Abu Dhabi: Pupils in Abu Dhabi will be given free cash vouchers to buy books at the 2009 Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF), Gulf News has learnt.

The 19th book fair in the capital is organised by Kitab, a joint venture between the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) and the Frankfurt Book Fair, which has been established to encourage growth in education.

Kitab received a donation of Dh3 million during last year's ADIBF from General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, which was mostly spent on furnishing school libraries with more books. The rest was given to pupils at the fair.

"The aim is to encourage pupils to select a well-informed book and start to read more. We also hope to promote young Emirati writers who will be given a chance to meet publishers and authors," Claudia Kaiser, the general manager of ADIBF, told Gulf News.

Events include an educational conference with 500 teachers and school principals; an antiquarian book fair comprised of 1,500 antique books; promoting rights sales; a guest authors' book signing corner; a children's book corner and a cook book corner.

There will also be an international author recognition programme hosting 13 Arab authors, nine Emiratis, seven international authors and some of the winners from the Shaikh Zayed Book Awards.

According to Abdullah Butti Al Qubaisi, Director of Communication at ADACH, an increase of 25 per cent in the number of trade visitors is expected at the fair with as many as 361 Arab exhibitors and 196 non-Arab exhibitors.

Al Qubaisi told Gulf News that ADACH and Kitab are looking into partnering with a distribution company in Germany.

Info: Take note
When and where:
The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair will take place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre from March 17 to 22.
Book stores: The number of book stores across Abu Dhabi is 128 out of which 72 are in the capital city alone.