Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 22 March 2018

UAE named Guest of Honour at Riyadh International Book Fair

Abu Dhabi, ahead of its 28th literature festival, will champion Emirati culture in Saudi Arabia

Visitors browse at the annual Riyadh International Book Exhibition. AFP
Visitors browse at the annual Riyadh International Book Exhibition. AFP

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) is participating in the Riyadh International Book Fair, held under the patronage of Saudi King Salman, with the theme ‘Books ... The Future of Transformation’.

The event, which takes place at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Centre from March 14 to 24, will celebrate the UAE as its Guest of Honour this year.

The Riyadh International Book Fair is the largest in Saudi Arabia, followed by the Jeddah International Book Fair, which is pencilled in for the end of the year.

Riyadh is also one of the best attended of the Arab exhibitions, with more than 500 Arab and international publishing houses and more than 80 cultural events.

It also plays host to a Guest of Honour for each of its editions, to present that country’s literary history and publications, as well as to allow the guest to participate in the festival’s cultural events, literature seminars and poetry readings.

Through a UAE pavilion, DCT Abu Dhabi will offer a programme of activities, underlining the most important contributions to the Kalima Translation Project, and will seek to identify the Saudi side’s view of Emirati cultural creativity.

This also provides an opportunity for participants to plan or develop and select partners in the Saudi market, as well as establish partnership and cooperation agreements with Saudi publishing houses and cultural institutions.

At the fair, DCT Abu Dhabi will feature its flagship cultural projects, in addition to advertising 650 of its most popular authored and translated publications, and offering the latest on the 28th Abu Dhabi fair. Through displaying its publications in these fairs, the National Library of DCT Abu Dhabi seeks to revive the translation movement in the Arab world and, by extension, contribute to the regional and international cultural scenes.

The Kalima project, now into its 11th year, undertakes financing the translation and publication of a wide selection of classical and contemporary works from around the world into Arabic.

The works translated cover many fields of knowledge, with the aim of providing readers – especially children and youth – with a wide variety of literature to read. Abdullah Al Ali, acting executive director of the National Library sector at the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, said: “Our participation is in line with our wise leadership’s vision in achieving cultural integration with friendly countries.

“The UAE’s selection as a Guest of Honour for this year’s Riyadh International Book Fair reflects the strong relations between the two countries, and consolidates the bonds between the two leaderships, he added.

“The UAE’s participation comes as part of the brotherly relationship between the two nations, under the leadership of Sheikh Khalifa, President of the UAE, and King Salman.


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“Through our participation this year, we aim to highlight the projects and ideas which will be presented for the first time at the 28th Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, to be held from April 25 to May 1.

“The UAE pavilion will also underscore the status of the book fair as a global platform introducing the latest developments in publishing, as well as exchanging ideas and expertise and launching creative initiatives to support the publishing industry and the world’s readership.”

Publications by the National Library encourage writers and researchers to commit literary and research work to print and record. It is also responsible for collecting and archiving ancient Arabic and Islamic manuscripts, covering topics in the fields of literature, religion and science.

Publications include titles on the region’s history and heritage, as well as travel literature published as part of the The Orient Pioneers series.