Abu Dhabi: It's that time of the year again, when book lovers all over the capital can not only pick up copies of the latest publications, but can even interact with their favourite authors.

The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) will once again open its doors from March 2-7 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

"ADIBF is now in its 20th year and it has achieved incredible growth during that time. Over 800 exhibitors from more than 60 countries around the world are participating this year, which shows that Abu Dhabi is becoming a publishing hub within the region and the fair is a gateway to the region's emerging publishing industry and the international publishing industry," Juma Al Qubaisi, director of ADIBF and director of National Library, Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH), said.

This year, "Kitab", a joint venture between ADACH and the Frankfurt Book Fair, will also be hosting the International Publishers Association's seventh Symposium from February 28 to March 1. Some 250 delegates from 53 countries are expected to attend and discuss, among other issues, copyright laws both regionally and internationally.

"This two-day conference will discuss the challenges of piracy and examine the ways in which the commitment to publishing in the region and around the world can be strengthened. It will also address the issues of best practice and the maintenance of standards in the field of copyright and digital printing," Mohammad Khalaf Al Mazroui, director general of ADACH, said.

In addition to its professional programme, visitors to ADIBF will also be able to enjoy a wide variety of cultural and interactive programmes and activities, including the Antiquarian Book Fair, Show Kitchen, the Read Aloud Competition, and the Kitab Sofa and book signings where members of the public can get up close and personal with acclaimed international and regional authors.

Promoting love of books

"Along with all these activities, the book fair will also be hosting a two-day education conference alongside the Emirates College for Advanced Education that aims to instill a love of books among students," Monika Krauss, general manager of Kitab, said.

"This year, General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, will once again generously donate book vouchers to schools worth Dh4 million."

Event: Over 800 exhibitors

- WHAT: The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair

- WHERE: Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre

- WHEN: March 2-7

- More than 800 exhibitors from more than 60 countries are participating in the event.