The Book Fair location. Image from the Book Fair website.

The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair is currently the biggest book fair in the region.

It is held each year April. The 2013 edition will take place between April 24th and 29th.
The venue of the fair usually is the Abu Dhabi Exhibition Centre, of the ADNEC, the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company.

Apart from the book exhibition, the fair organizes educational events, workshops on online publication, on publication rights and the relations between literature and other art forms.

The director of the book fair is Jumaa Al Qubaisi. The deputy responsible is Mohammed Shehhi.

The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair formally is part of the KITAB organization, a joint venture between ADACH and the Frankfurt Book Fair.

As the remainders of ADACH will move under the umbrella of the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, the KITAB organization and the Book Fair will do so too.

A sister organization in the same building is Kalima, devoted to translations. It commissions translation of books in Arabic, thus also hoping to increase the skills of translators. From Kalima’s website text:

‘Spain translates in one year the number of books that have been translated into Arabic in the past 1000 years.
For every one million Arabs only one book is translated into Arabic each year.
(Source: UNDP Arab Human Development Report, 2003)
Add to this inconsistent product quality, poor distribution and piracy, and it’s no wonder that interest in books has suffered in the Arabic world.

It’s not always been this way though. In fact, throughout Europe’s “Dark Ages” and until the end of the first millennium, Arab scholars and libraries led the world in translating, producing and preserving knowledge in science, medicine, philosophy and the arts. Knowledge flourished thanks to the many translations of important works into Arabic.’

‘Kalima wants to revive this Golden Age of translation and to reunite the Arab world’s fragmented book industry. We’ll do this by bringing together publishers, literary agents, authors, translators and distributors to increase the number and choice of books available to Arabic readers.’

Panorama view of the Book Fair. Imagine from the Book Fair website.

Written by: Neil Last modified: 7th Jan 2013
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