x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Nascent publishing group to promote 'our way of thought and culture'

UAE Publishers Association will focus on improving the standards of books and encourage free speech and critical thought.

DUBAI // The UAE Publishers Association will focus on improving the standards of books published in the UAE and encourage free speech and critical thought, a spokeswoman said. The association, which was launched in February, is intended to promote the country's publishing industry. It also will act as a trade union for workers in the business and try to improve standards, said Rashid al Kous, the association's general co-ordinator.

But the end goal is to foster culture and encourage growth in an important sector. "The UAE is one of the most-developed countries in the area, which pays attention to culture, knowledge and science, so it was necessary to move quickly to establish an association for all the UAE publishers under one roof and work together to promote the role of publishing in the UAE," said Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, the association's chairwoman.

Only companies that are 51 per cent Emirati owned are eligible to join, a decision designed to encourage nationals to be more active in the industry. "It's to promote UAE nationals and train them to further enhance the local publishing industry to compete on an international stage and promote our way of thought and culture," said the spokeswoman, who declined to be named. The association will take on more practical tasks as well, including protecting intellectual property, overseeing translations and participating in trade fairs regionally and internationally.

shafez@thenational.ae