Some 150 publishers and exhibitors are participating at the festival Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Under the patronage of Sheikh Tahnoon bin Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative in Al Ain Region, the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) today inaugurated the 14th Al Ain Book Festival, taking place till November 25 under the theme ‘All Eyes on Al Ain’.

The festival features over 400 events and specialised programmes in the fields of culture, arts, and creativity. The event is open to the public and aims to promote knowledge among all segments of the community with more than 60,000 book titles presented by 150 exhibitors. The activities will be held across nine of the most prominent cultural sites in Al Ain City.

This year, the festival seeks to celebrate books, arts, and various aspects of literary creativity through rich and diverse interactive activities aimed at promoting the culture of reading and motivating the community, especially youth, to engage with authentic Emirati cultural heritage.

Moreover, the festival aims to highlight Al Ain City as a prominent destination for organising cultural events and exhibitions that cater to the diverse UAE community. This is highlighted by the festival’s cultural, literary, artistic, and entertainment activities, set to be held across historical and heritage sites, and appealing to all ages.

The event promotes reading as well as Emirati culture Image Credit: Supplied

Dr Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of ALC, said: “This year’s edition of the Al Ain Book Festival continues to welcome all members of the community who are eager to benefit from the cultural and literary activities it offers. The event embodies the vision of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre to preserve the value and aesthetics of the Arabic language and its literature globally.”

He added: “With participation from prominent cultural figures and esteemed publishers, the festival provides an ideal platform to foster knowledge sharing, creativity, and discuss an expanded range of literary achievements.”

Al Ain Book Festival events will be held across nine major locations in Al Ain City.

Al Ain Square - Hazza bin Zayed Stadium serves as the main site of the festival, hosting a range of educational and recreational activities for children and youth, as well as diverse sessions bringing together talented young participants. The festival will celebrate special occasions with interactive events and host art exhibitions and musical performances, including an art corner offering specialised workshops to nurture artistic talents.

Meanwhile, the festival’s cultural and artistic programme will be held at Al Ain Square, Qasr Al Muwaiji, Bait Mohammed bin Khalifa, Zayed Central Library, United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), and Al Qattara Arts Centre, as well as retail centres Al Ain Mall, Barari Mall and Al Foah Mall. The programming offers a series of seminars, debates and initiatives highlighting a wide range of topics.

For the second consecutive year, the Al Ain Book Festival is dedicating a full programme towards celebrating leading poets from Al Ain, known for their popular sung poems. Moreover, the Festival hosts daily poetry evenings that highlight the legacy of these celebrated sung poets locally and regionally over the decades.

The theme of the festival will be ‘All Eyes on Al Ain’ and the event will be held at Al Ain Square — Hazza bin Zayed Stadium and cultural sites including Qasr Al Muwaiji, Bait Mohammed bin Khalifa, United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), Zayed Central Library, and Al Qattara Arts Centre, as well as commercial centres around Al Ain city.

Now in its 14th edition, the festival celebrates books, art and various aspects of literary creativity, with a rich and diverse programme and interactive activities which promote a culture of reading, engaging various segments of the community, especially youth, in connecting with the rich cultural heritage of the UAE.

Nine locations

1-Al Ain Square — Hazza bin Zayed Stadium,

2-Bait Mohammed bin Khalifa,

3-Al Muwaiji,

4-Al Qattara Arts Centre,

5-Zayed Central Library

6-United Arab Emirates University (UAEU)

7-Al Ain Mall

8-Barari Mall

9-Al Foah Mall

Cultural programmes

The cultural programmes of the Al Ain Book Festival 2023 features a variety of seminars, discussion panels, and poetry nights covering diverse topics, such as sustainability, youth empowerment, promoting child development, and fostering a culture of innovation. It also underlines prominent examples of creative novel writing, children’s literature, and more. Special days, including World Children’s Day, are celebrated during the festival with specialised sessions.

‘Poetry Nights: The Sung Poetry’

For the second consecutive year, Al Ain Book Festival presents the ‘Poetry Nights: The Sung Poetry’ programme, which celebrates renowned poets from Al Ain whose sung poems have gained fame across various segments of the community. Moreover, the programme sheds light on the impact these poets have had, blending the arts of poem reciting and singing, and honouring icons of Nabati poetry and their legacy of timeless sung poems, celebrated locally and around the region for decades.

Children and youth programmes

The programme offers a comprehensive range of activities related to the culture of children and youth, and aimed at nurturing future generation.

Young visitors with mascots at the festival's 2023 edition Image Credit: Supplied

Furthermore, it includes activities that excite them, while also contributing to their growth and developing their skills in an entertaining and educational framework.