Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, checks out one of the books showcased at the 21st Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. Image Credit: WAM

Abu Dhabi: The 21st edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (Adibf) saw a busy first day yesterday as book lovers and school pupils browsed through the half a million titles on offer and took part in the fair's various activities.

With participants representing 58 countries and 875 international and regional publishing houses spread over 21,741 square metres at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec), visitors to the fair, which runs until March 20, are sure to be spoilt for choice.

Officially inaugurated yesterday by Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, the annual event is held under the patronage of General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and organised by Kitab, a joint venture between the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (Adach) and the Frankfurt Book Fair.

"This is the first time we visited the book fair and I'm quite impressed by not just the amount of material that is available for teaching children with special needs but also the number of activities that allow our students to enjoy their time here by giving them a creative outlet through workshops and other programmes," Thora'a Saleh, an assistant at the Future Centre for Special Needs, said.

Charlotte Hamaoui, Managing Director of Turning Point Books, a Lebanon-based publishing house, said: "This is the second year we have participated in Adibf and we're very excited to be back. We were encouraged by the fair's professionalism, which is why we decided to launch two titles here."


France's participation in the fair is aimed at highlighting its rich culture, art and heritage. South Korea is also taking part in the fair, with a view to shed light on its book market and to offer opportunities to publishers for exploring its publishing industry.

Fair visitors can choose from over 196 cultural, educational and professional events and activities during Adibf, ranging from author discussions and workshops for children and teenagers, to discussions about concerns and trends in the literary world.

"This is our third year at the fair and we're always impressed by its organisation… this year, we've created a competition titled ‘Green Emirates' with Masdar and are encouraging all children who visit us to create pictures using recyclable materials and to participate in the competition, which highlights the importance of environmental conservation," said Sumayya Roben Andy, general manager, Creative Kids Academy.

The competition is sponsored by Shaikha Hamda Bint Khalifa Bin Mohammad Bin Khalid Al Nahyan and Shaikha Maitha Bint Khalifa Bin Mohammad Bin Khalid Al Nahyan.

Kalimat Publishing House, a publisher of Arabic children's books, is taking part in the fair through a collection of new titles and children's books revolving around family relations and the mother. It will release books on mothers coinciding with Mother's Day.


  • What: Abu Dhabi International Book Fair
  • When: March 15 - 20
  • Where: Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre
  • Timings: Saturday to Thursday 9am-10pm and Friday: 4pm-10pm
  • For further information visit www.adbookfair.com