The local literary scene is in need of further nurturing, according to two local authors.
The acclaimed Dubai poet Adel Khozan and the novelist Nadia Buhannad advocate for local publishers to be given further training in order to raise their game.
Most books in the UAE are published overseas because local publishers lack industry know-how, says the Dubai-based Khozan, who has published three poetry collections and history books on the UAE's theatre industry.
"As a local writer, it's not easier to publish overseas, but it is better," Khozan admits. "When you go overseas, they have more professional practices in that they will publish it and distribute it more widely because they have the channels to do so. They will set up things such as signings and lectures and get your books reviewed by the papers."
It was precisely because of these practices that Buhannad chose to trust a publishing house in Saudi Arabia with her new novel, Karma, due out next month.
"I chose them because they can distribute the book here and around the region," she says. "Some local publishers here need more training and generally more experience. We need them to publish outside the country as well, because when I write I am not just thinking about the UAE readers; I am thinking about outside the country as well."