Frankfurter Buchmesse and the Arabic Language Centre: Expert Training Program

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The new program piloted in late August brought together Frankfurt and Abu Dhabi players in book-fair strategy and presentation.

In a special two-week training partnership between Frankfurter Buchmesse and the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, participants looked at book-fair and exhibition management as well as customer relations. Image: Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre

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

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Bin Tamim: ‘A Strong Partnership’
In the run-up to Frankfurter Buchmesse (October 19 to 23), the trade show and the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre have opened a new training program for employees of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.

In this partnership, Buchmesse specialists are working with five key members of the Arabic Language Centre staff fair group on the show’s strategy and plans for its 2023 edition.

A part of the interest is promotional—an outreach by the Abu Dhabi fair to publishers and those who work in content creation and development. But in addition, the fair’s organizers—led by Dr. Ali Bin Tamim, who is also secretary-general of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award—are interested in widening the range of creative sectors that participate in the Abu Dhabi fair’s programming each year.

In a prepared statement for today’s (September 6) commentary on the new training program, Bin Tamim is quoted, saying, “The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre over the years has maintained a strong partnership with Frankfurt Book Fair, an exceptional and longstanding international cultural event, that brings together thousands of publishers, content creators, and visitors from around the world for in-depth discussions on how to develop and support the book industry and promote culture.

Dr. Ali Bin Tamim

“This partnership supports the center’s efforts to promote and enrich the Arabic language locally and globally through culture, education, research, and the arts,” bin Tamim said.

“The Frankfurt Book Fair boasts extensive experience, success stories, and best practices in organizing and managing major international exhibitions that enrich cultural activities and shape a bright future for the book industry. This, in turn, allows Emirati professionals in the publishing field to acquire the skills needed to advance the sector in the United Arab Emirates, benefiting from successful experiences and advanced strategies presented by pioneers in the book industry.

“The training program we have developed with Frankfurt further deepens our partnership with this prestigious international event and will help empower future generations of Emirati experts in the book fair industry.”

Boos: Book Fairs Are ‘Essential in Driving Innovation’

Juergen Boos

Juergen Boos, president and CEO of Frankfurter Buchmesse, says, “International book fairs all over the world have one thing in common—they’re essential in driving innovation in the industry, connecting business leaders, and expanding business opportunities.

“At the same time, international book fairs are instrumental in bridging cultures and providing insights into diverse literary landscapes. The Abu Dhabi Book Fair is a modern and thriving event and an essential gateway to the Arabic publishing world. We were delighted to welcome our colleagues from Abu Dhabi to Frankfurt and to share and exchange our expertise with them.”

Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji

Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, acting executive director of the Arabic Language Centre and director of the Abu Dhabi fair, connects the training program’s potential to the effort to enhance Emirati talent.

“This is among our strategic objectives,” he says, “which we try to achieve by building on the strong partnerships we’ve established with some of the world’s most prominent cultural institutions. With that in mind, we developed this training program in which experts from Frankfurt share their experiences with organizing and managing book fairs on a global scale, capable of attracting publishers and creative workers from many parts of the world and meeting the requirements and aspirations of visitors and readers.”

In this first outing for the program, language center employees were engaged with the program for two weeks, in workshops and meetings that focused on marketing methods, exhibition management, general planning, and managing relations with stakeholders and partners.

Topics in the workshop framework of the program included ways in which fairs promote publishers, the importance of various markets, and the place and value of digital publishing and capabilities.

Challenges for publishing today were presented in the context of the book fairs’ place and potential. The program also highlighted ways to manage cultural projects and innovation in exhibitions, along with points of good interaction with visitors and partners, and strategies for building strong customer relations and community engagement.

A session in the new training program with Frankfurter Buchmesse and the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre includes input from Frankfurt president and CEO Juergen Boos, left, and vice-president for business development, Claudia Kaiser, second from left. Image: Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre


Our new Publishing Perspectives Forum at Frankfurter Buchmesse 2022 will feature a session produced in cooperation with the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, which is one of the programs handled by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre and led by Dr. Ali Bin Tamim, the Zayed Prize’s secretary-general. Plan to join us for “Growing the Book Business in the Arab World” at 2 p.m. CEST October 19 in the Messe Frankfurt Congress Center, Level 2, Room Spektrum. Admission is free for all registered Frankfurt trade visitors and exhibitors.  

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

More from us on book fairs and trade shows in world publishing is here. More on Frankfurter Buchmesse is here.

Publishing Perspectives is the world media partner of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award. Our extended coverage of Abu Dhabi International Book Fair is supported by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre.

More from Publishing Perspectives on the still-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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