18th Abu Dhabi International Book Fair Wraps up Snapshots of ADIBF 2008

Published March 18th, 2008 - 06:47 GMT

18th Abu Dhabi International Book Fair Wraps up Snapshots of ADIBF 2008

KITAB, organiser of the 18th Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, which ended on Sunday 16th March, is celebrating another highly successful fair with impressive exhibitor figures, expanded exhibition space and more international publishers attending than ever before.

482 exhibitors from 42 countries participated in the Fair, with 159 publishers from outside the Arab world exhibiting this year. These figures demonstrate the growing international standing of the event, and underline the Fair’s position as a hub not only for the Arab book markets but also for worldwide business. Many publishers from India, China, Pakistan and Russia attended ADIBF for the first time; and collective stands from French and German publishers were another new addition to the Fair. 

Professional Programme
KITAB, the joint venture company between the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture & Heritage and the Frankfurt Book Fair, is also delighted at the success of one of the major new developments for the 2008 Fair: the introduction of the first ever dedicated day for trade professionals, on March 11th.

Highlights included the match-making session; ‘Meet New Business Partners’, which generated positive feedback from publishers keen to establish new international relationships.
Publishers, distributors, librarians and other book professionals had the opportunity to attend sessions on a range of topics in the revamped and extended Business Lounge, including rights and licences, publishing translations and a focus on how to approach the Arab book market.

Another new event this year which proved hugely popular was the ‘Get Together for Women in the Publishing Industry’ session;  a networking opportunity solely for female publishing professionals.

Showcasing Arabic Literature
Thousands of visitors attended the Fair to buy books, pick up new titles from exhibiting publishers, and enjoy the most exciting and varied programme of author events to date.

The award ceremony for the inaugural International Prize for Arabic Fiction took place on the eve of the Fair, with winning author Baha Taher being interviewed on the Kitab Sofa during the Fair as part of the wide-ranging literature strand. Other highlights from a number of Arabic ‘publishing celebrities’ included appearances from best-selling Egyptian author Alaa al-Aswany and ‘Talking Literature: Love Matters – Female Writing in Saudi Arabia’; with writers Leila al-Juhani and Badrya al-Bishr.

A further exciting new initiative which drew in the crowds this year was the introduction of ‘Textbox’, a soundproof booth hosting interactive ‘Slam Poetry’ readings, with Arabic translations and audience participation.

ADIBF helps get children reading
Encouraging more children to read was a key theme of the Fair this year, and is one of KITAB’s central aims. A range of leading international experts including Linda de Vos (from the Children’s Public Library, Frankfurt, Germany) and Hasmig Chahinian (French National Centre for Children’s Literature, Arab World division) took part in the seminar ‘Let’s Read! Creative Examples of Promoting Reading among Children from Germany, France and the UAE’.

Activities in the Children’s Corner were particularly well-attended, with a more varied programme of events and activities on offer than ever before; including workshops for parents and teachers and Emirati stories being read to children. 

Jumaa al-Qubaisi, Director of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair stated today:

‘We are delighted at the success of this year’s Fair and  are particularly pleased to have welcomed more international exhibitors than ever before, demonstrating our commitment to promoting and developing global business opportunities. We are equally proud of the strong cultural programme this year, as the Fair continues to lead the way as a major international showcase for Arabic authors. We would like to thanks all participants and visitors who contributed to another great year, and we look forward to building on these achievements in 2009.’

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