Bookworms, get ready: 24-hour Big Bad Wolf sale opens in Dubai on October 10
The exhibition will continue until October 20.-Photo by Juidin Bernarrd/Khaleej Times
Dubai - Book lovers can enjoy 11 consecutive days of 24-hour shopping.
The highly anticipated Big Bad Wolf Book Sale opens to all on October 10. But before crowds come rushing in, those with VIP passes got to browse through the piles of books on Wednesday, when the sale was inaugurated at the Sound Stage Venue in Dubai Studio City.
Book lovers can enjoy 11 consecutive days of 24-hour shopping, with discounts of 50 to 80 per cent off the recommended retail price on three million brand new books. The exhibition will continue until October 20.
For Chafic Mekkaoui, a Dubai-based professional who works in the food and beverage industry, the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale is an opportunity to buy several new books for his collection.
"This is my second time at the exhibition, and I'm fortunate to have a VIP pass. Otherwise, it gets very crowded. I come here with an open mind, without looking for anything in particular because the selection is vast and the prices are great," he said.
Another resident Jonara AlBayedh said that given the popularity of the event, the venue gets packed all day.
"You'd think it is open for 24 hours, so you expect that if you come in at 4am, it would be less crowded. That's not the case. It's packed at all times of the day. That's why I am here today, where I can browse for books in peace," AlBayedh, a banker by profession.
Sehara Mendis, another visitor, added: "It's book heaven for sure. The books sold here are worth so much more than what we pay for."
From best-selling novels and influential business books to art and design titles, young adult fiction and children's reading and activity books, there is something for everyone at the sale.
A literacy drive
Married couple and business partners Andrew Yap and Jacqueline Ng founded Big Bad Wolf Books in 2009, after learning about the low literacy rate in Malaysia.
Speaking to Khaleej Times after the opening ceremony, Yap said: "Growing up, I never had too many books. In many developing countries, books are not easily available. We launched the fair to encourage a reading culture among young kids."
This year, the Big Bad Wolf fair toured 32 cities across 10 countries, including Indonesia, Korea, Taiwan, Pakistan, Myanmar, and Malaysia.
"Next year, we are hoping to expand to 45 to 50 cities in 18 countries, including India. In three years, we hope to be in 100 different cities," Yap added.
The Big Bad Wolf sale is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, and after witnessing immense success in Malaysia, the founders decided to launch in other countries across the globe.
Yap said his business model is based on partnerships with publishers, so books are purchased and sold at affordable prices.
"In Dubai, we displayed two million books last year. Based on our on-site research, we realised the most popular titles in Dubai are children's books, and the second most popular ones are self-help books," explained Yap.
When asked about how many books he owns, Yap laughed and said: "I have about 300 books, but I keep giving them away, so the collection keeps dwindling."
Success in Dubai
Last year, the exhibition had over 150,000 visitors in Dubai.
Mohamed Al Aidaroos, managing partner at Ink Readable Books, the associate company for Big Bad Wolf in the emirate, said: "Our first chapter in Dubai was an instant hit and very well received by our audiences in the UAE and across the GCC. This year, we also have a bigger focus on Arabic books."
One of the organisations that will be present is the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation's (MBRF) Qindeel Printing and Publishing.
Jamal bin Huwaireb, CEO of the MBRF, said: "By participating in this year's edition, Qindeel Printing and Publishing will present a rich collection of Arabic publications and books from 24 local publishing houses and 18 foreign publishing houses, with a total of half a million books including 6,000 titles covering most fields."