Presentation of translated titles at the 2019 Abu Dhabi International Book Fair

Abu Dhabi International Book Fair Expands Translation Grants

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Fair organizers have expanded the number of ‘Spotlight on Rights’ translation grants available in 2021 to help support the book industry through the pandemic. (Sponsored)

Presentation of translated titles at the 2019 Abu Dhabi International Book Fair

Presentation of translated titles at the 2019 Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. Image: ADIBF

By Publishing Perspectives Staff

‘We’ve Allocated 300 Grants’
Now in its 30th year, the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair has become one of the major professional gatherings for publishers in the Gulf region and beyond. Exhibitors from some 40 countries are registered to participate in 2021, affirming this international fair not only as a place for publishers to sell books to the public, but also to sell translation rights to each other.

With the growth in international visitors over the years and the growing importance of rights sales at the fair, Abu Dhabi International Book Fair launched its Spotlight on Rights program in 2009 to provide translation grants to all exhibitors who buy and sell rights during the fair. Applications are accepted online through May 30.

Since the program began, Spotlight on Rights has awarded more than 120 translation grants to publishers in amounts ranging from US$2,500 to $4,000 per title, for translations into French, German, Swedish, English, and other languages.

Last year, the program was expanded to include grants for audiobook and ebook categories. And in 2021, ADIBF is expanding the number of translation grants available—up to 300—as part of what organizers describe as its “relentless efforts” to support the book publishing sector during the pandemic, which has been particularly hard on publishers in the Middle East.

Dr. Ali Bin Tamim

Another change coming to the program this year is an expedited payment schedule, in which the fair will pay 60 percent of the grant upon approval of an application, and 40 percent in the following months, when the publisher is able to present a draft of the translation.

Speaking for the organizers, Dr. Ali Bin Tamim, secretary-general of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award and chair the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center, told journalists at a news conference in April how much of a priority the Spotlight on Rights program is for the fair this year.

“We at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair are especially proud of our initiatives to support publishers this year with the largest number of grants in the fair’s history to date,” Bin Tamim said. “Under our Spotlight on Rights program, we’ve allocated 300 grants to supporting print, digital and audio books for publishers attending the fair physically or participating virtually.

“Through this comprehensive set of incentives, we’re committed to providing a restorative economic and cultural space to those who take part in the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair this year.”


This article is sponsored by the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.

More from Publishing Perspectives on book fairs and trade shows is here, more on the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair is here, more on literary translation is here, and more on the United Arab Emirates’ market is here. Publishing Perspectives is the media partner of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award and the International Publishers Association.

More from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here

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