Riyadh International Book Fair saudi
Book enthusiasts attend the Riyadh International Book Fair. Image Credit: The Saudi news agency SPA file

Cairo: Oman will be the guest of honour at the upcoming edition of the Riyadh International Book Fair due to open later this week.

Oman’s participation in the September 28-October 7, will take the shape of a pavilion set up in the centre of the fair featuring books, manuscripts and showcasing the sultanate’s diverse culture.

Several Omani culture figures and talented persons as well as publishing houses from the sultanate will participate in the event, Saudi Arabia’s largest book fair.

Oman’s participation comes as part of historical bonds and strong fraternal ties between the Saudi and Omani people, the fair’s organiser, the Saudi government Literature, Publishing and Translation Commission, said.

Saudi Arabia and Oman are members of the Gulf Cooperation Council that also comprises the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar.

The Riyadh fair will attract around 1,800 publishing houses and cultural organisations from around the world presenting the latest titles, rare manuscripts and artwork to around 1 million visitors.

Book talk

The Riyadh International Book Fair, an annual event, will be held at the King Saud University under the motto “An Inspiring Destination”. Stretching on an area of over 46,000 square metres, the fair emerges as the Arab world’s biggest in terms of cultural diversity and activities tailored to cater to different age groups, the Saudi news agency SPA reported.

Over 10 days, visitors will have access to a rich cultural itinerary featuring symposiums, poetry recitals, workshops, activities for children, stage shows, concerts and the “Book Talk”, an event hosting a select of influential thinkers and authors.

And for the first time, the fair will organise this year a contest for children in poetical recitation aimed to enhance their linguistic, poetical and personal skills.

In tandem with the fair, the commission will organise on October 4 an international conference for publishers featuring key local and foreign speakers to discuss different aspects of the publishing industry.

Last year’s edition of the fair drew the participation of 1,200 publishing houses from 32 countries.

In October 2021, the fair resumed, a year after it was postponed due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.