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Readers make the most of discounts at the Big Bad Wolf Books sale in Dubai on Monday Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: One of the world’s largest book exhibitions is here in Dubai with discounts of 75 per cent on titles of various genres.

The Big Bad Wolf - founded in Malaysia in 2009 – is hosting over 1 million books of different genres in Dubai’s Studio City until April 16.

Avid readers and book lovers in UAE from children to adults are thronging the exhibition - the brainchild of BookXcess’ Co-Founders Andrew Yap and Jacqueline Ng.

Andrew Yap, Co-Founder of Big Bad Wolf Books, said: “The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale was conceptualised with the vision to promote literacy and reading among communities worldwide. Since the start, it has attracted flocks of book lovers from across the region and has earned a reputation for offering unbelievable selections and prices on books—serving as an excellent opportunity for avid readers to build their collections, pass on books to their loved ones and connect with readers from all over the world.”

He added: “Big Bad Wolf Books has proved to be a resounding success in the UAE. Building on the momentum we’ve created over the years, we’re pleased to return to Dubai with a slew of new and exciting additions to provide book lovers in the region with an unbelievable experience laced with good-quality, affordable books and lasting memories. As a brand, we have always believed that reading is an essential activity that opens up new worlds of knowledge and imagination in our ongoing quest to increase literacy worldwide and reach people beyond borders; we’re confident that this upcoming edition will be ‘Bigger & Gooder’ than ever before.”

According to him, “many expatriate customers have inspiring stories about how the affordability factor provided by the Book Sale allows them to send books back home to their family and loved ones.”

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Typical UAE readers

Rajesh Menon, Chief Communications Officer at Big Bad Wolf, said the readers in UAE are largely young mothers, fiction and non-fiction book lovers. “Young mothers are coming to the book exhibition with their children. The young mothers are encouraging their children to read books and genres they enjoyed as a child. Sometimes children have their own fascination for authors, titles, genres. It is heartening to see many mothers and children bonding over books here at the Big Bad Wolf in Dubai.”

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Rajesh Menon Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Menon said the book exhibition garnered over 30,000 book lovers last year. “This year we believe the number will be higher.”

Canadian mother and son duo Juliet and Jake Gerbich, who were at Big Bad Wolf, were all praise for the exhibition. “We love coming to Big Bad Wolf every year. Last year, we spent a lot on buying books. This year we have capped our budget.”

Jake said his favourite author is David Williams and is looking to grab his latest title.

Kazakh expats and mother-son duo Aiya Burkitbay and Alan Orazgali too were bonding over books. It was Alan’s day out with his mother to hunt for titles of his favourite authors – Roald Dahl and Dave Pickley.

“There are so many discounts on books here. The books are well priced with several books discounted.”

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Aiya and Alan Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Menon of Big Bad Wolf said all the books at the exhibition are available at massive discount rates. “One of the ethos of our founders is to make reading accessible and affordable to all. We don’t want readers to be put off by the price. Instead we want them to take the books home, touch it, feel it, smell it, enjoy the cover and relish traditional reading,” said Menon.

He said this year the sale offers books at discounts as high as 95 per cent. “Books allow a person to see things from a completely different perspective. Our low prices encourage customers to take a chance on new authors and genres they might never have read before. The more knowledge gained, the better equipped a person is to tackle any challenges they will ever face. For intrepid readers, no two Big Bad Wolf Book Sale visits are ever the same,” said Menon.

American visitor to Dubai Wissam Nasr was surprised by the reasonable prices of the books on display at the Big Bad Wolf. “I am coming from New York and book prices are at least five times more than here in Dubai. So I have decided to shop here.”

Nasr, who was visiting along with his Polish friend Gosia S, said he is a lover of fitness. “I also love to teach. So I have picked up a book on the best practices of running. I have a friend who loves creative art and I picked up a book for her. My friend Gosia has picked up a book on healthy eating.”

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Wissam and Gosia Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Gosia said: “The genre of books are classified and marked very clearly. For example non-fiction books are marked blue, fiction is yellow and children’s books are red. Our experience of buying a book here has been amazing.”

Majed Al Suwaidi, Senior Vice President of Dubai Studio City and Dubai Production City – TECOM Group, said the Book Sale was in line with the Ministry of Culture and Youth’s initiative ‘UAE Reads’ that aims to establish reading as a habit among 50 percent of Emirati adults and 80 percent of school students by the year 2026. In line with the scheme, Big Bad Wolf Books is committed to enriching Dubai Culture’s mission to spread the light of knowledge through reading.

Eiman Al Hammadi, Acting Manager of the Libraries Affairs Section at Dubai Culture, said, “At Dubai Culture, we realise the importance of organising and hosting book fairs. They are an effective platform for the exchange of ideas and experiences, and for shaping the future of the cultural and literary sector, and the publishing industry. They represent an essential source of the creative economy ecosystem, which Dubai aspires to become its global capital of by 2026.”

Al Hammadi said Big Bad Wolf Books opens many windows through which we look at the worlds of culture and the publishing industry, across many disciplines and scientific, literary, and human fields.

37 cities

The Book Sale has evolved to 37 cities in 15 countries, including Malaysia, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, the UAE and recently Tanzania and Kenya.

The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale offers a wide variety of genres such as science-fiction, thriller, literature, young adult, business, cookbooks, art and design, children’s books and many other sought-after books to suit everyone’s taste buds.

In numbers

• 1 million books on sale

• 30,000 book lovers visited the exhibition last year

• Up to 75 per cent discounts

• Fair visits: 37 cities in 14 countries

• Book sale starts from Dh 2

How to visit

What: The Big Bad Wolf Books, 2023

When: April 7 to 16

Where: Sound Stages at Dubai Studio City

Visiting hours: 9am to 2am