(5th L) Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Founder and Honorary President of the Emirates Publishing Association, during the announcement event on Saturday night at Sharjah Book Authority Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: A new Dh10 million fund called ‘Onshor’ (Publish) has been announced to support Emirati publishers. The fund includes financial backing and business acceleration opportunities.

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The announcement was made on Saturday night by Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Founder and Honorary President of the Emirates Publishing Association (EPA), who introduced the Sharjah Publishing Sustainability Fund (Onshor).

This initiative, developed by EPA and Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) in cooperation with the Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone (SPC Free Zone), is a Dh10 million fund designed to provide a support system for the publishing industry.

The announcement was made during a ceremony commemorating the 15th anniversary of the EPA. In her speech during the ceremony, Sheikha Bodour said: “As we celebrate the 15th anniversary of EPA’s establishment, we are fully aware that our mission is far from over and that we are entering a new phase of expansion and prosperity. This requires more concerted efforts to be able to write a new chapter of growth and excellence in the next 15 years to come.”

She added: “On this occasion, I am delighted to announce a new initiative that seeks to support Emirati publishers, the Sharjah Publishing Sustainability Fund, a strategic initiative that will contribute greatly to supporting publishers and developing the publishing industry in the UAE.”

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Ahmed Al Ameri, CEO of the SBA, said the Fund addresses requirements of the publishing industry, particularly the necessity for adaptation. Drawing on Sheikha Bodour’s experience in the publishing sector, he said: “Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi ventured into the publishing realm recognising a pressing demand for high-quality Arabic literature. She perceived this need not merely as routine but as fundamental to shaping a generation’s understanding of their heritage and traditions. Her commitment led to substantial and enduring changes in the publishing landscape, with these transformative strides continuing to this day.”

Abdullah Al Kaabi, President of the EPA, said: “As we look forward to the coming years and decades, the renewed commitment to cooperation, integration, and teamwork is our road map towards a bright future in which the UAE will be a robust hub for Arab publishing, and in which Emirati publishers will contribute to the sustainability of publishing and culture at the global level.”