NAT Sharjah Book Fair FILE-1603968993949
Unlike previous years, this year's SIBF will be a combination of face-to-face and virtual programming. Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: The upcoming 39th Sharjah International Book Fair will be a celebration of literary and cultural diversity, with 1,024 publishers coming from 73 countries leading cross-cultural dialogues under the theme, ‘The World Reads from Sharjah’.

Organised by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) and taking place at Expo Centre in Sharjah from November 4-14, this year’s edition will be a combination of online and face-to-face programming that will showcase more than 80,000 new titles in more than 30 languages covering various literary genres.

SBA said five information desks will be set up across the fair’s six halls to facilitate visitors’ access to books and publishers. The 2020 edition of SIBF will be convening publishers from around the world, including 202 from Egypt, 186 from the UAE, 93 from Lebanon, 72 from Syria, 46 from KSA, 39 from the UK, 29 from the US, 13 from Italy, 12 from France and 8 from Canada.

Health and safety protocols

Khoula Al Mujaini

SBA said preventive measures to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) have been put in place. Khoula Al Mujaini, SIBF general coordinator, noted: “The participation of a large number of publishing houses amid the prevailing challenge of a pandemic is a testament to SIBF’s integral role in stepping up efforts to revitalise the book industry. It also endorses the confidence of global publishers in Sharjah’s capability to organise one of the world’s top three book fairs in adherence to all global COVID-19 prevention protocols.”

Organisers advised UAE residents who would like to visit the Expo Centre and purchase books to pre-register on SIBF website. SBA added it will also ensure both publishers and visitors comply with all preventive measures, including physical distancing and wearing of face masks.