, he felt humbled after travelling from Ras Al Khaimah, Dubai to now the UAE Capital, where he found hundreds of nationalities in malls and streets.

“I know there are more than 200 nationalities here. I am amazed by the culture of the Middle East, especially the UAE. It’s very interesting for us to learn from here.”

Logos Hope’s visit coincides with the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, which will be held from May 22 to 28. In his opening remarks, Dr Ali bin Tamim, ALC Chairman, termed Logos Hope as a ‘unique and beautiful story’.

“The floating exhibition is an innovative addition to Abu Dhabi’s cultural agenda. This novel offering further strengthens our efforts to promote a culture of reading and to ensure the widest possible access to books and knowledge resources for all our community members, in line with the strategic objectives of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre.”

Edward David, ship’s managing director who took his first voyage in a ship named Doulos way back in 1987, recollected coming to Abu Dhabi in 1995.

“This is a good place to experience hospitality. You have always embraced us,” David noted.

Alhaji Ahmed Ramadan onboard Logos Hope.
Alhaji Ahmed Ramadan onboard Logos Hope.

Among the first visitors to the fair was Alhaji Ahmed Ramadan, Ambassador of Ghana to the UAE.

“I came to know that their crew has volunteers from Ghana. I am here to see the fair and encourage my nationals,” Ramadan told Khaleej Times.

The opening ceremony was attended by Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman, DCT – Abu Dhabi; Saif Al Mazrouei, CEO, Ports Cluster at AD Ports Group; Sebastian Moncayo, advance preparation project manager for Abu Dhabi at the Logos Hope exhibition; and other officials from the culture and tourism sector.

South Korean traditional dance performance at the opening ceremony of the book fair.
South Korean traditional dance performance at the opening ceremony of the book fair.

Over the course of next two weeks, there will be several workshops, discussions, interactive sessions and cultural programmes held onboard the ship. The ALC’s programming includes a children’s stories reading workshop presented by author Dr Fatima Al Mazrouei, an Arabic calligraphy workshop presented by Saeed Al Amiri, a book discussion led by members of the ALC Reading Club, and a workshop on the history of literature and music, presented by Iman Al Hashemi. During the inaugural ceremony, a team of volunteers performed a traditional South Korean dance.

“For the next coming weeks, residents of Abu Dhabi will have the opportunity to enjoy the wonderful world of books covering a wide range of topics catering to all preferences. We are also proud of Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal’s contribution towards the cultural and intellectual entertainment within the capital,” said Noura Al Dhaheri.


Every year, the Logos Hope ship receives approximately one million visitors. Since its establishment in 2009, it has visited more than 150 countries around the world, welcoming a total of 49 million people. The ship’s crew visit areas surrounding the ports where it docks, like hospitals and schools and provide community service and assistance. Logos Hope’s main objective is to serve people in the communities where it docks.

The floating book fair runs till June 4 at Mina Zayed Port (4 pm to 10 pm).

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