The 27th edition of Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) concluded on Tuesday evening in the UAE capital after attracting over 300,000 visitors of all ages and nationalities, catering to keen readers of poetry, literature, and culture. Throughout the course of its week’s duration, the Book Fair saw the participation of 1,320 exhibitors from 65 countries. In addition, ADIBF hosted more than 900 seminars and discussions that attracted high attendance from local and international thought leaders and intellectuals.
The fair, organised by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), was held from April 26 until May 2, 2017, under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.
Commenting on the tremendous success of this year’s fair, HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of TCA Abu Dhabi, said: “Abu Dhabi International Book Fair has grown into a globally acclaimed event welcoming thought leaders from across the region and around the world. The success of the fair is driven by the unprecedented levels of intellectual and cultural momentum that highlight the prestigious position Abu Dhabi holds as a leading international hub for literature."
“This year witnessed a celebration of China as the Guest of Honour, highlighting the close ties between China and the UAE, and paving the way to future cultural collaboration by means of the 300 events China has held during the fair. This is a precursor to new levels of cooperation between the two countries,” he added.
HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General of TCA Abu Dhabi, commended the support and dedicated efforts of the sponsors and supporting entities that spared no effort to ensure the unparalleled success of this year’s event.
HE Ghobash said: “Abu Dhabi International Book Fair has become an iconic event; it is a key element in the cultural agenda that is helping transform Abu Dhabi into one of the leading capitals of culture and literature. The fair was supported by a great many rich and intellectually stimulating activities, including more than 900 workshops, seminars, and panel discussions. The 2017 edition of the fair was also unique for the wide array of topics covered by the books on show this year. These books, in more than 30 languages, represent some of the greatest intellectual contributions to literature, science, business and other fields, and they add immeasurable educational value for visitors of all backgrounds."
He added that more than 500 partnership agreements between publishing houses and writers took place throughout the course of the fair, of which a significant number were signed with China. An agreement to establish the first Emirati-Chinese publishing house was signed between Dr. Fatima Hamad Al Mazrouei on behalf of the UAE, and InterContinental Publishing from China, asserting the vital role of ADIBF as a platform for fostering channels of cultural interaction and exchange.
“Younger audiences formed a priority for us this year, as we worked closely with Abu Dhabi Education Council to host more than 50,000 students from different schools at ADIBF; in addition, the exhibition offered various educational, interactive and entertaining workshops for children to nurturing their way of thinking,” added HE Ghobash.
Abdullah Majid Al Ali, Acting Executive Director of the National Library at TCA Abu Dhabi, highlighted that the total value of books sold this year at ADIBF was more than AED 35 million. He also said: “Abu Dhabi International Book Fair has accomplished another achievement in its long history, extending its core message of fostering a culture of reading and introducing the latest developments in the fields of writing, publishing and translation to local and international audiences. The exhibition received significant media attention both regionally and worldwide. More than 300 journalists from local, Arab, and international media outlets participated in covering the activities of the exhibition’s 27th edition."
Al Ali added that a comprehensive set of programmes were on offer at designated sections throughout the course of the fair, contributing significantly to the success of the event. Thought leaders and famous poets took part in specialised seminars while visitors were welcomed at the Ibn Arabi forum, which hosted talks that highlighted the importance of reading. Other sections included the Creativity Corner, the Illustrator’s Corner, and the Show Kitchen, all of which hosted a series of interactive activities, discussion panels and events inspired by a vibrant culture of reading and creativity.
A programme of activities was also held throughout the book fair featuring an array of Polish authors, publishers and chefs ahead of the country’s participation as the 28th edition’s Guest of Honour. Next year marks an important anniversary for Poland, with the publishing industry taking a prominent place at international book fairs marking the centennial of the country’s independence.
Publishers praised the high level of organisation and the layout of this year’s fair, as well as the spacious area allocated which allowed publishing houses to showcase their products through expansive installations. Participating publishers stated that the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair has continued its impressive trajectory in an unprecedented leap of progression, becoming the most significant fair for literature in the Middle East.