Preview: Abu Dhabi Stages a Congress of Arabic Publishing

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The first staging of Abu Dhabi’s International Congress of Arabic Publishing and Creative Industries is onstage Sunday.

Image – Getty iStockphoto: Boule

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

See: Our coverage of the 2022 Abu Dhabi International Book Fair and Our special Abu Dhabi International Book Fair Show Magazine

Speaker pre-show interviews: Maha Abdullah on localization and Abdulsalam Haykal on the Majarra Platform

The Evolving Dynamics of Arabic Publishing
In a first for the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (May 23 to 29), the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre has arranged Sunday’s (May 22) all-day International Congress of Arabic Publishing and Creative Industries to survey the state of Arabic literary output and its engagement with the world publishing community and associated disciplines.

As a quick reference, you can find the full program for the day in our special Show Magazine for the book fair, on Page 25, and your download of the magazine is free (PDF). The congress’ site is here.

It’s an interesting time in Arabic-world conferences, with Abu Dhabi’s neighboring emirate, Sharjah, having just premiered its own new conference event: Sharjah Book Authority‘s chairman Ahmed Al Ameri produced the Sharjah Booksellers Conference earlier this month, at Sharjah Publishing City.

As the many markets of the Arabic-language world evolve and develop, new pressure points and opportunities are prompting new examinations of their industries’ accomplishments and potentials.

Those two shows, as a matter of fact—Sharjah’s booksellers’ conference and Abu Dhabi’s Arabic publishing congress—share a lead speaker in Bodour Al Qasimi, who is president of the International Publishers Association (IPA), the founding publisher of the Kalimat Group and the Emirates Publishers Association, and the daughter of the  Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, the author-ruler of Sharjah.

Also addressing the opening of the conference is Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chair of Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism, and Dr. Ali Bin Tamim, who directs the Arabic Language Centre and is secretary-general of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award.

Arabic-Language Exports, Crossovers, and Digital Presence

Lead speakers at the International Congress of Arabic Publishing and Creative Industries include, from left, Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak; Dr. Ali Bin Tamim; Bodour Al Qasimi; Juergen Boos; and Michael Tamblyn

An audience of as many as 300 is anticipated, with speakers including Nicholas Carr, Pulitzer Prize finalist; Rakuten Kobo CEO Michael Tamblyn; Ann Hiatt, a Silicon Valley veteran; and Juergen Boos, president and CEO of Frankfurter Buchmesse.

Among panelists’ topics for the day:

  • Arabic Publishing: Where Are We and Where Are We Heading?
  • Education and Publishing in the Virtual World
  • Is Social Media the New Book Market?
  • Exporting Arabic to the World
  • Arabic Media Crossover: Adapting Books Into Audio, Film, and Games
  • Is the Reader the New Author?
  • What Does the Future Hold for Arabic Content on the Internet?

We have preparatory interviews for you with two key speakers from the day:

  • Maha Abdullah, the MENA localization consultant and regional languages expert formerly with Netflix and now with Disney Streaming Services
  • Abdulsalam Haykal, executive chair of the Abu Dhabi-based Internet platform Majarra.

For last-minute registration, which is required, send an email to congress@adbookfair.com . And more details are available at the congress’ site.


Our special Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2022 Show Magazine is here for your free download (PDF).

More from Publishing Perspectives on the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair is here, and more on the United Arab Emirates’ market is here. More from us on book fairs and trade shows in world publishing is here. More on translation is here, and more on Arabic in the publishing world is here.

Publishing Perspectives is the world media partner of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award and the International Publishers Association. Our extended coverage of ADIBF 2022 is supported by the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.

More from Publishing Perspectives on the ongoing coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is a non-resident fellow of Trends Research & Advisory, and he has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.

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