The 30th edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) kicked off on Sunday. Around 880 exhibitors from over 46 countries are taking part in the edition, which organizers turned into a “hybrid” event due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The fair will run until May 29.
Organized by the Abu Dhabi Center for the Arabic Language at the Department of Culture and Tourism, the fair will host around 230 in-person and virtual sessions tackling the most prominent issues and challenges facing the publishing industry.
Reuters has reported that around half a million books in various languages will be on offer.
The fair boasts a program created in partnership with more than 20 local and international cultural institutions to organize cultural, professional, educational and artistic activities.
On Monday, a ceremony will be held to honor the winners of the fifteenth session of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award. The next day, Jordanian critic and translator Khalil Al-Sheikh will moderate a discussion with the winners.
The book fair will also host 315 guests and speakers in-person and virtually, including Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi from the United Arab Emirates, International Publishers Association President and Kuwaiti storyteller Talib Al-Refai, Egyptian writer Reem Bassiouney, Palestinian poet Sameh Kaawach and French writer Gilbert Sinoue.
Germany is this year’s guest of honor “in recognition of its pivotal role in knowledge creation and its inspiring history of achievements and overcoming challenges”.
The Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi had already announced that “all publishing houses would be exempt from pavilion fees for their participation” in order to “support the publishing sector at a key moment, as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic is still being felt across the industry.”