2,000 events, 1,300 participants; Abu Dhabi International Book Fair commences tomorrow

The largest edition of the book fair will give visitors access to over 500,000 books

By Wam

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The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair will conclude on May 28. — Wam
The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair will conclude on May 28. — Wam

Published: Sun 21 May 2023, 9:11 PM

The 32nd edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) will commence on Monday at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).

Held under the patronage of the President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the fair is organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), the event will run until May 28.


The 2023 fair is set to be its largest edition yet, with an extraordinary line-up of over 2,000 cultural, literary, and artistic events. Furthermore, it will host an unprecedented number of exhibitors and publishers, with over 1,300 participants from more than 85 countries, providing visitors access to over 500,000 book titles. This sets the 32nd edition apart as a significant milestone in terms of diversity and volume of activities, offering a unique cultural, artistic, and literary experience for visitors of all ages and interests and reinforcing Abu Dhabi's stature as a global hub for culture.

In addition to ADNEC, satellite programming is taking place at five different cultural sites: The Cultural Foundation, Manarat Al Saadiyat, Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi, New York University Abu Dhabi, and the "Logos Hope" ship, the world's largest floating book fair, currently anchored in Mina Zayed Port in conjunction with the fair's activities.


With the Republic of Türkiye as this year's Guest of Honour, a special programme will celebrate the country's creative output and highlight cultural exchange between Türkiye and the Arab world. Panel discussions and events will explore Turkish literature and poetry, literary translations of Turkish classics, and the nation's rich culinary traditions in sessions including Game Changing Women, Philosophy for Children and Turkish Culinary Culture, featuring appearances by renowned authors such as Beşir Ayvazoğlu and Mehmet Hakkı Suçin. The dedicated Turkish pavilion will welcome publishers and partners from across the region, including the Republic of Türkiye Ministry of Culture and Tourism and Istanbul Chamber of Commerce.

The Fair's 'Focus Personality' this year is the 14th century Arab philosopher Ibn Khaldun, widely regarded as the father of the social sciences. The programme will feature sessions and workshops focused on Ibn Khaldun's work and legacy, including discussions of history, philosophy and literature. Speakers will include a variety of critics and academics such as Tunisian historian and archaeologist Dr Ibrahim Shabouh, known for investigating the works of Ibn Khaldun; philosopher Ahmed Barqawi; and British writer Anthony Satine.

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The theme of ADIBF 2023 is 'Sustainability', coinciding with the UAE's declaration of 2023 as the Year of Sustainability to mark the country's hosting of the annual COP28 conference on climate change in November this year. The fair's programme will include thought-provoking events aimed at fostering a comprehensive understanding of sustainability – among youth in particular – across various fields such as climate change and food security. Panel discussions will explore ways to make the publishing industry more sustainable and debate the role of museums in advancing public understanding of sustainability.

Diverse activities

Throughout the week-long fair, visitors will be engaged with over 2,000 events covering an array of cultural and creative fields. The more than 130 sessions in the cultural programme include a diverse series of discussions, seminars, and literary and cultural events featuring more than 800 guests and speakers, ranging from critics, writers, and academics to prominent figures in various cultural and creative fields.

These will take place alongside 46 sessions within the professional programme, which will highlight prominent fields in the publishing sector such as marketing, translation, partnerships, and content creation.

For film enthusiasts, the fair will feature movie screenings as part of the "Black Box Cinema" events. Additionally, for the first time, this year's edition will feature the launch of "Podcast Abu Dhabi", giving the audience a chance to meet the stars of the podcast industry in the Arab world while they record their episodes live.

A special musical concert by artist Ali El Haggar will be held at the Cultural Foundation on Saturday May 27 at 8pm. The concert will pay tribute to the late Egyptian poet Abdel Rahman El Abnudi, with El Haggar performing a selection of songs that brought them together.

Young fair visitors will have the opportunity to experience more than 1,800 informative and entertaining activities specifically tailored for children and young adults. This includes the all-new Alpha Corner, which will enrich visitors' knowledge of space and general sciences through interactive activities, fostering cultural engagement and nurturing the creative skills of future generations.

Accompanying events

In conjunction with the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, the second edition of the International Congress of Arabic Publishing and Creative Industries continues its second day at ADNEC on Monday. Under the theme Adapting Stories, this year's Congress features a prominent line-up of publishers, translators, content creators, and entrepreneurs from the region and around the world. Throughout the two-day conference, participants can explore the latest trends in the publishing sector and creative industries through sessions, discussions, and workshops. This builds upon the success of the event's inaugural edition, which attracted over 380 participants and showcased 35 speakers from various creative sectors, including publishing, film, visual broadcasting, digital gaming, and social media platforms.


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