File photo of a previous edition of the book fair Image Credit: Gulf News archives

Abu Dhabi: Organisers have revealed details of this year’s edition of Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF), scheduled for April 29 to May 5.

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ADIBF 2024 will be held under the patronage of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, said the event will commence with its professional programme, featuring the third edition of the International Congress of Arabic Publishing and Creative Industries on April 28. A day later, the 33rd edition of the Fair will open its doors to the public at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), with Egypt chosen as the Guest of Honour.

ALC also announced the selection of the Egyptian novelist Naguib Mahfouz as the ‘Focus Personality’ for the Book Fair. In 1988, Mahfouz became the first Arab author to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1988, with his works translated into numerous languages.

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Among the events introduced by ALC at ADIBF 2024 is the Books of the World programme, which spotlights outstanding work that has shaped human civilisation over the years and has influenced cultures in unique ways. This year’s Book of the World is ‘Kalila and Dimna’ by Abdullah Ibn Al Muqaffa. In parallel to the book fair, an art exhibition titled ‘From Kalila wa Dimna to La Fontaine: Travelling through Fables’ will be hosted by Louvre Abu Dhabi, complementing this literary exploration.

ALC Chairman Dr Ali bin Tamim underlined the Centre’s commitment to celebrating influential cultural icons from the Arab world globally. “The Fair continues to enrich the cultural landscape of the Arab world with its inspiring initiatives. Egypt specifically has been a pioneer in creative work on various fronts including literary, artistic, intellectual, and cognitive. Naguib Mahfouz is the dean of Arab novelists, a figure who placed Arab literature and the distinctive aspects of Egyptian local culture on a global platform. He introduced Arab culture to other people and civilizations, broadening its reach and scope, shedding light on its aesthetic quality and richness,” Dr Tamim said.