Covid-19: Residents thrilled to attend Abu Dhabi International Book Fair in person

Ismail Sebugwaawo /Abu Dhabi Filed on May 24, 2021
Photo by Ryan Lim/Khaleej Times

Visitors express happiness at attending such a big in-person event after more than a year.

Visitors at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) said they are excited at being back for a physical event to buy books as the country slowly tries to return to normalcy.

Book lovers said they have missed such events amid the Covid-19 pandemic, as authorities had to suspend all such events and put a ban on public gatherings as a precautionary measure to control the virus.

“It so exciting that we have come back to physically buy our favourite books at the Abu Dhabi book fair like before,” said university professor Yousuf Hamdan. The 39-year-old Jordanian visited the book fair on Monday to browse through and buy some few books.

“We have missed this atmosphere for more than a year and the culture of reading books had been affected. People had resorted to reading online materials which is not convenient for someone like me. In addition, the online books have issues of copyrights.”

Ali Mohammed, an Egyptian expat, said: “I feel happy attending such a big in-person event after more than a year. The pandemic had deprived us of such important events where we could meet with various publishers from across the world and get to know about the new books.”

Mohammad, an avid book lover and reader, visited the book fair on Monday to check out for new publications in Arabic literature.

Emirati Yasir Hamad also expressed happiness that people have started gaining confidence and were able to meet again at such big events. “It has been a while without physically attending big events due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I’m excited to be here to check out on the new books. I want to buy some new books on philosophy for myself and those about the UAE and Arab culture for my children,” he said.

Exhibitors happy:

Pamela Aquino, who represented a UAE based publishing company, said she was excited to take part in a physical event, as earlier they had to mostly depend on customers ordering books online.

“It is good thing that Abu Dhabi has organized this book fair. We are hopeful that many people will be coming here throughout the week to buy some new books on the show.”

Heba Al Naddaf, from Dar Al Muna Publishing Company praised the arrangements and measures in place to ensure safety even as thousands of people take part in the event amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I am happy being here to showcase some of our new publications. It feels good meeting book lovers again physically after a long time as events had been halted. We are hopeful that things will get back to normal soon.”

Strict precautionary and preventive measures have been implemented at the exhibition centre to ensure the safety of visitors and participants.

All visitors and exhibitors are required to have a negative result for PCR test with 48-hour validity reflecting on Al Hosn app, wearing of masks and following social distancing is mandatory across the facility.

The Abu Dhabi book fair from May 23-May 29 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec) has attracted more than 800 exhibitors from 46 nations.


Ismail Sebugwaawo

A professional journalist originating from Kampala, Uganda, Ismail is a happy father with strong attachment to family and great values for humanity. He has practiced journalism in UAE for the past 13 years, covering the country's parliament (FNC) and crimes, including Abu Dhabi Police, public prosecution and courts. He also reports about important issues in education, public health and the environment, with a keen interest in human interest stories. When out of reporting duties, he serves the Ugandan community in Abu Dhabi as he wants to see his countrymen happy. Exercising and reading are part of his free time.

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