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British publishing house plans Qatar financial encyclopedia

The British company behind the Harry Potter series will launch its first publication in Qatar in October.

DOHA // Bloomsbury Publishing, the British company behind the Harry Potter series, will launch its first publication in Qatar in October, the company's chief executive says. Titled Q-Finance: The Ultimate Resource, the work will be a 1600-page financial encyclopedia and online guide, published in partnership with the Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFC). "It's helping Qatar engage with the global economy," said Steve Martin, the director of marketing and corporate communications for the QFC. "It's all about best practice."

The encyclopedia brings together 300 financial experts, including a Nobel laureate, to create a 1.5-million word database that will give online and print access to the latest information on current topics, key thinkers and business leaders in an attempt to address the information needs of an increasingly global industry. The British publisher also announced that it was on schedule to begin publishing 100 titles in Arabic and English next spring through Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing, its joint venture with the Qatar Foundation.

"This is an initial step to publish a great range of books," Nigel Newton, Bloomsbury's founder and chief executive, told Doha's The Peninsula newspaper. "The books, both in English and Arabic, would cover academic research, reference, non-fiction and fiction, educational school books and classical Arab literature." The books will be distributed around the world. Bloomsbury officials have said that Qatar-based authors would be sought through creative writing programmes. One Qatari writer, Maryam al Subaley, read some of her work at the announcement on Wednesday night at the Museum of Islamic Art, saying she was developing a novel about labourers in Qatar.

To help promote the publishing initiative, Mr Newton announced World Book Day Qatar, scheduled for April 23 as part of UNESCO's project in 90 countries, which will involve primary school students. khagey@thenational.ae

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