Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) is set to return this year for its 29th edition, taking place at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre from 24 – 30 April under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE’s Armed Forces. Thousands of literature enthusiasts and industry professionals from the emirate, the region and around the world are expected to attend, reinforcing Abu Dhabi’s position as a global hub for publishing. At a press conference held today at Manarat Al Saadiyat, the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) revealed that all ADIBF exhibition areas have sold out, with more than 100 publishers on the waiting list. Also announced was this year’s star-studded line-up of internationally renowned authors, artists and performers, including Booker Prize-winner Ben Okri, author Saroo Brierley – whose memoir was adapted into the feature film Lion – and Ziauddin Yousafzai, the father of Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai. This year’s edition of ADIBF will also see the introduction of three new interactive zones: the E-Zone, Comic Corner and the Entertainment Zone. Each of the three zones will feature unique experiences for learning, innovation and entertainment. To highlight the importance of technology and innovation, the E-Zone will be a place of discovery for the latest trends in digital content creation, featuring live demonstrations from experts as well as activities related to digital publishing. The Comic Corner will showcase an interactive Aquaman-themed experience, while the Entertainment Zone will feature food and music from different cultures around the world. Catering to publishing industry professionals, fans of literature, poetry, and culture as well as families and students, ADIBF will feature 1,000 exhibitors from 50 countries, with more than 500,000 titles on display. For the first time, the fair will see exhibitors from Ukraine, Czech Republic, Estonia, Malta and Portugal participating. “The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair plays an important role in allowing us to open ourselves to other cultures, and this function is especially resonant in 2019, during what has been designated the Year of Tolerance,” commented HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Undersecretary at the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi. “We are continually moving towards a knowledge-based economy, seeking to create a culture of intellectualism and expertise here in the UAE. This year’s Abu Dhabi International Book Fair will have a tangibly strong and positive impact, enhancing the capital’s position at the heart of the world as an open platform for cultural and intellectual exchange.” “The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair continues to build on its success year-on-year, providing an important annual platform that gathers all stakeholders in the publishing industry,” said Abdullah Majed Al Ali, Acting Executive Director of Dar Al Kutub (the National Library Sector) at DCT Abu Dhabi. “Publishers from around the world have the opportunity to present their work, interact with their audiences, and discover the newest developments and innovations in the industry. Writers have the chance to promote their work and partake in valuable networking opportunities, while literary enthusiasts can snap up the latest books and products, meet their favourite authors, and participate in in-depth practical workshops. “I am especially pleased that our high calibre of global participants, along with strong programming, has helped to attract even more new publishers this year, from countries that are coming to the fair for the first time. Abu Dhabi International Book Fair prides itself on its diversity and on providing a world-class experience for all participants and visitors, and I trust that its 29th edition will be the best yet.” ADIBF is the annual marketplace for the publishing industry in the Middle East and North Africa region. It offers a platform for local and international talent to showcase their work, and network with industry pioneers and specialists. India will be featured as the official Guest of Honour for the 29th edition of the event, with much of the fair’s programming dedicated to reflecting and showcasing the diversity and richness of the country’s culture.
Mrs. Smita Pant, Indian Embassy Representative, said: “We are thrilled to be the Guest of Honour at this year’s Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. India enjoys very strong relations with the UAE and this partnership is reflective of the historical ties we enjoy with the Arab world. We will be bringing a delegation of more than 100 members with us, including publishers, literary critics and authors, and India will also have the biggest pavilion at this year’s event. I’d like to express our gratitude to the Department of Culture and Tourism for nominating India as the Guest of Honour. We are looking forward to our participation and I urge as many members of the community as possible to come and visit the fair.”
The late Emirati poet Ousha Al Suwaidi has been selected as the ‘Focused Personality’ of the fair, and special programming will highlight her incredibly influential work and legacy as a master of Nabataean poetry.