Abu Dhabi: The 27th edition of Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF), organised by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), is expecting a record participation of Arab and international publishing houses.

The event to be held from April 26 to May 2, 2017 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, will incorporate a varied professional and cultural programme featuring a stellar line-up of intellectual and literary activities, according to TCA Abu Dhabi press release on Tuesday.

For the 2017 edition, special focus will be placed on an ever-expanding e-publishing programme featuring digital content, e-applications and the latest technologies in the publishing world, and the fair will provide space for content developers and service providers to showcase their products and services to the publishing community.

This year’s ADIBF celebrates China as its ‘Guest of Honour’ and in keeping with the annual tradition of selecting a key personality, the philosopher and spiritual teacher Ibn Arabi is the ‘Personality of the Year’. Sessions inspired by his intellectual thesis featuring poetry recitals set to Arabic melodies will be at the heart of a parallel cultural programme.

Saif Saeed Gobash, Director General of TCA Abu Dhabi, said: “Abu Dhabi International Book Fair has become established as the largest event of its kind regionally and underlines the stature of the region’s publishing industry. It is one of the most important initiatives organised by TCA Abu Dhabi, and is the embodiment of our commitment to transforming Abu Dhabi into a cultural hub and an international destination for the publishing industry.”

He said the book fair also serves as a stage for promoting modern dialogue and creative works, and is an ideal platform for visitors to meet with intellectuals and authors from around the world. “China’s participation seeks to introduce new fields of literary knowledge and runs parallel to their selection of Abu Dhabi as the core of its cultural Silk Road initiative, a reflection of our vibrant cultural scene,” he said.

Abdullah Majid Al Ali, Acting Director of TCA Abu Dhabi’s National Library department, said: “The book fair offers a convergence of trade and culture through its multi-faceted programmes. The cultural programme reflects the diversity of the UAE population, while children will enjoy reading through educational activities at the Creativity Corner. The book signings, literary panel discussions and activities of the Illustrator’s Corner, the Black Box Cinema, the Show Kitchen and the Professional Programme will contribute to meeting the aspirations of all visitors.”

ADIBF guests include prominent novelists, poets, graphic design artists, essayists and social leaders from the Middle East, Europe, Asia, North Africa and North America, reflecting the fair’s international character.