x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Book fair sees rise in exhibitors

Latest chapter of book fair attracts almost 1,000 exhibitors.

The 22nd Abu Dhabi International Book Fair returns on Wednesday - and organisers claim it will be the biggest yet.

The fair's director, Jumaa Al Qubaisi, said yesterday that 904 exhibitors from 54 countries had registered for the event - up 10 per cent from last year.

But he added that the fair would retain its Arabic flavour, with more than two thirds of exhibitors coming from Arab countries.

"The fair embodies the role it has come to play in Arabic cultural life as one of the principal centres in the region and worldwide," said Mr Al Qubaisi."It not only celebrates the book, but aims to transform this celebration into a grassroots event and open it up to new horizons, whether through publishing practices or markets and relations between publishers and the people.

"The fair has become, through its events and various activities, a family destination."

The fair, from March 28 until April 2 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, is organised by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority.

Guests will include Alia Mamdouh, an Iraqi novelist and winner of the Naguib Mahfouz Medal of Literature, and Emily Nasrallah, a Lebanese writer and women's rights activist.

The fair's Country of Focus this year is the UK, with exhibitions highlighting British literature.

sasaeed@thenational.ae