Children check out the spread at one of the stalls at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. Additional features this year included an expanded professional and cultural programme. Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The 21st edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) ended yesterday at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec).

"We received a lot of positive feedback from participants and have seen a surge in interest among those participating in the event on either the trade or public side of the fair. For example, we had around 130 participants in the matchmaking session, the highest number so far for ADIBF," Monika Krauss, general manager of Kitab, said.

Kitab, a joint venture between the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (Adach) and the Frankfurt Book Fair, is the organiser of the five-day fair, which began last Tuesday. It was 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.


"This year we also successfully launched various new elements, such as the Illustrator's Corner, because we felt that we had to address and highlight the contribution of the many talented illustrators in the region. At the end of the day, many judge a book by its cover and it's through their [illustrators] efforts that people stop and consider reading or purchasing a book," Krauss added.

"This is the first time I participated and it's been a very positive experience. The venue is amazing and there have been many great events. I was amazed to see just how much demand there is for English books… I would definitely consider returning next year…one thing I hope to see is more seminars about electronic media and e-books because that's very big in the US right now," said Kait Neese, director, book marketing, Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Agency, which is based in the US. Visitors of all ages were spoilt for choice with half a million titles from around the world.

"This is the second time I am visiting the fair…I think it's fantastic that there's such a wide variety of books available here…I was even able to find several books on religion in English, which was great … hopefully next year participants could bring more books like that," said Turkish Mehtap Kocotepe, an English teacher at the Foundations Programme in Zayed University.

"Another great feature is the Children's Corner…because the fair incorporates a lot of different elements, it helps to show students the different elements of the literary world," she added.