NAT Abu Dhabi International Book Fair5-1651243105570
Visitors during an earlier edition of Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. The event begins on May 23 this year. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News Archives

Abu Dhabi: The 31st edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) will be held in the capital next month, with the participation of 1,000 publishers from 80 countries.

Organised by Abu Dhabi’s culture sector regulator, the Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) and the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), the fair will held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre over seven days between May 23 and May 29.

It will once again bring together literary figures, Nobel laureates, academics and industry professionals from around the world. The packed agenda consists of more than 400 events, including a wide range of literary and cultural seminars, creative workshops, panel discussions, poetry evenings, educational events, book signings, special sessions by the Professional Programme for Publishers, and children’s activities by renowned authors, experts and entertainers.

Germany in focus

Germany will be the Guest of Honour at the fair, with a programme of over 15 cultural events set to feature nearly 10 German publishers, intellectuals and creators. Special activities include screenings of German films, as well as events which highlight collaborations between the German and Arab cultures.

Personality of the Year

The ALC has also revealed that Egyptian author Taha Hussein, known as the ‘Dean of Arabic Literature’, will be the Personality of the Year for Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2022, in appreciation of his immense contributions to Arab culture. The event will celebrate the renowned literary figure through a special pavilion that will shed light on his accomplishments and cultural impact, narrating the author’s life story in coordination with the Taha Hussein Museum in Egypt.

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Visitors at Abu Dhabi International Book Fair during the 2019 edition of the event. Germany will be the Guest of Honour at the fair this year. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Flagship cultural event

“We are now celebrating more than three decades of ADIBF, a flagship cultural event for the emirate and an important element of Abu Dhabi’s strategic vision, in which the cultural and creative industries are major catalysts for economic and social growth and diversity. The fair is key for the regional and international publishing sectors, presenting new opportunities and forging new partnerships for businesses and professionals in the industry from all over the world,” said Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, DCT Abu Dhabi chairman.

“Over the course of more than three decades, the ADIBF has succeeded in positioning the emirate as a home for creative minds and innovators in the literary and publishing sectors, contributing to a cultural capital where diverse outlooks and cultures converge to engage in crucial dialogue and exchange. Each year we aim to not only facilitate the growth and evolution of the industry but to empower individuals with knowledge and creativity, and spark passion for the written word. The 2022 fair will reaffirm the role of culture and books in advancing societies and building bridges between nations, with a special highlight being Germany’s return as Guest of Honour — a celebration of the long-standing cultural and intellectual collaboration between the Federal Republic and the Arab world,” added Dr Ali bin Tamim, ALC chairman.

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A group of prominent cultural and literary figures from around the Arab world and beyond are set to participate in this year’s fair. ALC is also set to organise the first International Congress of Arabic Publishing and Creative Industries, in which participants will discuss various ways to strengthen the book industry and advance the sector, in addition to exploring the latest trends and practices around Arabic content.